Monday, 15 July 2019

Redstart again

Cloudy with sunny intervals, 20°, light NNE.

2 Common Redstart (juvs) on the hill today, 1 in the usual hedge and another in the Hawthorns along the hill. Not always viewable but vocal and a couple of young Chiffchaff around.

20+ House Sparrow also present, they usually turn up on the hill this time of year but not as many as this.

5 Kestrel hunting the hill. Loads of Swift around with 100+ over a period of a couple of hours.

3 Little Owl noted and the flock of around 12 Mistle Thrush still present.

Reps: 2 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle and Emperor Dragonfly.

Butterflies: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Small Copper, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.



Friday, 12 July 2019

The Lees area

Sunny intervals, 24°, breezy NW.

A walk out to the Lees this afternoon found the farmland on the way out quite barren. Some of the so called “conservation strips” had been mown and were pretty lifeless. Any wild flowers gone, no butterflies and no bees. Still can’t figure out why some local farms do this?

Beyond the Lees things were a little different as the habitat became a little more diverse with the woodland, long ditch and the reedy ditch.

A couple of Sedge Warbler and a single Reed Warbler noted carrying food, so presumably still have young in the nest.

A Grey Heron nearby and couple of Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and Skylark seen along with Jay, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat.

A few dragonfly along the long ditch and a lot of butterflies and bees around an area of mainly Common Vetch and a few other flowers.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly and Common Darter (1st of the year).

Butterflies: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

 Skylark
 Essex Skipper (though I may be wrong)
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Banded Demoiselle
 Azure Damselfly
 Jay
Ringlets

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Black, Gold & Painted Ladies

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 23°, light W.

2 Raven on and around the hill toady and very vocal, present for around 30 minutes then flew off south west.

As well as the Common Whitethroat family there was a young Blackcap and a Lesser Whitethroat feeding along the hedgerow.

A flock of 11 Mistle Thrush nearby and a small passage of Swift and Swallow passing overhead.

Loads of Thistles in flower and going to seed at the moment and butterflies taking advantage of the flowers and Goldfinch taking the seed.

A Sparrowhawk high over the garden and Nuthatch and Moorhen visiting the garden more frequently again.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Southern Hawker and Emperor.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady (2), Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

Painted Lady
 Ravens
Goldfinch

This balloon found in a sheep field today 65x35 cm and clearly states on the label "do not release outdoors".


Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Redstart still present

Cloudy with a few sunny periods, 21°, light WSW.

The Common Redstart still present on Lollingdon Hill but very elusive. Per Alan Dawson.

A young Jay in the garden this morning checking out the feeders.

A Sparrowhawk over Church road this morning trying to gain height and being mobbed by Swifts, Swallows and House Martins.

At least one pair, probably two pair of Yellow Wagtail on Cholsey Hill. Per Richard Broughton.

 Jay
 Common Redstart (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Monday, 8 July 2019

Redstart & Whinchat

Mainly cloudy with sunny spells, 21°, light S.

Just beginning to think it was another quiet day on the hill when I saw a bird flycatching along the top hedge that looked interesting. As usual the bird disappeared for a time but patience paid off when a juv Common Redstart appeared in the hedge around 60 metres away. Whilst watching the Redstart another bird popped up around a metre from it. A Whinchat (a juv, I think)!

The Whinchat flew over the hedge and disappeared along the fence line, not to be seen again but the Redstart stayed around for a while in the hedge before disappearing again. Both Tony and Alan arrived but alas did not see the birds………Yet.

Early records for both these species to be returning south. The previous early record for a returning Redstart was 13th July, an ad male in 2017 and Whinchat not until at least mid-August on the hill.

Or, post-breeding dispersal from birds that bred not too far away? But where?

A flock of c50 Swallow around Lollingdon, several Swift and a single House Martin, eventually moving off south.

6 Mistle Thrush nearby, 2 Little Owl and 6 Kestrel (3 hunting on the hill and another 3 near Little Lollingdon).

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Southern Hawker and Emperor. Lots of Brown Hawker along the river towards the 4-Arches this morning. Per Alan Dawson.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.


Apologies for the quality of the pics.
 Redstart

 Whinchat

Redstart

Friday, 5 July 2019

Sunshiny day

Sunny, 24°, light WNW.

Somewhat quiet out there today, however a surprise of a Garden Warbler singing in the Bullshole area also nice to compare with a Blackcap singing nearby.

2 Little Owl out at Lollingdon getting a little agitated when a Buzzard settled in a tree nearby.

The Swallow family still in the area and actively feeding, just wonder if they will raise another brood?

Several Swift flocks moving around the area and again a few House Martin with them.

2 Green Woodpecker on the hill and roaming all over and up to 12 Yellowhammer in song on the walk out..

Still no Yellow Wagtail noted in the parish!

There are a new pair of Carrion Crow back in the vicinity, plus a youngster. They have not come into the garden yet (only the tree tops) but am sure they will consolidate a territory as the year progresses. They have already had an influence on the local Rook and Jackdaw population. They stay clear!

Mammals: Brown Hare and Short-tailed Vole.

Dragonflies: Azure Damselfly, Southern Hawker and Emperor.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady (3), Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

Moths: Cinnabar Moth and Scarlet Tiger.

 Blackbird taking our Gooseberries
 2 Little Owl (at distance)
Carrion Crow

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Summer pics

A nice series of pics from Alan Dawson today.

 Coal Tit
 Gatekeeper
 Marbled White (F)
 Ringlet (above & below)

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Invertebrates again

Mainly sunny, 21°, light NE.

Not a lot going on out there birdwise today. Another day for mainly insects.

Yellowhammers still in good voice and small flocks of Swift, Swallow and a few House Martin moving through.

The Little Owls still notable and all the usual present.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Southern Hawker and Emperor.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady (5), Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath.

Moths: Scarlet Tiger.




Saturday, 29 June 2019

Dragons

A few pics of Dragonflies at Cholsey Meadows yesterday & today.

All photos by Alan Dawson.

 4-spot Chaser
 Black-tailed Skimmer
Emperor egg laying

Friday, 28 June 2019

A Butterfly day

Another sunny day, 24°, light E.

A walk alongside the Bunk line from Church road to the bypass.

Butterflies were the order of the day with literally hundreds of Meadow Brown on the wing today. They were everywhere.

Another 8 Painted Lady seen with some looking very tatty after a presumably long flight and ageing.

Best one of the day was a single Silver-washed Fritillary seen flying around a large garden before disappearing from view.

Good numbers of Marbled White all along the route.

Other species noted were: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Brimstone (1), Brown Argus (3), Common Blue (8), Red Admiral (6), Small Tortoiseshell (c20), Comma (3), Speckled Wood (2), Ringlet (12) and Small Heath (2).

Some thistles were in flower on the edge of a bean field and these held the majority of Painted Lady, Small Tort and Marbled White.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle (M&F), Large Red Damselfly and Southern Hawker.

Moths: Cinnabar Moth.

A few birds noted were, 3 Yellowhammer, a single Reed Bunting and 2 Common Whitethroat.

Surprisingly I found 2 Pyramid Orchid growing in one of the conservation strips by the side of one of the fields. Sadly almost devoid of any other flowers.

Maybe farmers should be encouraged to plant wild flowers on these strips?

On the down side there were very few Bees noted…..just a handful!

Painted Lady
 Large Skipper
 Ringlet
 Large Skipper
 Painted Lady
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Small Heath
 Meadow Brown & Marbled White
Comma
Banded Demoiselle (M)

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Has Summer arrived?

Sunny, 23°, light ENE.

A nice warm day today and reflected by the number of insects around and Painted Lady butterflies just into double figures with 11 seen.

Firstly the Spotted Flycatcher pair still present so staying hopeful.

Then out to Lollingdon and bumped into a Little Owl, one of the pair present out there.

The Swallow family have now fledged with 5 young, sat on the wires and being fed regularly by the 3 adults that raised them.

Several Swift and a couple of House Martin feeding overhead.

8 Yellowhammer still in song on the walk out and several Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat still singing.

Garden Warbler and Reed Warbler still singing well on Cholsey Marsh (less so Sedge Warbler). Per TW.

A Little Egret seen to fly into Cholsey Brook in the meadow yesterday.

Mammals: Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Southern Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly.

Butterflies: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Common Blue, Red Admiral (6), Painted Lady (11), Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White and Meadow Brown (most numerous).

Little Owl
Southern Hawker
Emperor (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Marbled White
 Common Whitethroat
Yellowhammer
Song Thrush