Tuesday, 3 March 2015

America? No........ Cholsey.

Sunny, 6°, breezy WSW. Another windy day!

A few hours down on Cholsey Marsh today and the Harris Hawk put in a brief appearance flying upriver at quite high and at a rate of knots in the following wind.
Tried to relocate it but no sign.

With the Harris Hawk around and the flock of Canada Geese on the river it gives a hint of North America.

3 Great-crested Grebe on the river, a pair and a singleton, a few Coot and the usual Canada Geese.
A few Fieldfare and Redwing overhead, also 2 Mistle Thrush, a Song Thrush singing and a Treecreeper heard in song again.

No sign of any Corn Bunting at the roost but I did not stay ‘til dusk.

 Harris Hawk
 
 Great-crested Grebe
 
 Canada & Greylag? Goose
Great Tit

Monday, 2 March 2015

Lollingdon and the Garden

Sunny, 6°, breezy WSW, a sunny day but chilly in the wind.

Lollingdon still rather quiet except for a flock of 500+ Fieldfare feeding out to the south of the hill plus another small flock of c100 to the north. Only 2 Redwing noted.
A Peregrine flew over and 3 Kestrel present in the area, 5 Red Kite in the air and 2 Buzzard with one displaying, also a couple of Skylark in song.

A few of the local Rooks to advantage of the Crows absence this morning and polished off some food in the garden and a Pheasant spent some time feeding.
(Just a note of the first Wheatear of the year on Portland, Dorset today).

 Rook
 Long-tailed Tit
Pheasant (Loren)

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sunday stroll

Sunny, 10°, breezy SSW, rain on its way!

Apparently the UK is headed for it's sunniest winter since 1929, can't say I noticed!

A stroll out this afternoon to the south west of the village not necessarily birding, however you cannot help noticing stuff!
A flock of Thrushes feeding in a field just south of the Bullshole was worth a look, 60 Fieldfare, 28 Redwing and 17 Song Thrush was notable and 2 Mistle Thrush nearby.

Greenfinch in song and a display flight noted and in addition a Green Woodpecker and Great-spotted Woodpecker seen.
3 Buzzard, 5 Red Kite and a Kestrel seen.

2 and a Blackcap noted in the garden today and a Green Woodpecker and Grey Heron in the meadow.

Mistle Thrush

 Cholsey Hill with Wittenham Clumps in the distance (Loren)

 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Spring?......maybe.

Sunny, 11°, light SW.

Lollingdon still rather quiet although a lot of Fieldfare and Redwing around today thinly spread but 200+ noted. Hopefully things will start moving sometime next month and liven it up!
Plant life showing signs of spring and a few more insects around.
The sunny weather and the lighter winds seemed to favour larger raptors with 8 Buzzard high in the air over the hill at one point and 5 Red Kite in the vicinity.

A Green Woodpecker seen and a Yellowhammer seen and heard in song were the only other species of note.

 

 


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fly Tipping

Sunny, 10°, breezy NW.

Arrived out at Lollingdon today only to find that someone had fly tipped a large quantity of rubbish along the access track. It has been reported by at least 2 people to the council and should not be too difficult to find those responsible as amongst the rubbish were some personal documents of presumably the customer who had the building work done.
The enforcement personnel should check it out tomorrow and information has been passed to a local councillor.

Apart from that, the bird life was rather scant, a flock of around 150 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, a couple of Song Thrush singing and a few Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit present.
In addition 2 Buzzard, 3 Red Kite and a Kestrel.


 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Garden visitors

Sunny spells, 10°, light SSW, a milder day.

A bit of gardening today and a few pics of some of the visitors. A Sparrowhawk that visited was too quick for me so one that got away.
A ringed Blue Tit around and a Greenfinch with either half of its upper mandible missing or retarded growth but seeming to be feeding OK.

A couple of Rooks sneaked in to the far end of the garden whilst the Crows were pre-occupied chasing a pair of Magpie in the meadow.
The Rooks also busy nest building in the Horse Chestnut trees next to the garden.

 2 Moorhens taking it easy in the garden

 Rook
 ringed Blue Tit
 Dunnock
 Chaffinch
 Chaffinch & Dunnock
The Greenfinch

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Getting Better

Cloudy with sunny spells, 4°, breezy SW.

A walk along Caps Lane looking for Siskin but still no luck, however a fair few Thrushes seen with mainly Fieldfare and Redwing feeding in the paddocks, several Blackbird and a handful of Song Thrush.
A good number of finches, mainly Chaffinch and several Greenfinch, Goldfinch and a couple of Bullfinch.

Later a walk out to the Lees and the Stonechat still present along the dyke and very active in the windy conditions. Not a lot else out there other than a flock of around 100 gulls (Black-headed and Lesser Blackback) and 40+ Corvids.
The resident Carrion Crows kept chasing off a scarce bird for the garden today in the form of a Rook, chancing its arm (wing) and on several occasions. Even though there is a rookery at the edge of the garden, it is very rare for a Rook to actually alight in the garden.

The 2 Blackcap still regular in the garden.
Bullfinch

Redwing

Redwing

Stonechat
 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Things can only get better.

Cloudy, 2°, fresh SW, wintry showers.

This is probably the quietest time of year out at Lollingdon with very little of note around. The Linnet flock appears to have moved and the same with the Chaffinch’s with very few of each around and the Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipit numbers are also low.

Was even difficult to find any numbers of Thrushes until a flock of c100 Fieldfare flew over and there were 4 Song Thrush and 2 Redwing present feeding in one of the fields nearby.

5 Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel in the area.


Kestrel

Fieldfare

Friday, 20 February 2015

Mars, Venus and the Moon

Three extra-terrestrial bodies in the same region of the sky this evening, low to the SSW at around 19:00.

Mars, Venus and the Moon, Mars is very faint and just visible above a very bright Venus; the moon is a beautiful waxing crescent.

Distances of all three bodies from Earth at the moment are approximately;

Mars = 302 million kilometres.

Venus = 237 million kilometres

Moon = 402000 kilometres.
 
Venus

Moon

Venus with Mars above

The Moon, Venus and a very faint Mars

Venus with Mars above

Venus
 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Rain again.

Rain, 5°, no wind, another wet day.

A late visit to Cholsey Marsh for the roost saw approximately 100 Corn Bunting, c50 Meadow Pipit and a few Reed Bunting.

2 Sparrowhawk overhead, several small flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing also over, a couple of Water Rail and Common Snipe on the marsh, 2 Bullfinch in an adjacent hedgerow and a Great Crested Grebe on the river.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Brief update

A sunny day, 8°, little wind.

286 Lapwing beside the Agatha Christie Trail.  Pair of Bullfinch at Wallingford Road end of Green Lane. No sign of the Raven.

A Small Tortoiseshell in garden - per Butterfly Conservation website could be this year's first record for the 3 counties. (Per TR)

A Sparrowhawk briefly in the garden this morning, just got the camera on it as it flew!

& Blackcap still regular visitors in garden.

 


 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Still fairly quiet

Sunny, 5°, light N, quite a contrast to yesterday.

The Wagtails and Pipits still with the sheep flock and a few more Thrushes around today.

c50 Fieldfare and around the same of Redwing, a count of Robins today numbered 14 on/around the hill.

The Lapwing flock (c80) still present in the area and a few more Gulls around today with most on the winter floods north of Lollingdon.

Several Roe Deer seen in the distance and the first Bumble Bee of the year seen (a Buff-tail).
 
Another confiding Robin

Monday, 16 February 2015

Wet & Soggy

Rain, 3°, light wind. A wet and soggy day.

A rather damp walk around Lollingdon today.

Not a great deal noted but 50+ Pied Wagtail and over 50 Meadow Pipit out with the sheep on the hill.

A flock of Lapwing still around by the pig fields and c200 gull present.

A Sparrowhawk, 3 Corn Bunting and 2 Yellowhammer noted.

On Sunday beside the Green Lane linking The Bunk railway with Wallingford Road there were 100 Fieldfare in one field and a Raven (per TR).

And a Little Egret fishing today in Cholsey brook along the first cow field just north of the bridge (per RB).
Over the weekend a Buzzard appeared briefly in the trees in the garden, a Grey Heron, Green Woodpecker and Sparrowhawk in the meadow.

The Moorhens have been exhibiting territorial behaviour and have been aggressive to a third individual present and the pair were mating in the garden this morning.
A couple of Long-tailed tit and a Coal Tit in the garden also.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

A little repetitious

Overcast, 4°, light SSE.

A walk out to Lollingdon today proving rather repetitious with the usual flocks of Thrushes around. Mainly Fieldfare 100+, and 20+ Redwing and several Song Thrush.

32 Pied Wagtail and 50+ Meadow Pipit feeding alongside a flock of Sheep on the hill.

8 Red Kite, 2 Buzzard, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk were the only raptors around.

A distant flock of approx. 100 Lapwing over by the pig fields with c500 gulls and another flock of 34 Lapwing flew towards Cholsey hill.

A Stonechat out by the Lees (per Dave).

A and a Blackcap in the garden, a Sparrowhawk overhead and a visit by a Pheasant.

 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lollingdon & Cholsey Marsh

Overcast, 4°, no wind.

Lollingdon was exceptionally quiet today; c50 Redwing and a few Fieldfare feeding in one of the fields and a flock of c300 Thrushes flew over towards the downs.
I then decided to go down to Cholsey Marsh for the roost, which consisted of c150 Corn Bunting, c50 Meadow Pipit and a handful of Reed Bunting. A few more Corn Bunting came in as I was leaving.

Both Little Grebe and Great-crested Grebe seen on the river along with 100+ Canada Geese and a couple of Teal. There were several more Teal on the marsh.
Several Cormorant flying up and down the river and 3 Kingfisher, 2 together and a singleton all flew upstream.

43 Lapwing flew over towards North Stoke and a few Jay on the opposite bank.
The usual Water Rail heard on the marsh, a Grey Heron on the riverbank and the first Treecreeper song of the year heard.

Both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush also heard in song.