Friday, 19 October 2018

Quiet times

Foggy at first, 3°, then fog clearing with sunshine, 14°, light NNW.

The hill was rather quiet today with a handful of Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and 6 Corn Bunting present.

The Linnet flock is gradually growing in number with around 30 birds present. Also several Meadow Pipit and Skylark moving around.

A single Cormorant flew north overhead.

Off the hill there were a few Redwing and Fieldfare in nearby fields but no significant numbers as yet.

3 Chiffchaff represented the only summer migrants still present.

Still around 30 Yellowhammer around the stubble fields.

Dragonflies: 10+ Common Darter which included a pair egg laying.

Butterflies: 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Red Admiral.

 Reed Bunting
 Chiffchaff (above & below)

Cormorant from yesterday drying out in the sun (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Common Darters egg laying in tandem

Wednesday, 17 October 2018


Cloudy, 14°, light SW.

A brief visit today due to a late start and not much difference from yesterday’s visit.

2 Stonechat still present on the hill and flighty, a handful of Fieldfare and Redwing on the hill and a small flock of 15 Starling over the hill (the first I’ve seen in a few months). Up to 12 Corn Bunting present and a few Yellowhammer and 2 Reed Bunting.

3 Siskin overhead and a single Chiffchaff seen.

A pair of Jay in the garden this afternoon.

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Peacock.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Thrushes moving

A hazy day with low cloud cover, 18°, light SW.

2 Stonechat on the hill this morning but only briefly before moving off. A Sparrowhawk, several Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting and 8 Corn Bunting.

A handful of Fieldfare and Redwing present nearby and most have appeared to have moved on. However still more to come. An increase in the number of Blackbird and to a lesser extent Song Thrush noted.

4 Chiffchaff noted and a few Siskin overhead.

2 Nuthatch making frequent forays into the garden recently.

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.


Shaggy Inkcap

Monday, 15 October 2018


A lot of Fieldfare out at Lollingdon today along with Redwing.

Photo courtesy Alan Dawson.


Saturday, 13 October 2018

Clouded Yellows

A couple of photos of Clouded Yellow butterflies today from Alan Dawson.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

A busy Hill

Another sunny day, 21°, light ESE.

A fair bit of activity on the hill today, with 2 Stonechat present (also present yesterday per TW) and a fair sized Bunting flock.

Approximate numbers were 40 Corn Bunting, 25 Yellowhammer and 10 Reed Bunting, also a Chiffchaff, 6 Redwing over and several Siskin over, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, 2 Jay, several Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, a Sparrowhawk flew through and 3 Buzzard and 7 Red Kite overhead and 2 Raven east of the hill.

The Chiffchaff reached the end of the hedge and made 5 attempts to fly south over open ground but appeared reluctant to do so and returned to the hedge each time and eventually moved off back along the hedge.

4 more Chiffchaff noted on the walk and several more Redwing and another flock of c20 Yellowhammer still out on the stubble fields.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies: several Large White and 1 Comma. Yesterday TW had several Brimstone and a Red Admiral in his garden. And a Clouded Yellow on the hill. Per AD.

Stonechat photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

 Reed Bunting
 Reed Bunting
Nuthatch in garden

Monday, 8 October 2018


A cloudy day, 16°, light to breezy SW.

Lots of Redwing out at Lollingdon today with around 100 birds present and feeding on Yew berries. They had moved on by the time I came off the hill.

Also dozens of Redwing along Cholsey Brook area this morning and a Little Egret present again. Per RB.

The hill was fairly quiet with just 2 Mistle Thrush seen by TW earlier.

A few Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting still present around the hill and 2 Corn Bunting.

A flock of c40 Yellowhammer out at Little Lollingdon around the stubble fields.

2 Nuthatch have been visiting the garden on a regular basis recently and have also been seen the other side of Church road in a garden. Per RB.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 1 Common Darter.

 Redwing (heavily cropped image from distance)
 Meadow Pipit (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Small Copper (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Wittenham Wood

Hazy sunshine, 13°, light SW.

A cooler day after the rain and a walk up to Wittenham Wood.

Firstly several more Redwing noted a flock of 4 and another of 6 flying south west over Church road. Per RB.

Birds in Wittenham Wood were rather few and far between but a couple of Siskin and Nuthatch were worth a mention.

Several Common Darter and a Migrant Hawker were the only Dragonflies and a single Speckled Wood Butterfly.

A few specimens of Fungii found but probably too early for some good ones.

All photos courtesy Loren Chaplin.

Not all identified.

 Common Puffball
A "Bracket Fungi"

A Lichen?

Friday, 5 October 2018

First Redwing

Misty light cloud, 18°, very light SSW.

Our first Redwing of the autumn today along Cholsey brook by Church road. Per Richard Broughton.

Not a lot on the hill today, around 5 each of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting and a single Corn Bunting in song. A Sparrowhawk dropped in for a few minutes and then soared off joining 2 Buzzard and 5 Red Kite thermalling over the hill.

3 Chiffchaff noted with one in song but little else.

Nuthatch and Grey Wagtail in the garden.

Butterflies: 1 Large White.

 Buzzard & Sparrowhawk
Sparrowhawk (above & below)

A better photo of the Clifden Nonpareil (courtesy Tony Rayner)

Kingfisher (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Stock Dove sunbathing in the garden

New Moth for Cholsey

TR caught a new moth for Cholsey last night. A rather battered specimen but one non the less.

A Clifden Nonpareil - Catocala fraxini.

Photo of underside through netting. (courtesy Tony Rayner)

Clifden Nonpareil (courtesy wikimedia)

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Bats & Bits

An edited version of an email sent to me by TR.

TR’s son Fred has become a Bat enthusiast and has bought an Echo Meter Pro Bat detector.

Switching it on overnight and leaving it the results are then analysed the following morning. It identifies the species for you and the number of passes made.

It was recorded during the time when East End farm was being demolished and more Bats were seen during this period with most coming from the direction of the farm area.

The results are as follows:

18th June 2018:

Common Pipistrelle: 13 passes

Soprano Pipistrelle: 2 passes

Noctule: 7 passes

Leisler’s Bat: 1 pass

21st June 2018:

Common Pipistrelle: 4 passes

Soprano Pipistrelle: 16 passes

7th August 2018:

Common Pipistrelle: 20 passes

Soprano Pipistrelle: 11 passes

Noctule: 17 passes

Natterer’s Bat: 1 pass

Until we had these results we were unaware that we had Natterer’s and Leisler’s in the area. The latter being a rare species in England.

Butterflies: still finding Small Copper in the garden.

And a Kestrel roosting on the cottage.

My input:

It is quite possible that East End farm was a roost site for several species of bat and has now been destroyed. I hope that the bats can find new roost sites (especially for winter hibernation) in the local area.

Our resident breeding species in the UK are: Alcathoe Bat, Barbastelle, Bechstein's Bat, Brandt's Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat, Common Pipistrelle, Daubenton's Bat, Greater Horseshoe Bat, Grey Long-eared Bat, Leisler's Bat, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Nathusius' Pipistrelle, Natterer Bat, Noctule, Serotine, Soprano Pipistrelle and Whiskered Bat.

5 other Bat species that rarely turn up in the UK from continental Europe and are: Greater Mouse-eared Bat (possibly are very rare resident), Pond Bat (1 record), Kuhl’s Pipistrelle, Parti-coloured Bat and Northern Bat (1 record).

All Bats in the UK are protected species under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.

You will be committing a criminal act if you:

1. Deliberately capture, injure or kill a bat

2. Intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat in its roost or deliberately disturb a group of bats

3. Damage or destroy a bat roosting place (even if bats are not occupying the roost at the time)

4. Possess or advertise/sell/exchange a bat (dead or alive) or any part of a bat

5. Intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to a bat roost

For more information go to: UK Bats

Daubenton's Bat (courtesy Bat Conservation Trust)

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

An Autumnal day

Mainly cloudy, 17°, breezy W.

A flock of 25 Mistle Thrush flew on to the hill this morning but stopped only briefly before heading north over the top.

The Bunting flock still present on the hill in roughly the same numbers as yesterday.

Quite a few Skylark and Meadow Pipit around but no obvious movement going on.

A single Raven flew east and 5 Chiffchaff noted between the village and Lollingdon.

Dragonflies: 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: singles of Large White, Red Admiral and Comma. And a Speckled Wood in the garden.

TW & PD were on the downs yesterday (not far from Lollingdon) and found 4 Clouded Yellow, several Small Copper and Common Blue.

 Some of the Mistle Thrush on the hill

Long-tailed Tit

Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Cloudy with little sunshine, 19°, breezy WNW.

3 Stonechat still on the hill today, feeding from the leeward side of a hedge and occasionally being hassled by the resident Robin who “owns” that stretch of hedgerow.

30+ Yellowhammer, 3+ Corn Bunting, 2+ Reed Bunting and 5 Mistle Thrush present on the hill.

Just 2 Chiffchaff noted and a single Kestrel.

Reptiles: 1 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: 6 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Large White.

First 5 photos are all Stonechat. (The 4th courtesy Alan Dawson taken yesterday.)

 Common Darter
Sloe Shieldbug (courtesy Alan Dawson)