Monday, 12 October 2015

Things can only get better ...... I hope.

Sunny, 14°, light N.

Very quiet on the hill today with virtually nothing noted other than a Sparrowhawk that flew over.

Back down in the hamlet a couple of Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest noted.

Also 2 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail.

2 Redwing in a garden along Church road today (per RB).

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies: a few Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Ramble On

Sunny, 17°, light ESE.

Not a lot for 5 hours in the field with a walk out to Lollingdon and the Lees.

A Tawny Owl on the hill today flushed from a fence post and mobbed by Chaffinches before disappearing in to some trees.

The south side was quiet just a few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail around and 3 Swallow flew south.

The north side had the usual Chiffchaff (5) and Goldcrest (3), a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker.

A Stonechat out by the Lees, Grey Wagtail and a couple of Reed Bunting.

15 Siskin in total today and a scattering of Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull on ploughed areas.

2 Coal Tit and 2+ Goldcrest in the churchyard and a Coal Tit, Chiffchaff and Moorhen in the garden.

A Little Egret lifted from the brook at approx 20:30 and called and I could just make out the bird flying over the trees.

Mammals: a single Bank Vole noted and a Hedgehog in the garden.

Dragonflies: a single Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: several Large White and Small White, a Comma, 4 Red Admiral and a single Painted Lady.

A very distant shot of the Stonechat

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Little change.

Overcast, 13°, breezy W.

A cooler day than of late with a brisk westerly breeze blowing.

A flock of c40 Hirundines west over the hill with at least 5 Swallow and the rest House Martin.

25+ Yellowhammer on the hill and 50+ Meadow Pipit in the sheep field.

Several Pied Wagtail and Skylark overhead and a small Tit flock on the north side with accompanying Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

38 Starling and 2 Bullfinch also noted nearby.

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Speckled Wood.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Chiffchaffs still.

Heavy showers, the odd sunny spell, 16°, breezy SE.

Another visit to the hill today and managed to miss most of the rain.

Again a relatively quiet time, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest and a single Coal Tit of note.

A few more Pied Wagtail around and several Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

Also a Grey Wagtail near the pond.

Butterflies: a few Small White braving the weather.

European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Lollingdon: 5th Oct

Rain, 16°, light SSE.

A brief and wet visit to the hill today and not expecting much.

30+ Meadow Pipit feeding in with the sheep and 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest on the hill with a Tit flock.

100+ Hirundines flew over in 2 flocks, the first flock of 48 House Martin and the second flock of mainly House Martin with at least 5 Swallow.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker.

The camera didn't come out to play today due to the wet weather.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Merlin saves the day

Sunny, 18°, light NE.

Another warm and sunny day, more like summer than autumn but the birds not representative of that time.

A rather quiet time on and around the hill but the day was saved by a ♂ Merlin seen. Initially perched on wires then flew low and fast towards the downs.

More Goldcrest than Chiffchaff around the hill today with 7 and 5 noted, a few more Goldcrest and 3 Chiffchaff also noted between the millennium wood and Marymead.

A light movement overhead with around a dozen Skylark, 30’ish Meadow Pipit, 7 Pied Wagtail and 2 Siskin.

In addition 50+ Starling flew over and 2 Bullfinch noted to the north of the hill and a Tawny Owl heard.

A tractor working one of the fields had attracted a flock of around 200 Gulls, mainly, Lesser Blackback Gull, as usual, also 3 Herring Gull and 6 Black-headed Gull.

A lot more Gulls noticed around the pig fields but too distant for id.

2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel and the usual Buzzard and Red Kite noted.

Mammals: 2 Pipistrelle Bats hunting the garden at dusk and a Hedgehog after dark.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Chiffchaffs & not a lot else.

Sunny, 17°, breezy E.

A very bright and breezy day and little evidence of any migration. Now highly unlikely of seeing any more summer migrants except Chiffchaffs, locally from now on.

In fact only Chiffchaff noted today, 8 in number on the hill with a Tit flock.

Coal Tit and Grey Wagtail in the garden.

Up to 10 Chiffchaff along the Thames from Cholsey Marsh to Bow Bridge. Also a few Swallow on Monday (per TW).

Dragonflies: Unidentified Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 1 Red Admiral and several Speckled Wood.

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

So Quiet

Sunny, 17°, thin high cloud, light ENE.

Very quiet on the hill today with very little activity.

20+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, a Blackcap and 6 Chiffchaff.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, several Large White, Small White and Speckled Wood.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lollingdon 25th Sep

Sunny, 16°, light NW.

A Stonechat on the hill today not seen first time around but appeared later in the afternoon, a Wheatear in fields to the west and 5 Yellowhammer on the hill.

50+ Hirundines over with a 50/50 mix of Swallow and House Martin and a passage of Pied Wagtail (20) and Meadow Pipit (42) also 2 Siskin flew over, all moving south.

4 Sparrowhawk sightings of at least 3 birds and quite a few Buzzard in the air today.

The wooded side had 2 flocks of Tits pass through, the first around 20 birds and the second of around 50. The majority of birds were as usual Long-tailed Tit with several Great and Blue Tit. However the second had 3+ Coal Tit and at least 1 Marsh Tit and both flocks had Goldcrest and Chiffchaff with them. A total of 14 Chiffchaff around the hill today.

A walk out to the Lees proved rather fruitless with just a few Skylark, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer noted.

2 Nuthatch, 2 Coal Tit and a Chiffchaff around the garden today.

Mammals: Roe Deer, Muntjac Deer and Red Fox.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral and Comma.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A little quiet

Cloudy with occasional sunny spells, 16°, breezy W.

Very little on the hill today, 7 Mistle Thrush passed through and 60+ Hirundines over, mainly House Martin with around 20 Swallow and a single Sand Martin.

8 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 3 Goldcrest also in the area.

Dragonflies: Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Speckled Wood.

More Illegal hunting arrests

Thames Valley Police has arrested a man and a boy on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Blewbury, near Didcot.

A man aged 43 and a boy aged 14, both from Hampshire, were arrested last night (22/9) at 10.50pm in Chilton, on suspicion of poaching and trespass in Blewbury on the same evening.

Both have been bailed until 15 November.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Illegal Hunting Arrests in Oxfordshire

More illegal hunting arrests in Oxfordshire. Keep your eyes peeled.

Two men arrested for hunting act offences – Blewbury, Didcot

Thames Valley Police have arrested two men on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Blewbury, near Didcot.

Two men aged 30 and 31 from Surrey, were arrested yesterday (21/9) at 4.10pm, in Streatley, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Blewbury, at around 3.40pm the same day.

A vehicle and a dog were seized.

The 30-year-old man has been bailed until 19 October, the 31-year-old man has been bailed until 22 October.

Three arrested on suspicion of hunting act offences – Fyfield, Abingdon

Thames Valley Police has arrested three men on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Fyfield, Abingdon.

An 18-year-old man, and two youths aged 16 and 17, all from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, were arrested yesterday (21/9) at 5.15pm, in Pusey, Faringdon, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Fyfield the same day.

A vehicle, mobile phones and two dogs were seized.

The three men have been bailed until 29 October.

Monday, 21 September 2015

upon us all a little rain must fall

Rain, 14°, breezy WSW.

A visit to the hill today in rather wet and windy conditions so did not expect to find much.

A Wheatear briefly before flying off to a distant field, 20+ Meadow Pipit and 6 Pied Wagtail around.

Just over 20 Swallow battling through in todays wet conditions.

A Tit flock on the wooded side with around 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Little else of note seen.

A Southern Hawker appeared just as I was leaving when the sun appeared.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Agatha Christie and Wildlife

Saturday & Sunday: Mainly sunny after a misty start, 17°, light SE to SW.

2 walks over the week end along the Agatha Christie Trail.

Over the week end Loren and I plus a few others were helping Tony Rayner lead a couple of walks along the Agatha Christie Trail between Wallingford and Cholsey.

As well as some locals on the walks we had visitors from Cornwall, Devon, Romania, Holland, Australia, USA, Brazil and Japan to name but a few.

Tony would commentate on various aspects of Agatha Christie’s life in Cholsey and also some local recent history and some that dates back to Iron Age, Saxon and medieval times.

On the Saturday we walked from Wallingford to Cholsey and the Sunday a walk to Wallingford from Cholsey and catching the heritage train back along the Bunk line.

Agatha Christie is buried in Cholsey and lived for 40+ years in Winterbrook House (Cholsey) and was a regular visitor to both Cholsey Village and Wallingford Town.

Fortunately I was able to do some birding, after all we were outside so no problem!

Migrants found were 2 Stonechat, found today both along the Bunk Line, one near to Cholsey and the other near Winterbrook, also several Siskin overhead and a couple of Yellow Wagtail with some Pied Wagtail. A Blackcap and up to 7 Chiffchaff.

Whilst in Cholsey Churchyard this morning a flock of 300+ Hirundines (Swallow & House Martin) flew over moving south and over the last couple of days over a 1000 birds counted in total.

Unfortunately no Dragonflies of Butterflies noted.

Birds noted: Pheasant, Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Blackback Gull, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Swallow House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.

 Tony in Winterbrook
 The Trail from Cholsey
 The Bunk passing us along the trail
 Agatha Christie's grave
 an informative chat at the graveside
Heading back along Winterbrook
The train drivers
 A very old train driver
 A forgotton passenger
 The return train journey
 Our Japanese visitor
 Still happy!
 A new friend
 The Stonechats

A welcome break at the end.