Friday, 4 September 2015

Variety rather than numbers

Cloudy with a few sunny periods, 17°, light NNW.

The day dawned cloudy and still with very little migration evident, however it proved to be an active and interesting day with not many photos taken.

A few early migrants moved off with the usual species of 18 Yellow Wagtail, 9 Tree Pipit and 2 Grey Wagtail and later 3 Siskin.

A shout from Martin alerted us to an Ortolan Bunting over the Crown estate fields which then flew up to the Privet hedge.

3 of us went up there an inadvertently flushed the bird which then flew off to above Culverwell and has not been seen since, to my knowledge.

Anyway that over with the day settled down to some steady birding with one or two locals moaning about the lack of birds, however…………………………………:

2 Pied/White Wagtail, 5 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 20+ Willow Warbler, 10 Common Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Redstart, 1 Barred Warbler, 1 Wryneck and 1 Nightingale.

Again a steady flow of Swallow through the day with several groups of House Martin, 3 Sand Martin and a Swift.

Also: 1 Peregrine, 1 Sparrowhawk and 5 Kestrel.

The sea was again very quiet with Gannet being the only species moving.

Mammals: A Bat species, possibly one of the Pipistrelles but appeared larger.

Dragonflies: Emperor, Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Wall Brown and Meadow Brown.

Other: Jersey Tiger, Convolvulus Hawk Moth, Brown Bush Cricket, Southern Oak Bush Cricket.

 Jersey Tiger (Loren)
 Emperor (Loren)
 Common Darter (Loren)
Bessie cat knapping on the bed of a vacant room!

Lollingdon:3rd Sep


4 Spotted Flycather,
1 Blackcap,
3 Chiffchaff,
A movement of Swallow and House Martin west - approx 75 birds.

Lollingdon Hill:

1 Whinchat,
2 Chiffchaff.

Thanks again to Tony and John.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

A little quieter

Overcast, 16°, light to mod NNW.

An overcast and cooler day reflected by a lack of migrants.

Having said that day was made by a Barred Warbler found by John Lucas at Culverwell and a Turtle Dove that flew over and landed in the Crown Estate fields for a short time.

The sea was again exceptionally quiet with 2 Balearic Shearwater and 16 Common Scoter passing.

Just a few land migrants noted: A dawn movement of 10+ Yellow Wagtail, 14 Tree Pipit and a Grey Wagtail, a light but steady stream of Swallow with a few House Martin through the day, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat and 10+ Willow Warbler.

Also seen: Sparrowhawk and a Grey Heron. A little excitement of a large raptor seen flying in off the sea only to turn out to be a Common Buzzard.

Butterflies: very few, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady.

Other insects: Brown Bush Cricket and Great Green Bush Cricket, Old Lady (moth) and a Convolvulus Hawk Moth.

Swallows feeding young

 Convolvulus Hawk Moth
 Old Lady
 Grasshopper Warbler
 Brown Bush Cricket
Great Green Bush Cricket

Cholsey news:2nd Sep


2 Spotted Fycatcher,
1 Chiffchaff,
1 Common Redstart,
1 Whitethroat,
and a Little Owl.

Thanks to Tony Williams for phoning the info through and to John Lucas for passing it on.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Another day another mix

Sunny, 18°, light NNW.

Much the same as yesterday with 30+ Yellow Wagtail, 6 Tree Pipit and 25+ Siskin making their way out from dawn.

The day then settled down to looking for birds etc. around the bill area.

2 Peregrine Falcon, a Sparrowhawk and 6+ Kestrel.

10+ Wheatear, a Whinchat, 6 Stonechat, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 8 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Common Redstart, 1 Chiffchaff, c20 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and a Wryneck.

A steady stream of Swallow with several small flocks of House Martin through the day.

The only stuff seen on the sea today were 3 Common Scoter flying east and 2 Oystercatcher along the west cliffs.

Dragonflies: Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Gatekeeper, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown.

Other species: Cosmopolitan Moth (from Southern Europe-North Africa), Garden Tiger Moth, Red-legged Spider Wasp, Barrel Jellyfish.

 Willow Warbler in the early morning sun
 Wall Brown
 Common Blue (Loren)
 Juv Stonechat (Loren)
 Red-legged Spider Wasp
 Garden Tiger Moth
 Barrel Jellyfish (Loren)

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Portland Mix

Sunny, 20°, light NW.

The day dawned bright and sunny with most of yesterday’s migrants that had departed and an initial flurry of diurnal migrants on their way out.

Around 12 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 5 Tree Pipit and 6 Siskin flew out over the Obs.

Other species noted today were: 10+ Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Common Whitethroat, 10+ Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 Common Redstart, 5 Stonechat, 1 Wryneck, 1 Firecrest, Little Owl, a Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine Falcon, c100 Swallow, c40 House Martin, 2 Swift and a Ringed Plover.

The sea today was exceptionally quite with a few Gannet, a Grey Heron and a Balearic Shearwater both flew west.

Dragonflies: Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Common Blue, Chalk-hill Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown.

Moths: to many to mention here, the pick is, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Convolvulus Hawkmoth, Silver-Y, Oak Eggar and a rare migrant, a Diamond-spot Pearl.

A few photos from today including the most photographed hand in the UK?

 Pied Flycatcher
 Tree Pipit
 Convolvulus Hawkmoth
 Diamond-spot Pearl
 Oak Eggar (courtesy Loren)
 Willow Warbler
Painted Lady

Moon rise at Portland

Hats off to the RSPCA.

Thank you to the guy from the RSPCA who came out today to rescue a 2nd year Great Blackback Gull that was entwined in fishing line down on Portland.

A call was made by a member of the public today regarding a gull tangled in some line and in distress on the east side of the bill.

An RSPCA guy eventually arrived and fortunately the gull had hauled itself out of the sea and onto some rocks. As there was quite a length of line attached he managed to grab hold of the end and effectively reel in the gull.

He brought it back to the observatory where he managed to cut and untangle the line (that fortunately had no hook attached) and free the gull.

The gull felt a little thin so he decided to take it back to the rescue centre to feed it up for a day or two before bringing it back to release it.

A job well done, thank you RSPCA.

All pics courtesy of Loren.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Rain then a few migrants

Heavy to light rain most of the morning becoming clearer but overcast, 16°, light NNW.

The sea was relatively quiet today, a steady stream of Gannet passing through with some feeding offshore, 40+ Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Common Scoter, 6 Gadwall, 1 Cormorant and the odd Fulmar and Shag. Also 3 Oystercatcher and 3 Dunlin.

After the rain ceased a few land migrants and residents began to surface with 2 Raven, 1 Swift, 30+ Wheatear, 20+ Willow Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Blackcap, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4 Common Redstart, a Black Redstart, 6 Stonechat, 3 Pied Flycatcher and 10+ Spotted Flycatcher.

Little Owls calling after dark.

1 possibly 2 Wryneck still present (not seen).

Butterflies: Few noted, Red Admiral and a few Large White.

Other insects were: Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Southern Oak Bush Cricket and a European Beewolf (Philanthus triangulum).

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Portland Wryneck, Rose-coloured Starling & Osprey

Cloudy, 18°, light to mod NNE.

An excellent start to our visit to Portland, initially an Osprey seen heading out to sea off the bill.

A walk a little later towards the west cliffs turned up 5 Stonechat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear, 6 Swift, Little Owl, approx. 100 Swallow (thinking about crossing the channel) and 1 Meadow Pipit before Glen (assistant warden) called us over to the Pulpit pub where the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was sat on the pub roof along with a flock of European Starling and eventually flew off and then a Wryneck seen in the brambles nearby.

Dragonflies: Emperor, Common Darter.

Butterflies: Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown.