Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Blackcap, Rook and a nestbox

Mainly cloudy, 9°, light SSW.

A male Blackcap visiting the garden again today and feeding on suet balls. 

Also a visit by a Rook. Even though the Rookery is next door to the garden the Rooks rarely enter but this one obviously thought it was worth it.

Bill Nicholls has put up several nest boxes in his garden and reports a Robin has already built a nest in one of them.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Sunshine again

A sunny day with variable cloud cover, 11°, light SSW.

2 Stonechat still present around the hill and good numbers of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit feeding alongside the sheep.

2 Jay on the hill and several small flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing.

A wintering male Blackcap still present in a garden out at Lollingdon. Estimated between 6-8 Blackcap wintering in Cholsey at the moment.

Several more mobile flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing elsewhere and a single Raven flew south.

A Goldcrest still frequenting the Millennium Wood, 2 Bullfinch nearby and a couple of Mistle Thrush in song.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

A couple of Bumblebees also seen.

Sunday, 17 February 2019


Sunny with some cloud, 14°, light SSW.

Some butterflies on the wing this week end with Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell. Per Alan Dawson.

Also a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee in the garden feeding on the Mahonia flowers.

Photos courtesy Alan Dawson

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Saturday bits

Cloudy, 12°, light SSW.

A male Blackcap in the garden this morning bathing with a Robin in one of the water features.

A male Sparrowhawk flew through the allotments along Station road.

The first butterfly of the year, a Brimstone seen by Geoff Wyatt in a Cholsey garden yesterday.

A Reed Bunting, Cholsey Marsh (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Friday, 15 February 2019

False Spring?

Foggy at first then sunshine, 13°, light S.

A very spring like day today with several species in song.

A Merlin flew from the hill and disappeared into the fog heading south.

Initially there were 8 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard soaring over the hill but they all drifted off to the north east.

2 Stonechat still wintering on Lollingdon hill, they have been present now since the end of September last year. Long stayers and indicates a mild winter in the area.

A good flock of birds feeding alongside the sheep this morning with at least 80 Pied Wagtail, 60 Meadow Pipit and a handful of Starling, Fieldfare and Skylark.

Several more flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing around and several Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush in song, also 3 Treecreeper heard singing between the village and Lollingdon (incl 1 in the garden) and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker drumming.

2 Bullfinch and a Goldcrest in the Millennium wood.

2 Raven flew west out at Lollingdon and one of them did a partial display with a brief dive and a barrel roll and the Lapwing flock present but mobile, c120.

Unfortunately a dead Barn Owl found around 500m from the Bullshole. No obvious injuries but it was very emaciated so maybe died of starvation?

The female Brambling still present near Waterloo close. Per Mike Amphlett.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

First Bumblebee of the year seen in Wallingford today.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Kingfishers & Stonechats

Sunny at first then clouding over, 10°, light SSW.

Approx. 200 Lapwing in flooded fields out at Lollingdon and some flew south over the hill towards the downs.

The 2 Stonechat still present on the hill and a mixed flock of 50+ Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit feeding amongst the sheep. 9 Corn Bunting flew south over the hill.

Very few Fieldfare noted today and 80+ Redwing but little else of note.

50+ Redwing in the meadow mid-afternoon and both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush in song and a Great-spotted Woodpecker drumming.

A Sparrowhawk around the garden this afternoon.

A Barn Owl seen hunting over Cholsey Marsh yesterday. Per Phil Dyson and a Brambling still present near Waterloo Close. Per Mike Amphlett.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Short-tailed Vole.

 Kingfishers (Female L and Male R)
(courtesy Alan Dawson)

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Not a lot going on!

Mainly sunny with the occasional rain shower, 6°, breezy SW.

Another day in and the garden a little quieter today. A scarce bird in the garden today in the form of a Jackdaw. I see them in the meadow frequently but they rarely venture into the garden.

This one however was tempted in by a suet ball that had somehow fallen from the feeder.

Alan had managed to get out and got a nice shot of one of the ubiquitous Red Kite in the area.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Mistle Thrush

Mainly cloudy, 8°, light S.

A visit by 2 Mistle Thrush to the garden this morning. Also several Starling still visiting.

Further information on the Black Swan seen at Cholsey yesterday. It was seen recently at Shillingford (per Bob Wyatt) and after that was seen on the river at Benson. So it appears to be slowly making its way downstream.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Black Swan

Thick cloud and dull, 7°, light SSE.

An unusual visitor to the Thames in Cholsey today in the guise of a Black Swan found and photographed by Alan Dawson.

Black Swan is a native of Southern and Eastern Australia and New Zealand but has been introduced to many countries as an ornamental water bird and many subsequently escape from captivity and form feral populations.

Who knows where this one came from?

Hare coursing

A text from TV Police a short while ago of 6 males hare coursing in the Aston Tirrold area. If anyone out and about around Cholsey, Lollingdon, Moreton area please keep your eyes peeled. If seen please inform TV Police. Thanks

Update: Police were on the scene fairly promptly but were too late. It appears the criminals got away but no reports of any hare casualties!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Milder weather

Light rain and cloudy, 7°, light NW.

a milder day today with most of the snow gone by dark.

Subsequently no Fieldfare or Redwing seen in the garden today but the Little Egret seen flying from Cholsey Brook again.

a few photos of Redwing from yesterday courtesy of Bill Nicholls.

And a few Chaffinch

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Another cold one

Another sunny day, clouding up later, 3°, light SSW.

Snow still laying but appears to be slowly thawing.

6-8 Fieldfare and a couple of Redwing in the garden today and the Little Egret seen entering Cholsey Brook in the meadow this afternoon.

Some photos of yesterdays Lapwing and Common Snipe from yesterday, courtesy of Alan Dawson.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Redwings & Fieldfares

Sunny, 2°, light NW.

Snow still covering the area but only 3-4cm deep. Hopefully will disappear soon.

True to form Fieldfare and Redwing appeared in the garden today (usually the next day after snow) and attracted by apples and sultanas that we put out in this weather.

The Fieldfares are quite aggressive to any other bird that comes too near their piece of apple and chase them off, in particular Blackbirds.

A pair of Starling also paid a visit and spent some time feeding on fat balls. A scarce visitor to the garden.

c12 Common Snipe and up to 70 Lapwing in fields near Green Lane, Per Alan Dawson.

2 Grey Heron near the Bullshole. Per Bill Nicholls.

A female Brambling with Chaffinches near the Waterloo. Per Mike Amphlett.

Grey Herons (courtesy Bill Nicholls)

Friday, 1 February 2019

Snow cometh

Snow, 1°, light NNW.

After my reservations about snow falling locally. It did! Woke up this morning to 4-5cm of snow, so out in the garden at first light to put out extra food for the birds.

Then out for a walk after breakfast and quite heavy going in the snow.

Lollingdon was fairly quiet as would be expected. The usual stuff around and the Thrushes a bit sedentary just sat in the sheep fields not doing much at all.

A flock of Starling also present and much more active with some sitting on the backs of the sheep, possibly hoping to find food in the shape of a tick or two?

A Treecreeper on the wooded side of the hill and another in the Millennium Wood.

Could not find the Stonechats but they may well still be in the area?

And the usual Little Egret seen in flight out near Amwell Spring.

“A Common Snipe in a snowy garden today. Oddly enough there was one last year when it snowed. (Can be site faithful in winter).” Richard Broughton

The garden was a lot busier with around 20 Chaffinch, a max of 14 Goldfinch, 8 Greenfinch, 2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit, Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 8 Blackbird, a Pied Wagtail, 10 Woodpigeon, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Moorhen, 3 Robin, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and the rest.

Mammals: Brown Hare.

4 Redwing photos (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Coal Tit
 Finches on the feeders
 Pied Wagtail
 Long-tailed Tit
One of the Crows observing garden activities