Friday, 19 December 2014

Fieldfares +

Sunny, 10º, breezy WNW.

Another visit to the hill this afternoon and a few more Fieldfare around, the flock on the hill numbered around 100 birds and a flock of 72 Starling feeding with them, also 8 Corn Bunting in fields to the south.

There were 2 more flocks in the area and a total of up to 400 birds, 20+ Redwing, a few Song Thrush and a single Mistle Thrush.

A single Raven flew south over the hill and a Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail nearby.

3 Bullfinch in one of the nearby hedgerows.

The Lapwing flock numbering around 150 present in the pig fields with c500 Gulls.

Blackcap in the garden again today.

 Fieldfares & Starling
 Grey Heron

Thursday, 18 December 2014


Windy, few sunny spells, 12º, breezy WSW.

Our first Blackcap of the winter appeared in the garden today (actually he was here yesterday but Loren forgot to let me know!).

As usual it was feeding on apples, 2nd one of this winter in the village and another male.

(note to self: must clean windows!).

A pair of Peregrine Falcon still out west of the village and 2 Stonechat also present. (per TW).

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Overcast, dull, 13º, light WSW, light rain.

A fairly quiet ill again today with around 50 Fieldfare, 50 Starling, 3 Redwing, 3 Blackbird and a Mistle Thrush feeding along the south face of the hill with another flock of around 40 Fieldfare and a few Redwing to the north, also a Sparrowhawk flew through.

The pig fields towards the downs hosted a lot of gulls with Lesser Blackback and Black-headed noted, also 80+ Lapwing with them may have been more but view restricted from a distance.

 3 species of Dove/Pigeon feeding together in the garden
Starlings on the hill

Illegal hunting convictions

From Thames Valley Police:

Gary Malpass, aged 35, from Overmead, Abingdon; John Norman Woods, aged 31 from Boxhill Road, Abingdon; and Tobias Pope, aged 34 from Sunningwell Road, Sunningwell pleaded guilty to Hunting a wild mammal with dogs on Friday (12/12/14).

The incident happened on 28 November 2014. The three men were seen by a police helicopter in fields near Wootton with a high powered lamp and dogs at approx 1.20am.

Thames Valley Police were able to gain forfeiture of the high powered lamp, worth around £200.

Woods and Pope were fined £500 each, and ordered to pay £50 compensation and £85 costs. Malpass will be sentenced next year.

Detective Inspector of South and Vale CID Paul Powell said:

“We’re obviously very pleased with this result, and with the fact they all pleaded guilty to the charges. Hare coursing and hunting act offences are a priority for the South and Vale Local Policing Area. I commend the work of the officers involved in this case, particularly because their community impact statements were used in court.”

Monday, 15 December 2014


Sunny, 8º, no wind.

A quiet Lollingdon again and more Redwing than Fieldfare today with 80+ and 50+ respectively, also 6 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush and plenty of Blackbirds (50+).

The Linnet flock still present on the hill (c150) and c50 Chaffinch scattered around the wooded area of the hill.

Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, several Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail and a small flock of 16 Yellowhammer noted nearby.


First Blackcap of the winter has turned up in the village, a on Saturday (13th seen feeding in a garden. Per MP.

Sunday, 14 December 2014


00:05 Clear, -1º, no wind, cloud arriving from the SW.

Loren and I went out in the garden tonight to see if we could catch the Gemenid meteor shower and we were in luck. We had at least 22 “shooting stars” in just under 30 minutes of watching, including a few bright ones. There were quite a few more that we were just catching in our peripheral vision and did not count but due to light pollution and limited views I’m sure we missed quite a few.

The moon had not long risen and is 55% illuminated and at a distance of 404, 750 km.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Sunny spells, 8º, no wind.

Again fairly quiet out at Lollingdon, 2 Raven around the hill for a short time then flew towards the downs and a single Mistle Thrush still on the hill feeding with Fieldfare.

200+ Fieldfare in total but widely scattered and a flock of 20+ Redwing feeding in a horse paddock with others, c50 scattered around elsewhere, 5 Song Thrush also feeding in the paddock with the Redwing flock and still good numbers of Blackbird in the area.

A Kestrel, 2 Buzzard, 2 Jay and both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker noted and 6 Yellowhammer were in one of the hedgerows but that was about all.

Treecreeper in the garden again this morning.


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Garden again

5 Redwing and a Treecreeper in the garden today 11th Dec.

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cholsey Marsh

Sunny, 6º, breezy SSW, chilly!

A few hours down at Cholsey marsh this afternoon and plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing around feeding in the hedgerows.

2 Sparrowhawk in the area and at least 2 Water Rail heard on the marsh and a Chiffchaff still present on the marsh.

The Corn Bunting roost was around 80 birds this evening, also a dozen Meadow Pipit and about the same of Reed Bunting coming in.

At least 6 Jay seen and heard with a couple on the marsh and the rest on the other side of the river at Little Stoke.

The Golden Plover flock still on Cholsey Hill and many Fieldfare and Redwing seen in roadside hedgerows between Cholsey, Didcot and Wallingford.

Another Sparrowhawk over the garden this morning.

Corn Buntings just prior to going to roost
 Fieldfare & a Redwing

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A day in the garden

Cloudy, 6º, light NW.

A day in the garden today and a busy garden with Fieldfare and Redwing flying over frequently and some settling in the tree tops briefly before moving on. A Buzzard also flew overhead and 3 Red Kite noted in the neighbourhood. A light movement of Black-headed and Lesser Blackback Gulls passing over and Rooks and Jackdaws flying over moving between feeding areas.

A Jay in the meadow for a time and the 2 resident Carrion Crows present.

Over the day the garden had 3 Mallard, 3 Moorhen, 5 Blackbird (a few more in the meadow), a Song Thrush briefly, several Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and House Sparrow, a Wren, 2 Dunnock, a Robin, 3 Great Tit, 4 Blue Tit, 1 Coal Tit, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Stock Dove and 5 Wood Pigeon.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Still quiet

Sunny, 6º, light WNW, still chilly.

Still rather quiet out at Lollingdon, a few scattered flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing, around 100 birds in total.

A single Mistle Thrush on the hill with other thrushes and the odd Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail.

2 Jay , a Green Woodpecker, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and not much else of note.

100+ Golden Plover still around the Cholsey hill area.

A flock of 30 Teal flushed from Amwell spring over the weekend and a Jack Snipe close to the Thames out in the Winterbrook area (per TW).

More illegal hunting arrests in South Oxfordshire

Eight men were arrested on Thursday (4/12) on suspicion of hunting act and animal cruelty offences.

Seven of the eight men were from outside the Thames Valley and live in Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey.

The arrests were part of an organised campaign to target rural crime in the South and Vale local police area, as part of Operation Monocle.

During searches carried out by police, five dogs were seized as well as other items related to the alleged offences.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, said:

“Thames Valley Police have become increasingly effective at catching those who travel into the Thames Valley to commit crimes of this nature and I hope these arrests will serve as a warning to any others considering doing this in the future.”

Andy Boyd, Superintendent of South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse Local Police Area said:

“These arrests enforce our message that people who travel from outside the region to Thames Valley to commit crime will face the consequences.

"Operation Monocle has been extremely successful.”

“Between 1 August 2013 and 24 November 2013, we had 42 Hunting Act offences across our area. Since 1 August 2014 we have had 32 offences but have arrested 41 people, 31 of which are on police bail while enquiries continue.

“Considering we arrested 29 people during the whole of 2013 for hunting/poaching offences, we’re pleased to see our proactive approach to rural crime is paying off, reflected in our arrest rates.”

Friday, 5 December 2014

Movin on!

Sunny, 7º, light NNE, getting colder.

Very little of note out at Lollingdon today, most of the winter thrushes appear to have moved on.

Around 100 Fieldfare present in 2 flocks, also 20 Starling, 1 Mistle Thrush and 2 Redwing.

A Grey Heron, 2 Corn Bunting and a Chiffchaff were the only other species of note.

2 Woodcock noted last week in the Lollingdon area.

385,521 Kilometres distant

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Thrushes still dominant

Sunny, 8º, light N, a fair bit chillier today.

Thrushes still foremost in abundance, a small flock of Fieldfare and Redwing in the millennium wood today, c50 birds, at least 3 Song Thrush and c20 Blackbird, also a Goldcrest present.

Several hundred still out at Lollingdon, c100 Fieldfare, c50 Redwing, c20 Song Thrush and up to 100 Blackbird.

Blackbirds were very frequent in every hedgerow and several Fieldfare and unusually 2 Song Thrush feeding on the ground on the hill.

4 Corn Bunting, 6 Yellowhammer, 2 Pied Wagtail, 10 Meadow Pipit, a Grey Heron, 2 Jay, 4 Starling, 1 Kestrel, 5 Red Kite and 3 Buzzard also noted.

A flock of 250+ Lapwing flew towards the downs.

When I got back home there were 4 Mallard, 2 Moorhen and 2 Carrion Crow feeding in the garden.