Having been working in the garden today I decided to take a break and sit down on the bench on the patio. I then became aware of a Robin sat close to me with a beak full of leaf material.
The bird was very tame as it was only a couple of feet away and I initially thought it was injured. It just sat there as if waiting for me to do something. After a couple of minutes it flew up to a shelf unit on the patio and disappeared behind an empty flower pot and then it dawned on me that it’s nesting there or at least building a nest.
Robins are usually tolerant of people being present close to the nesting area but still need to keep any disturbance to a minimum now.
A little early as they generally start in March but have been known to start as early as January and in a successful year can have up to 5 broods.
Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden today and a Goldcrest along Church road.
A spring like day with broken sunshine, 13°, breezy SW.
“3 Wigeon and 2 Teal on the floods near Church rd early morning” but not present at 10:30 when I checked. (Per Richard Broughton).
Don’t recall seeing Wigeon locally before other than on the river in hard weather!
The Little Egret still being seen regularly in the area from the Church rd floods out to Amwell spring.
“3-4 Blackcap still present and feeding on apples in a West End garden and a Peregrine out by the Lees”. (Per Tony Williams).
(Per Tony Rayner). “A Siskin this morning over Cholsey Church. Amazing how Brimstones suddenly appear on mass. Had a pristine Small Tortoiseshell today too. Also a great day for reptiles - a Grass Snake and 8 Slow-worms. The snake was my earliest ever recorded by two clear weeks. To have as many as 8 Slow-worms is also a record this early, and again the previous earliest date to have that many was 7th March. The first Bumblebees too, at least two species”.
Lollingdon still fairly quiet, the Little Owl heard again but not seen. 1 Buzzard and 8 Red Kite soaring over Lollingdon Hill and a handful of Fieldfare, 30+ Starling and 8 Pied Wagtail on the Hill and several Skylark in song.
8+ Reed Bunting around the usual stubble fields and fewer Yellowhammer, and a flock of c100 Lapwing seen distantly flying east over the village.
A Grey Wagtail in the garden this morning, a Treecreeper singing, a Kingfisher along the brook and an odd record of a Coot heard over the garden last night at 21:20.
Mammals:Roe Deer and Brown Hare.
Butterflies: 4 Brimstone (2m & 2f) between the village and Lollingdon and a Small Tortoiseshell and 2m Brimstone in TR’s garden.
An interesting observation by Tony Williams last week. “Attracted to a noise I noticed a Peregrine Falcon mobbing a Buzzard on the ground. As I got closer I noticed the Buzzard had a Wood Pigeon and maybe the Buzzard had taken this from the Falcon. The Falcon then flew off and settled in some nearby trees.
After a short while the Buzzard then took off with the Pigeon and was immediately mobbed by a Red Kite. The Buzzard subsequently dropped the Pigeon only for it to be snapped up in mid-air by the Red Kite which then flew off with it”.
A mild day, mainly cloudy with some sunny spells, 11°, light SSW.
A milder day today with more insects in the air including a few Honey Bee. The weather is supposed to get milder over the next few days but February is a notoriously unpredictable month.
Very much the same out at Lollingdon today with little change since Monday, however a Little Owl heard calling from the usual area and a few Yellowhammer appear to be taking up territories.
Still lots of “winter thrushes” around and a couple of Mistle Thrush.
The Little Egret seen yesterday, flushed from the brook by a dog walker and flew off across the meadow towards West End.
A couple of Siskin heard yesterday also, flew over the garden calling.
2 Grey Wagtail feeding in the garden this week, a Kingfisher seen flying up the brook and 2 Nuthatch and a Treecreeper visiting regularly and a Green Woodpecker on Wednesday.
From Tony Rayner “My early checks on my reptile sheets have shown more Field Voles than usual all looking fairly plump. This suggests to me it could be a vole year, in which case it could be a good year for Barn Owls and other predators. And the first singing Chiffchaff this morning.”
Back in 1987 I drove down to the Sussex coast to see my first Little Egret which back then was a rare/scarce bird in the UK. Now as you can see they are resident and breeding in the UK with the first breeding record in Dorset in 1996. They have also bred in Oxfordshire recently. Climate change? I think so! It’s on my garden list 😜.
Green Woodpecker working the garden trees.
One of the 20 or so Redwing in the hedge by the garden.