A long loop walk out today via the Lees, Aston Tirrold and Lollingdon.
The fields out by the Lees had a good flock of c60 Linnet and several Skylark, the dyke and Reedy ditch had several Reed Bunting, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler present and a Sparrowhawk hunting the fields.
A few Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, several Yellowhammer and a Kestrel between Aston and Lollingdon.
A Spotted Flycatcher, several Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat out a Lollingdon and a Kestrel on the hill but little else.
A Peregrine this morning out near Lollingdon. Per Alan Dawson.
Mammals:Brown Hare, Muntjac Deer and Roe Deer.
Dragonflies: 1 Migrant Hawker, 5 Southern Hawker, 2 Brown Hawker and 6 Common Darter.
Butterflies:Large White, Small White, 1 Small Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, 1 Gatekeeper and 2 Meadow Brown.
Tony Rayner's son Fred has been recording Bats in Cholsey using a sound device and he sent some off for analysing.
You might be interested to read this response from one of Chris Raper's colleagues at the Natural History Museum.
They think that the Bat that I detected might be Bechsteins; however, they do go onto say that some other of the Myotis Group of bats can make short high frequency calls.
Because Bechsteins is an ancient woodland species they go onto say "It’s very much a tree/woodland dweller though, specialising in being able to fly and hunt in quite enclosed environments so that’s not quite the right habitat. Are there reasonable woodlands nearby (including coniferous, they’ve been known to use flaking bark in older conifer stands)?"
Bechsteins is supposed to range 1-2Km from their roost; the question is whether there are woods locally that might meet this criteria? For your info:
Woodlands containing it may be considered for notification as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and may attract a grant under Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship scheme. On the rare chance one is spotted in the wild, authorities suggest immediately reporting it to a local bat group or the wildlife trust.
Mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells, 22°, breezy SW.
All quiet on and around the hill today apart for a flock of 50+ Swallow and some unusual behaviour observed.
Whilst the some of the Swallows were flying around aerial feeding or sitting preening on nearby telegraph wires and fences which is the usual behaviour, some were feeding on the ground and appeared to be actively chasing insects and taking prey from the ground.
A feeding strategy? that I do not recall having seen before.
I came off the hill a couple of hours later and the Swallows were still present and was greeted by a few alarm calls. On looking up I could see a Hobby high above the flock, the Hobby circled a few times and then went in to a steep dive as if it had picked out a target. Unfortunately lost to view behind some trees so could not see if it caught anything.
Several Jay still present in the area and a few Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff all noted.
Several hundred Gulls loafing out by the pig fields only a few ID’d Black-headed Gull and Lesser Blackback Gull, most were too distant.
3 Common Redstart seen nearby but outside the Cholsey boundary. Per BJW.
Mammals:Brown Hare and Roe Deer.
Dragonflies:Southern Hawker and Common Darter.
Butterflies: very few: Large White, Small White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.
2 Spotted Flycatcher out at Lollingdon today fly catching in a garden and out of view for long spells. The first ones in Cholsey this year as far as I am aware.
A few Yellowhammer still singing and several Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat and Blackcap around.
A Sparrowhawk seen and a Grey Heron dropped in briefly and several Jay heard nearby and 2+ Bullfinch.
A covey of at least 14 Grey Partridge exploded in front of me on the way back and they all scattered in different directions.
A flock of 20+ Swallow around Lollingdon, feeding overhead and settling on the wires to rest and preen and a few more small flocks seen overhead moving in a southerly direction.
Mammals: several Brown Hare around and a Weasel run across the path ahead of me.
Dragonflies:Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor and Common Darter.
Butterflies: a Clouded Yellow flew across the track and continued on without stopping. Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.
A real struggle to find anything of interest out there today. A couple of Whitethroat on the hill and a few Chiffchaff around.
Several Brown Hare.
Only 1 Dragonfly seen and that was a Southern Hawker.
Butterfly numbers are well down, 1 Large Skipper, a single Brimstone, plenty of Large White, a few Small White, 20+ Common Blue, 3 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma, 20’ish Speckled Wood, 5 Gatekeeper, and 2 Meadow Brown.