Monday, 2 August 2021

Pretty quiet for August

Mainly cloudy (rain later), 18°, light SE.

Pretty quiet out there today both at Lollingdon and the Bunk line Per Alan.

2 Raven around Lollingdon Hill and a Kestrel hunting. A couple of Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat but little else of note.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: fewer numbers, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Small Heath.

Raven ↕

Common Darter courtesy Alan
Reed Warbler courtesy Alan
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly courtesy Angie Regan

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Weekend Insects

 Weekend photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

Alan also found a rather tatty White-letter Hairstreak in Cholsey churchyard today.

Brown Argus
Common Blue
Brown Hawker
Red Admiral

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Sunshine & Showers

Sunshine & Showers, 18°, light SW.

A day for dodging the rain showers out at Lollingdon but not always successful, and a thunderstorm passed close to the west and headed off over Didcot way.

Not a great deal on the hill but after approx. an hour and a half I managed to catch sight of a young Common Redstart that flew down the hedge. It stayed for a short time before moving back up to the top and lost from view.

Up to 50 Swallow moving thru over the hill during the time there, all heading SSW and a couple of Chiffchaff in the Hawthorns and the usual Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer present.

The Nuthatch still visiting the garden regularly in the company of a roving Tit flock.

Alan was back along the river today with a Kingfisher, Bullfinch, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff etc.

Dragonflies: None seen out at Lollingdon but Alan had both Southern and Brown Hawker along the river.

Butterflies: A lot of activity during the sunny spells with Lollingdon producing: Small Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Comma, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet. River: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Large Skipper, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Peacock, Marbled White, Meadow Brown & Small Heath.

Photos today courtesy Alan
Essex Skipper courtesy Alan ↕. note the black tips to the underside of the antennae separate it from the Small Skipper.

Southern Hawker
Large Skipper

Monday, 26 July 2021

A little of everything

Mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells, 23°, light WSW.

Along the Bunk line today and Alan out at Lollingdon for a change!

Quiet birdwise today, only a few Yellowhammer in song, a few Chiffchaff moving around with the odd Tit flock and a couple of Yellow Wagtail overhead.

Several Swallow, House Martin and Swift feeding above.

Several young Black-headed Gull commuting between the gravel pit and CSW.

2 Peregrine Falcon sat on one of the pylons out at Lollingdon, plus Little Owl calling, several Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting and Linnet.

Mammals: Lollingdon: Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Bunk: Banded Demoiselle & a Southern Hawker. Lollingdon: Southern Hawker, Emperor & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Bunk: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Brown ArgusRed Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, & Ringlet. Lollingdon: Large Skipper, Brimstone, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Marbled White, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown.

A number of photos today!
Brown Argus
3 species in 1 shot
Large Skipper
Meadow Brown
Red Admiral
Large Skipper
Marbled White
Large Skipper courtesy Alan
Brown Hare ↕ courtesy Alan

Peregrine Falcon courtesy Alan

Friday, 23 July 2021

Slightly Cooler

Sunny, 24°, breezy E.

A slightly cooler day today and a walk out to Lollingdon and Alan out by the Lees.

The male Common Redstart still on the hill but very elusive, also a couple of Chiffchaff present.

The only songsters heard today were Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and the occasional Reed Bunting and Chiffchaff.

A Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Little Owl, Linnet and several Swift also noted.

A Peregrine Falcon overhead out by the Lees, plus a few family groups of Yellow Wagtail.

Also Corn Bunting, Skylark, Linnet and Reed Bunting.

A Common Tern along the river yesterday at dusk. Per Michael Pocock.   

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Southern Hawker and Common Darter, Lollingdon and Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer, the Lees.

Butterflies; Lollingdon, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet, The Lees. Small Skipper, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet.

Insects: Hornet.

Meadow Brown
Large Skipper
Common Darter
Yellow Wagtail courtesy Alan
Skylark courtesy Alan

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Another warm one

A warm one again, 29°, light NE.

I feel everything is finding this weather a bit oppressive at the moment as very little activity on all fronts.

A walk along the bunk line and back today was hard work as very little shade and I think Alan found similar conditions along the river.

One of the farms along the bunk line has cut all the grass around a field and it appears to have suppressed a lot of insect activity whereas the fields that are still bordered by grasses and flowering plants still have a lot of insect activity present.

Do not understand why they need to do that? Hardly “Guardians of the countryside”

And another Red Kite found dead beneath a power line. The 3rd one in the same spot in 2 years!

Sounds like what is happening in Africa and Asia with poorly designed power lines killing numbers of Raptors!

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Blue Emperor & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet.

Emerging Dragonfly from Bill's garden pond. courtesy Bill Nicholls
Deceased Red Kite
Mow or not to mow?
Shaded Broad Bar Moth courtesy Alan
Buzzard courtesy Alan
Emperor courtesy Alan
Common Darter courtesy Alan

Tuesday, 20 July 2021


Another warm one, 30°, light WSW.

A not birding day today.

However a Nuthatch turned up in the garden today. The first record for just over a year!

This bird arrive with a small flock of Blue and Great Tit and it was not used to using the feeders.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Sunshiny Day

A sunshiny day, 30°, light NW.

A surprise day on Lollingdon hill today, initially a male Common Redstart had turned up but keeping to the top hedge and only seen briefly a few times.

Next, a butterfly landed on some bramble just in front of me and stayed long enough to ID it as a White-letter Hairstreak. What it was doing there? I don’t know but an unusual record for this species with only 3 records in the last 20 years. It flew up into the tree canopy and I did not see it again.

While searching for the WLH, I came across a Silver-washed Fritillary, another scarce butterfly for the area. This one very active and soon disappeared and sadly no photos of either.

A Little Owl and a Sparrowhawk also seen and 18 Red Kite seen thermalling out at Lollingdon. Also a few Swift, Swallow and House Martin feeding overhead.

River birds: Both Reed & Sedge Warbler plus the usual suspects.  

*Seen along the river, per Alan.

Dragonflies: Beautiful Demoiselle, *Banded Demoiselle, *White-legged Damselfly, *Blue-tailed Damselfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, *Emperor, *Black-tailed Skimmer & Common Darter.

And a good mix of butterflies seen by us both.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, White-letter Hairstreak, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Silver-washed Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet & Small Heath.

Beautiful Demoiselle
Grey Heron courtesy Alan
Painted Lady courtesy Alan (one antennae missing)

Friday, 16 July 2021

All quiet so far

Sunny, 25°, light NNE.

Very little bird activity today out at Lollingdon and the river areas, just the usual seen at both sites.

A Cuckoo reported from earlier in the week out at Lollingdon. Presumably and adult heading back. And the/a Little Ringed Plover at the Gravel pit. Per Brian Wyatt.  

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Emperor, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies; Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet & Small Heath.

A similar situation for Alan along the river plus a few more Dragonfly species.

Southern Hawker

The rest courtesy Alan
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly
White-legged Damselfly
Black-tailed Skimmer
Common Darter