Sunday, 22 May 2016

Dawn Chorus

Cloudy, 8°, light NW (04:30).

A dawn chorus walk along the river at Cholsey Marsh this morning and Tony Rayner took another group from the village centre for a walk along the Bunk line.

Between the village and the Bunk line Tony’s group had 5 singing Goldcrest and Common Whitethroat and Yellowhammer adjacent to the line.

We had 2 Cuckoo this morning one on the marsh and another calling down river.

Plenty of Sedge Warbler, several Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff but we missed a few of the regulars on the marsh.

A Jay popped up briefly in the meadow yesterday and 14 House Martin feeding over the garden between rain showers.

A pair of Hedgehog in the garden recently.

Night shot of the Hedgehogs (Loren)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Molly & the crew

Molly and her brood made it to the brook.

Thanks to Richard Broughton for the photos

Friday, 20 May 2016

Bunk Line walk

Cloudy again, 16°, breezy WSW.

A walk along the Bunk Line to Winterbrook and back today and not a lot along there.

6 singing Common Whitethroat and 5 singing Yellowhammer and a couple of Chiffchaff.

Swallow, Swift and House Martin overhead feeing over the fields and 2 Green and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker noted.

The duck (that has been named “Molly” by Loren) left with her brood early this morning and made her way to the brook. All 12 have been seen downstream by RB and all looking good.

Butterflies: Green-veined White & Orange Tip.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Cholsey Fieldfare

Cloudy, 17°, light WSW.

A steady walk out to Lollingdon Hill and back today, relatively quiet as would be expected with little change from earlier this week.

The Fieldfare still present, a singing Lesser Whitethroat and at least 2 Yellow Wagtail noted.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.


Over the last few months we have had a pair of “Mallard” almost resident in the garden. I put “Mallard” in quotes as the drake is certainly one but the female is a mix of “domestic call duck” and wild Mallard.

Anyway recently she decided to lay a clutch of eggs in a quiet part of the garden and 2 days ago they hatched out and she has 12 ducklings in her brood, they have been seen feeding in some leaf litter close to the nest site today.

Some of the neighbours are concerned that they may make a move to the brook sometime soon so they are keeping a watch in case we have to provide an escort for them.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Warblers & the rest.

Mainly cloudy, 16°, light SW.

Cholsey Marsh today: at least 8 singing Reed Warbler and up to twice that of Sedge Warbler, also several Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and a Cetti’s Warbler.

Cuckoo heard downriver, 2 Bullfinch seen, 2 Kingfisher on the opposite bank, 2 Great Crested Grebe on the river and 2 Water Rail heard on the marsh.

A Jay, a Grey Heron and 3 Cormorant also noted.

The Harris Hawk seen high over the marsh and drifted off south.

The usual suspects seen in the garden, plus a House Sparrow today which is far from frequent.

The Starling flock was out in the meadow again today and has grown to around 50 birds and in the early evening they discovered the garden feeders.

Butterflies: Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell.

Dragonflies: 1 unidentified dragonfly seen briefly, fluttered up and went into cover, possibly recently emerged.

 Reed Warbler

 Common Whitethroat
 Harris Hawk

Monday, 16 May 2016


Sunshine and scattered cloud, 16°, light NW.

Birdwise, very little on the hill today. A pair of Yellow Wagtail nearby and the usual Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer.

Much of the same on the walk out and back as of last week.

A post breeding flock of around 30 Starling descended on the garden this afternoon, a mix of adults and young, also a Magpie briefly, both a rare occurrence in the garden but frequent in the meadow.

The Fieldfare still present in Cholsey (Tony Williams), looks as though this bird may well summer in the area.

Nuthatch still visiting the garden, may be breeding nearby, also a singing Goldcrest in the garden and a regular visit of a Sparrowhawk.

Quite a few butterflies about today: Brimstone, Large White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Speckled Wood.

No dragonflies noted as yet!

Friday, 13 May 2016


Mainly cloudy with some sunny spells, 18°, breezy NNE.

A walk out to Lollingdon today was rather uneventful, having said that there was at least 9 singing Yellowhammer and 8 singing Common Whitethroat between the village and the Hill.

A Yellow Wagtail collecting nest material on the hill and a few Swallow passing over.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White and Small Tortoiseshell.

Thursday, 12 May 2016


Sunny with high thin cloud, 20°, light NW.

Cholsey marsh was buzzing with song this morning, mainly Sedge Warbler and also 4 possibly 5 Reed Warbler, several Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

Several Reed Bunting noted and at least 2 Water Rail heard.

A Cuckoo came onto the marsh several times and was ranging down river at times.

A pair of Kingfisher flying around and 2 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Mute Swan on the Thames and a Cormorant flew down stream.

Swifts, Swallows and House Martins evident over the garden and village today and at least 1 Nuthatch visiting the garden feeders.

Butterflies: Orange Tip, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Holly Blue.


 Reed Bunting
camera shy Sedge Warbler

A couple of Moths

A couple of Moths caught recently by the Eastender.

Pinion-spotted Pug

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Cholsey: Whimbrel

Rain, misty, 15°, light ENE.

Almost constant rain today and a visit to Lollingdon hill and Cholsey Marsh again.

A nice highlight today of 5 Whimbrel over the hill, heard at first then seen flying NW.

Otherwise little change from yesterday although a few Swift around at both sites, 3 over the hill and 5 along the river by the marsh.

A Greylag Goose flew south over the hill and a Yellow Wagtail nearby.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Fieldfare still out at Lollingdon

Light to heavy rain, 16°, light ENE.

A Cuckoo at Cholsey Marsh this morning, also the usual warblers: Sedge, Reed, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Cetti’s, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

A Black-headed Gull flew down river.

Lollingdon was fairly quiet, 3 Corn Bunting and 5 Yellowhammer in song and a Reed Bunting on the hill.

Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap also around and the lone Fieldfare still present.

A Sparrowhawk hunting in the garden and left empty taloned!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Portland day 9: A sea watch then home

Overcast, 10°, breezy ENE then back to overcast, 21°, light ESE.

We left a breezy, cool Portland today after a morning sea watch and arrived in a warm, humid Cholsey that looks as if we may have a few thunderstorms later.

The sea watch was relatively quiet this morning but lack of quantity was made up by quality.

1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Common Scoter, a few Manx Shearwater and Gannet, 2 Arctic Skua and 9 Pomarine Skua (incl a flock of 7).

Nothing to speak of on the land apart from singles of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

Overall not a bad week on Portland, the latter part of our stay lacked land migrants but was made bearable by the movement of sea birds. 114 species noted in total.

Thanks to all at the Obs for keeping us amused during quiet times.

2 Nuthatch on the garden feeders this evening and 2 Tawny Owl calling near the garden tonight.

A selection of pics by Loren from Lodmoor yesterday.

 Mallard, Tufted Duck & Mute Swan
 Tufted Duck
 Little Egret
Oystercatcher, Grey Plover & Shelduck

Pied Flycatcher: Cholsey

"Was having a pint with the family yesterday in the garden of the morning star pub about 5.30pm when a Pied Flycatcher landed on the wooden fence. It stayed for a minute or so before flying off over the house to the left of the pub. Unfortunately didn't have a camera with me but had a good view of the bird from about 20ft away."
Paul cooper

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Portland day 8: a visit off Portland

Rain at first then sunny, 13°, breezy E to NE.

A poor day on Portland today with a stiff easterly breeze blowing, very few migrants even the Swallow passage was very minimal.

1 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest and a Spotted Flycatcher in the Obs garden.

A Yellow Wagtail and a Redpoll over.

On the sea: 1 Whimbrel, 1 Little Egret, 3 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Diver, 4 Pomarine Skua, 2 Arctic Skua, 10+ “Commic” Tern and few Manx Shearwater and c100 Gannet.

In view of the lack of activity on Portland a trip to Lodmoor seemed a likely venue to add a few more species to the weekly total:

Several wader species present were some Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Ringed Plover along with several duck species i.e. Gadwall and Tufted Duck, several Little Egret and Common Tern.

The extensive reed beds held a good number of Reed Warbler, several Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler, a few Reed Bunting and Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff in the hedgerows.

Swallow, Sand Martin and Swift overhead.

Butterflies: Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.