Saturday, 21 January 2017


Sunny again but cold, 1°, very light SSE.

On returning from Didcot over Cholsey Hill this afternoon Loren noticed a few Golden Plover in the field on the hill. So we popped back, grabbed the camera and bins and went back to have a look.

We eventually located at least 50 Golden Plover and approx. 10 Lapwing feeding on the hill. There may have been more plovers as they were scattered widely on the hill.

There was also around 40 Fieldfare out in the fields and several Black-headed and Lesser Black Back Gull cruising the area.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Up on the Hill

Another cold sunny day, 2°, very light NE.

A walk out to Lollingdon today, a small flock of birds in the stubble fields consisting of 10 Reed Bunting, 8+ Yellowhammer, a few Meadow Pipit and a couple of Skylark. Possibly more but difficult to count more distant birds in the stubble.

4+ Pied Wagtail with the sheep on the hill and a Buzzard perched up and a Sparrowhawk soaring overhead.

Also at least 1 Jay, a small flock of Linnet and Fieldfare and Redwing scattered throughout the surrounding fields, also several Song Thrush, many Blackbird and a single Mistle Thrush.

A Song Thrush, 2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit and a Treecreeper in the garden today.

2 Blackcap visiting a West End garden along with a Fieldfare. Per TW.

TW also mentioned a large flock of Skylark (hundreds, possibly up to a 1000) and Yellowhammer (c200) plus many Corn Bunting on the downs near Lowbury Hill recently.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Down on the Marsh

Another sunny and chilly day, 2°, light ESE.

A chilly day and once the sun went down the temperature drop was noticeable.

First decent counts at the Cholsey Marsh roost this winter with c120 Corn Bunting, c100 Meadow Pipit, at least 12 Yellowhammer and 6 Reed Bunting all dropping in behind me in to the sedge.

A few Fieldfare and Redwing turning up at dusk and settling in some trees around the marsh.

Also noted: a Chiffchaff, 2+ Bullfinch, 1 Mute Swan, a Grey Heron, Great-spotted and Green Woodpecker, Treecreeper and 2 Cormorant.

Something appeared to be spooking the geese downstream as they kept flying around up towards the marsh and back again calling loudly, as they do, maybe 80+ involved and included both Greylag and Canada Geese.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A little quality

Sunny but chilly, 4°, light SSE.

Quality rather than quantity today with a walk out to the Lees.

A Chiffchaff seen by the Lees working its way along a brook hunting for insects.

2 Raven heard then seen flying towards Lollingdon Hill and a little later a female Merlin flew from Cholsey Hill over the Lees and headed towards Lollingdon.

And a male Peregrine perched on one of the pylons nearby.

Around 20 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush feeding out on a field near Cholsey Hill.

A Song Thrush, A Starling, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Long-tailed Tit in garden today.

Several Roe Deer noted.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Winter doldrums

Almost constant rain, 6°, light SE.

A very damp day and a brief visit to Lollingdon Hill.

At 5 Corn Bunting on the hill with 3 in song, a few Yellowhammer and a flock of c50 Linnet nearby.

Very little else noted.

Singing in the rain

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A scarce garden visitor

A female Pheasant turned up in the garden yesterday and has decided to stay for a time.
I heard some distant gunfire yesterday morning so I am assuming the she has flown from where ever the shooting was taking place to escape from those big brave hunters and arrived in a relatively safe place.

Photo © Loren

Friday, 13 January 2017

Winter is here.....maybe

Sunny spells and a couple of wintry showers, 4°, fresh NW.

A bit of a chilly day in the windy conditions and the snow that fell last evening has all but disappeared.

Still rather quiet in this part of the world.

A Treecreeper and Green Woodpecker in the Millennium Wood and 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Redwing and a couple of Fieldfare on the playing field.

Fieldfare and Redwing scattered thinly but widely in the area and feeding almost exclusively on the ground now as virtually all the berries have gone.

6 Pied Wagtail and 2 Meadow Pipit feeding in a partially flooded and frozen stubble field and a couple of Skylark and Yellowhammer in the same field.

14 Blackbird in the garden today……..must have been the apples I put out.

A few Roe Deer noted.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Bullfinch tops the day

Overcast, rain, 9°, breezy SW.

A rather wet day out there and Lollingdon was very quiet, about a dozen Yellowhammer and 20’ish Linnet on the hill and both Fieldfare and Redwing thinly scattered around the Lollingdon area.

The bird of the day was a male Bullfinch that spent around 20 minutes in the garden today feeding on seed heads before moving off out in the meadow.

Not much else noted today unfortunately.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A few garden visitors

A few garden visitors today

News from Tony Rayner.

"Just to report that I had 4 Corn Bunting over our meadow this morning. Have to look back as to when I last recorded them here. Also at least 50 Linnet today.

Our feeders are attracting plenty of birds - an unusually high proportion of which are Great & Long-tailed Tit - both of which seem to be ever present. Also we have a Red Kite regularly perching really close to the cottage".

Friday, 6 January 2017

Cetti's, Chiff & Blackcap

Overcast, rain, 4°, light S.

A rather lightweight roost this evening on the marsh with only about 40 Corn Bunting and 60 odd Meadow Pipit. Maybe the rain had something to do with the lesser numbers of Corn Bunting turning up?

A Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff present on the marsh, the Chiff was with a Tit flock and the Cetti’s close to Ferry road.

At least 2 Water Rail heard and a couple of Common Snipe flew from the marsh.

5 Black-headed Gull on the river, a Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, a few Fieldfare and Redwing and 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker around with one “drumming”.

2 Buzzard perched on fence posts on the periphery of the marsh and several Red Kite over.

A male Blackcap coming to Callicarpa berries in a garden recently (per Phil Dyson).

A Song Thrush and a couple of Long-tailed Tit in the garden today.

Best I could get of the Cetti's, it was nearly dark, raining and the bird was constantly moving.

Thursday, 5 January 2017


Never a common species in Cholsey, Nuthatch used to be a regular with 1 or 2 pairs back in the 70’s and early 80’s mainly in the Winterbrook area but as with so many other species disappeared from the scene.

During the next 25 or so years Nuthatch was a rarity in the village with just a handful of records.

In fact it’s never been a common species in South Oxfordshire and back in the 90’s the nearest we could find them on our annual bird race was Goring. However it is/was a regular species in some of the more wooded areas around Oxford.

That all changed in June 2014 when 1 appeared in the garden and at least 2 have been regular visitors ever since with a max of 3 on a couple of occasions in 2016.

The same ones have also been seen in gardens along Station road, Little Lane and Church road and also Whitehead Meadow and the Rec.

Whether this constitutes a comeback or not, we will have to wait but it’s good to see them on a regular basis back in the village

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A slow start

Overcast, 7°, light NW.

First time out in almost 3 weeks so trying to catch up with species for the year to date.

A visit to Lollingdon Hill and Cholsey Marsh and both proved rather quiet.

55 species so far this year with around 30 from the garden and the rest today.

Fieldfare and Redwing scattered around the fields out at Lollingdon, also a lot of Blackbird around and a couple of Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer on the hill.

The river by the marsh was fairly quiet with just 1 Cormorant over and a Great Crested Grebe on the river.

Downstream there was a flock of Geese, mainly Canada Geese with a few Greylag Geese and 2 Egyptian Geese.

Waxwings are getting closer with 11 in Banbury and 9 in Crowmarsh today!

4 Roe Deer also noted today.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bye bye 2016

Well as some of you have noted I have not been out for the last 2 weeks and that has been due to illness, almost back to normal now.

Fortunately it has been a quiet time locally with only a few reports in.

Blackcaps being noted in 2 locations in the village (per TR & MP), and a possibly a pair of Marsh Tit feeding in a garden in Cholsey Meadows. (per TR).

As for the garden here it’s been business as usual with the last few days hosting 2 Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 2 Coal Tit and Song Thrush and a surprise rare visit of a single Starling to name a few. And a Grey Heron in the meadow.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Little change

Murky at first then hazy sunshine around midday, 10°, light SSE.

A dull day initially but the misty conditions clearing up around midday but still little change out there.

However very little change out at Lollingdon, 5 Thrush species noted along with a good number of Starling.

The Linnet flock is now around a hundred birds and a good number of Chaffinch and Goldfinch around the hill.

Also a small group of 5+ Bullfinch present.

The Bunting flock also staying steady at 50+ birds.

3 Peregrine Falcon seen in the week between Cholsey and Aston Tirrold, 2 males appeared to be having a territorial dispute while the female looked on. Eventually one male broke off and flew towards Lollingdon Hill (per Brian Wyatt).

9 Roe Deer noted in the mist.