Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Increase in numbers

Sunshine, 16°, light ENE.

Another warm day with butterflies on the wing and more migrants arriving.

Alan was down on the Marsh again early morning with a definite increase in Blackcap and Common Whitethroat numbers. i.e. 6 male Blackcap in one tree! Also more Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and 6+ Willow Warbler.

I did the long circuit from the Church to the Lees, skirting Aston Tirrold to Lollingdon and back via Little Lollingdon to the Bullshole.

8 Willow Warbler, 14 Blackcap and 2 Common Whitethroat. A single Yellow Wagtail flew overhead, heading towards Cholsey Hill and a singing Sedge Warbler along the “Reedy Ditch”

Lollingdon Hill was relatively quiet, 2 Pied Wagtail dropped in, a Kestrel present and several Corn Bunting in song and another Common Whitethroat present.

Mammals: Brown Hare, Roe Deer and Muntjac Deer (briefly in the garden).

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Corn Bunting
Willow Warbler courtesy Alan

Monday, 19 April 2021

Weather improving

Sunshine, 16°, light SE.

A good start to the day with a Willow Warbler singing near the garden.

7 Wheatear on Lollingdon hill this morning but all appeared to have gone by midday. Another Willow Warbler on the hill and 3 Raven overhead.

Seems to be plenty of Blackcap around now and a Little Owl nearby.

Alan found at least 1 Reed Warbler on the Marsh this morning. Presumably arrived overnight as this was the first for the year.

All the usual suspects noted and around 50 species noted between us.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer and unfortunately an Otter found dead along the Wallingford road.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Speckled Wood.

Insects: Black Oil Beetle (first ones noted on the hill) & Dark-edged Bee-fly (Per Alan).

Black Oil Beetle
Coal Tit bathing
Dark-edged Bee-fly courtesy Alan
Mistle Thrush
Common Whitethroat courtesy Alan
Mistle Thrush

Sunday, 18 April 2021

A Butterfly Day

Sunny, 14°, light NE.

Alan out early along the Bunk line this morning with me a little later.

2 Common Redstart (M&F) near CSW but not seen later in the day.

A Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap, c20 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 2 Lapwing, a Little Owl, 4 Swallow, a single Meadow Pipit, 2 Herring Gull, 2 Lesser Blackback Gull and c20 Black-headed Gull.

A Willow Warbler singing in the garden mid-afternoon.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

As the weather has started warming up more butterflies are starting to appear.

Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Comma & Peacock.

Red Admiral
Peacock courtesy Alan
Comma courtesy Alan
Small Tortoiseshell courtesy Alan
Orange Tip courtesy Alan
Brimstone courtesy Alan

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Redstart & Badger

Sunshine, 12°, light NE.

Alan out at Cholsey Marsh this morning with roughly the same as on previous days, no new arrivals.

This afternoon along the Bunk line he found a male and female Redstart. A good find.

An unusual occurrence this afternoon. Was alerted by a neighbour that we had a Badger in the garden.

When I went down to check I noticed that the Badger had an injury to its lower back. May have been grazed by a vehicle or even attacked by a dog?

It was obviously disorientated and frightened but very mobile and it went under the fence and into a neighbouring garden and disappeared despite further searching. So I hope it is okay!

Friday, 16 April 2021

Still quiet

Sunny intervals, 10°, light NE.

Alan out early along the Marsh this morning: Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, Treecreeper and Sparrowhawk.

I walked out to Lollingdon Hill and that was absolutely dead. 2 Kestrel present and that was it!

Just the usual bits and pieces along the way.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

Butterflies: a single Small Tortoiseshell.

A couple of Dark-edged Bee-fly.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

A quiet day

Sunny intervals, 10°, light NNE.

A fairly quiet day with a slow trickle of Swallow moving thru.

Alan was down on the Marsh early this morning with a Barn Owl hunting over and just a single Common Whitethroat present still.

Also Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Kingfisher etc. then later out at Lollingdon where 12 Fieldfare were around.

The Bunk line today was also somewhat quiet with a few Swallow and Sand Martin feeding over the gravel pit. A pair of Lapwing present and the usual Little Owl and 4 Jay.

Hopefully when this northerly airflow disappears we should start getting more migrant sightings!

A single Brimstone butterfly seen.

Common Whitethroat courtesy Alan
Jay ↕

Bee-Fly & Pasque flower

 A couple of pics of a Dark-edged Bee-fly from Alan today. And a Pasque flower from a nearby site. Pasque flower is now a rare plant in the UK and classed as vulnerable on the "Red Data List". Restricted to a few chalk and Limestone grasslands. 

It flowers around Easter and is known a the "Anemone of Passiontide"

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Milder at last!

Sunny intervals, 12°, light NNE.

The male Common Redstart still present on Lollingdon Hill along with a single Wheatear, 2 Kestrel, at least 3 Corn Bunting singing, 2 Blackcap and a couple of Yellowhammer.

A Little Owl and 2 Redwing present nearby and a single Swallow overhead.

A Willow Warbler singing near the Bullshole.  

Alan reports the usual stuff on the Marsh and a few Swallow moving thru and our first Common Whitethroat of the year.

2 Tufted Duck on the gravel pit yesterday . Per Alan.

Butterflies: a few on the wing today, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Peacock and Comma.

Sedge Warbler courtesy Alan ↕

Common Redstart

Monday, 12 April 2021

April Snow

Snow at first then sunny spells, 8° max, light NNW.

Well, was not expecting snow! A few centimetre cover early this morning but soon thawed by midday.

A walk out to Lollingdon with snow cover on the way out and all thawed on the way back. Quite a contrast.

The male Common Redstart still present on the hill but keeping in the Hawthorns on the top of the hill.

5 Wheatear also present but appeared to have moved off by the time the snow thawed and a Willow Warbler and Blackcap in song.

A handful of Fieldfare and Redwing present along with 3+ Corn Bunting, a few Meadow Pipit and a good number of Skylark. A female Sparrowhawk flew high south.

A Chiffchaff that has been present on the hill for a couple of weeks is singing a little different from the norm. Instead of the usual chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff etc. this one is singing chiff-chaff-chuff. Chiff-chaff-chuff etc.

Alan out along the Marsh and river: Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Grey Wagtail and few Swallow.

Lollingdon Hill, snow cover then 2.5 hours later. Gone.
Redstart courtesy Alan (photographed at a nearby site)
Mistle Thrush
A couple of naff pics of Wheatear in the snow ↕

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Redstart & Wheatear

Sunny spells with wintry showers, 8°, light NW.

Male Redstart and 3 Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill. Per Alan.

Sadly the Redstart too distant and elusive for a pic.

Wheatear & Reed Bunting courtesy Alan

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Ring Ouzel & Wheatear

Cloudy with rain showers, 7°, light NW.

A Ring Ouzel and 3 Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill this morning found by Alan. Unfortunately they did not linger and soon disappeared over the top not be seen again.

Another visit by Alan this afternoon and 5 Wheatear present on the hill but no sign of the Ouzel.

Ring Ouzel taken out at Lollingdon 2017
Wheatear from today courtesy Alan

Friday, 9 April 2021

Migrants ramping up

Sunny at first then clouding up, 11°, light to breezy SW.

Looks as though migration is ramping up a little now the weather has changed with 3 of us out today and 2 new species for the year: A Yellow Wagtail and a House Martin.

Today’s records from Michael Pocock:

“A very long walk today right up to the rather quiet downs in the sunshine, but a range of sightings: Sedge and 1 Cetti’s Warbler on the Marsh, 1 Willow Warbler on Moulsford Downs, 3 Wheatear at Lollingdon, plus 2 Fieldfare and 1 Swallow through and 2 Willow Warbler in green lane.”

Alan’s records from today:

Morning: Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Common Snipe and Water Rail on the Marsh and a couple of Swallow.

Afternoon: A Yellow Wagtail at CSW and c25 Fieldfare and a single Redwing and a singing Willow Warbler Bunk line.

Several Swallow, a couple of Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail and another Yellow Wagtail, Linnet, Yellowhammer, 2 Herring Gull and Sparrowhawk near the Gravel pit area.

I took a walk out to Lollingdon and back: a Common Redstart that didn’t stay too long, 4 Fieldfare and 3-4 Corn Bunting on the Hill and 2 Raven and 2 Lesser Blackback Gull overhead, a Willow Warbler nearby and another in Whitehead Meadow, 3 Blackcap, and several singing Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer and a handful of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail in the Little Lollingdon area.

Good numbers of Chiffchaff in song, a Goldcrest singing along Cholsey Brook, 2 Swallow feeding over CSW and a House Martin flew over Church road.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

Butterflies: a few Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock on the wing and a Small White in the garden.

Yellow Wagtail taken on Alan's phone.
Linnet courtesy Alan
Fieldfare courtesy Alan
Jackdaw in the garden

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Winter still with us

Cloudy, 5°, light NW. Yesterday: Sunny but cold with rain/sleet/snow, 5°, breezy NW.

The last few days have been like a return to winter as the above denotes.

Migration appears to be held up with a few summer visitors struggling to find food after arriving and winter visitors waiting for the winds to change.

All areas have been relatively quiet with Lollingdon, Cholsey Marsh/River and Bunk line areas covered between Alan and myself.

Bunk line today held a small flock of Thrushes with 36 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and a small flock of c20 Starling.

5 Swallow and 2 Sand Martin feeding low over the gravel pit. I got the impression they were under the banking in the lee of the wind trying to hunt flying insects.

At least 1 Siskin (pos 2+) with a flock of c30 Goldfinch in trees along Green lane.

Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Swallow, Sand Martin, Little Owl, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Linnet plus all the usual suspects noted over the last few days.

The Church road Rookery have youngsters in the nests!

Skylark ↕ courtesy Alan

Fieldfare & Starling