Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Painted Ladies

Sunny intervals, 19°, light S.

Appear to have a small influx of Painted Lady butterflies. With 1 in the garden yesterday and another at Bow Bridge (per JD) and 3 today out at Lollingdon and Alan had at least 1 more along the river.

A Hairy Dragonfly out at Lollingdon today as well, first one I recall out there.

The hill was fairly quiet birdwise, the usual Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

Nearby a Great-spotted Woodpecker nest with young, a Little Owl, 3-4 Yellow Wagtail and a Lesser Whitethroat.

River/Marsh: A Lesser Whitethroat plus the regulars.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: Beautiful Demoiselle, Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly, Club-tailed Dragonfly and Four-spotted Chaser.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Green-veined White, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Speckled Wood.

Alan & Paul.

Painted Lady
Yellow Wagtail
Great-spotted Woodpecker (f) delivering food.
Azure Damselfly courtesy Alan
Roe Deer courtesy Alan
Small Blue courtesy Alan

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Just about the garden

Sunny, 24°, light SSE.

Just about the garden today as I spent some time just pottering about and tidying a few bits.

The Rook squad come in early along with a few Jackdaw and decimate the bird feeders whilst the Mallard flotilla and the Stock Dove posse wait underneath and clean up the copious spillage.

The Great Tit brood has fledged with at least 2 young and the Blue Tit family are still feeding young.

A few songsters in or near the garden include, a Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Wren and Chiffchaff. A male Great-spotted Woodpecker made a brief visit.

And just looking up watching Swift, Swallow and House Martin wheeling and feeding overhead and alarm calling every time a Red Kite drifted over.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Painted Lady and Peacock.

Tony Rayner left me a message today: he had his moth trap out last night and when he opened it up this morning 2 Great Tit flew out. Obviously tempted by a moth breakfast!

Rook ↕

Stock Dove
New Bug Hotel

Monday, 16 May 2022

No change

Mainly cloudy, 19°, light to breezy SW.

No great changes out along the Bunk line and River/Marsh area today.

We seem to have lost one of our Kestrel pair as the male was found dead by RB on the bypass at the week end and no sign of the female today at the usual site. A sad loss.

However there was a Kestrel hunting at the village end of the Bunk line.

A few Yellow Wagtail around, a couple of Green Woodpecker, the usual songsters and several Swift and Swallow plus a couple of House Martin prospecting around Church Road.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small White and Orange Tip.

Alan & Paul.

Yellow Wagtail
Banded Demoiselle
Green Woodpecker
Blue-tailed Damselfly courtesy Alan
Four-spotted Chaser courtesy Alan
Great-spotted Woodpecker
Common Whitethroat courtesy Alan

Friday, 13 May 2022


Cloudy at first then brighter, 15°, breezy SW.

Very little change along the Bunk line today. Plenty of Swift around and a good number of Swallow but no House Martin noted.

A couple of Black-headed Gull and the usual Warblers and Buntings in song. A flock of c40 Linnet and Goldfinch feeding on Dandelion seed heads.

The River/Marsh has settled down birdwise and has become somewhat static as it usually does at this time of year. A Lesser Whitethroat still in song.

Insectwise the area is waking up:

Dragonflies: Beautiful Demoiselle & Club-tailed Dragonfly.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Speckled Wood.

Alan & Paul.

Beautiful Demoiselle ↕ courtesy Alan

Grey Wagtail courtesy Alan
Common Clubtail courtesy Alan
Banana Cockroach courtesy Bill Nicholls

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Bunk & River

Sunny periods, 16°, breezy SW.

Bunk line and River/Marsh covered today and the warmer weather is more amiable for larger insects.

Birdwise: a good number of Swift around now with most of the local population in as well as passage birds passing thru. Plus, good numbers of Swallow and House Martin.

A Lesser Whitethroat, Treecreeper along the Bunk and a Cormorant over. No change otherwise.

River/Marsh very much the same as well.

Mammals: Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Club-tailed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser and a Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Small Heath.

Azure Damselfly courtesy Alan
Large Red Damselfly courtesy Alan

Wednesday, 11 May 2022


Light rain, 13°, breezy SSW, brighter later.

Lollingdon was rather quiet today, not surprising given the weather.

However, there was a lot of song, with Skylark, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, 3 Thrush species and the other regulars.

A flock of 20+ House Martin and a handful of Swallow passed thru.

Alan was near the Gravel pit and found a cracking female Whinchat, which I managed to go and see later in the day.

During the rain earlier there were approx. 50 Swift over the gravel pits plus several Swallow and House Martin. And the Greenshank was still present.

Good numbers of young Starling being seen and heard.


Tuesday, 10 May 2022


A few rain showers then sunny, 15°. Light WSW.

A couple of good waders at the Gravel pit this morning in the shape of a Whimbrel and a Greenshank.

The Whimbrel was only present for a short time having been spooked by a digger and then flew off north.

The Greenshank fortunately stayed in time for Alan to get there. For the record this appears to be the first occurrence for c40 years in Cholsey.

Also present, Little Ringed Plover, 12 Tufted Duck, a Black-headed Gull. Several Canada Geese, a couple of Yellow Wagtail and a few Swallow overhead.

A few more Swift overhead in the village today.

Photos have been heavily cropped as the bird was always distant.

Greenshank courtesy Alan
Greenshank ↕

Canada Goose with 5 young
Yellow Wagtail & Little Ringed Plover
Whimbrel courtesy Alan, taken at Little Wittenham April 22nd.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Cholsey Marsh & a few Swift arrive

Some sunshine, 16°, light S.

An early visit to the Marsh this morning for a dawn chorus. Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed WarblerCetti’s Warbler and an assortment of other songsters.

The 3 Geese species, 2 Kingfisher, a Cormorant, several Swallow, a Grey Wagtail, a Kestrel, a Grey Heron plus a few others.

Alan visited a bit later and added a flock of 20+ House Martin.

2 Swift high over Church Road late afternoon and 3 Swift over Cholsey Meadows..

Mammals: Roe Deer & Muntjac Deer.

Dragonflies: Club-tailed Dragonfly & Four-spot Chaser.

Butterflies: none early morning but Alan had a few species later. The first Small Heath of the year found by Alan yesterday.

A few photos from the weekend and today.

Greylag Goose with one young
Small Heath courtesy Alan
Garden Warbler courtesy Alan
Grey Wagtail courtesy Alan
Four-spot Chaser courtesy Alan
Orange Tip (M&F) courtesy Alan
Large Red Damselfly courtesy Alan

Friday, 6 May 2022


Sunny, 18°, light SW.

A Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill today but little else other than a couple of Corn Bunting and a couple of Swallow and House Martin flew thru.

Nearby a couple of singing Reed Bunting and several Yellowhammer. The now regular Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff in song and the Lesser Whitethroat still present.

A couple of Yellow Wagtail and a single Raven over.

No change along the Marsh/River apart from a Garden Warbler found by Alan and a Grey Wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat.

And a Cuckoo heard yesterday from near the 4-Arches. Per MA.

Mammals: Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Club-tailed Dragonfly.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

A pair of foraging Starling
Drinker Moth caterpillar? courtesy Alan
Ermine Moth nursery