Friday, 26 August 2016

Moving through

A sunny day, 24°, light W.

Another good day on the hill with a few more migrants passing through and a good number of butterflies.

3 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 4 Common Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and a min of 5 Yellow Wagtail.

2 Kestrel on the hill, 1 Green Woodpecker and a flyover Hobby.

2 Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaff in a hedgerow near the paddock.

A Reed Bunting and several Yellowhammer on the way out in the bean field.

A Sedge Warbler (per The Wickster) in the bean field.

A Common Redstart in Cholsey Church yard today (per Tony Rayner).

At least 30 Yellow Wagtail in the cattle field by the school (per Richard Broughton).

Reptiles: Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Brown Argus, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Whinchat
Wheatear
Whinchat, Common Whitethroat & Wheatear

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

And Again!

Another sunny day, 25°, light N.

A little less action on the hill today, however 2 Common Redstart still present, a Green Woodpecker on the top and a Yellow Wagtail over.

A single Kestrel hunting and several Buzzard and Red Kite in the air.

A Common Whitethroat along the hedgerow and a couple of Blackcap nearby.

2 more Common Redstart along a hedge by a paddock along with several Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown.

Chiffchaff

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Happenings on the Hill

Sunny, 26°, breezy SSE.

Another visit to the hill this morning in warm and sunny conditions, thought I should get out a bit earlier before it got too warm.

A Clouded Yellow butterfly and a Ruddy Darter dragonfly new for the year.

2 Common Redstart and a Whinchat still present on the hill and a Wheatear close by.

A handful of Swallows overhead.

3 Kestrel hunting on the hill and joined by a Sparrowhawk that spent around 5 minutes sparring with the Kestrels then last seen chasing a Green Woodpecker over the top of the hill. Judging by the Sparrowhawks flight mode it was not hunting but practising?

A Yellow Wagtail over, a Common Whitethroat in the hedgerow and a Blackcap feeding on Elder berries on the north side and the 3 Bullfinch still present.

Mammals: Roe Deer and 2 Pipistrelle bats and a Hedgehog in the garden tonight.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Ruddy Darter and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Clouded Yellow, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Roe Deer
 Whinchat
 Buzzard
 Sparrowhawk chasing a Kestrel
Common Darter
The Sparrowhawk is upside down in this pic. They were moving too fast to get a good pic of them.

Monday, 22 August 2016

A little quieter

Mainly cloudy, 23°, breezy SSW.

A warm and muggy afternoon with little sunshine and little in the way of migrants today.

2 Common Redstart and a Whinchat on the hill and a few Chiffchaff around, a single Swallow flew south.

2 Kestrel, 5 Buzzard, 3 Bullfinch and a Green Woodpecker were the only other birds of note in the vicinity of the hill. The Corn Buntings have not been seen for a week now and only 2 Yellowhammer about.

20+ Red Kite noted in the area and a good number of (100+) Lesser Blackback Gull moving around.

Fewer Swallow and House Martin around the village now.

Mammals: a brief sighting of a Weasel on the Hill and a Hedgehog active in the garden tonight.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

 Whinchat
Redstart
 Common Darter
Buzzard

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Another day on the Hill

Sunny, 25°, light E.

Another day on the hill……………well not quite a day but 4 hours on a lovely sunny day.

2 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 2 Common Redstart and 1 Lesser Whitethroat on the south side and 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Spotted Flycatcher on the north side.

Also 2 Kingfisher, 3 Buzzard and around 20 Red Kite in the area and a few Swallow overhead.

Nearly forgot............... heard at least 2 Whimbrel fly over the garden just after midday.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

 Wheatear
 2 Wheatear & 1 Whinchat
 Spotted Flycatcher
 Spotted Flycatcher
 Spotted Flycatcher
Yellow Wagtail

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Every day is different

Hazy sunshine with high, thin cloud, 23°, light ESE.

Every day is different on the hill at this time of year with birds passing through.

Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 2 Common Redstart, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 5 Common Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler and 7+ Chiffchaff.

A Sparrowhawk attempted to take a Magpie but was unsuccessful and a Kestrel present on the hill and a handful of Swallows flew over.

A Kingfisher flew up the brook this evening and Nuthatch and Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden today.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Emperor, Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common BlueRed Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

Juv Whinchat
Juv Stonechat and Juv Whinchat

Thank you to Ian Lewington who contacted me today regarding the out of focus chat in the foreground and identified it as a juvenile Stonechat..................Cheers Lew

Monday, 15 August 2016

First Wheatear of the Autumn

Sunshine, 23°, breezy E.

A bit quieter on the hill today apart from a noisy combine harvester in the field adjacent to the hill.

However the first Wheatear of the autumn near the hill in one of the recently harvested fields, also a juv Whinchat (a different bird to last week), a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Yellow Wagtail, a Blackcap and 2 Common Whitethroat and another Spotted Flycatcher nearby.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker (incl 1 in garden), Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Fewer than of late: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Holly Blue (in garden), Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

A Swift on Saturday (13th) overhead with a small flock of House Martin.


Friday, 12 August 2016

Garden stuff

Sunny, 22°, breezy W.

A Curlew flew over the garden this afternoon calling.

Whinchat still present on Lollingdon Hill today (per Gerry Quin).

A Holly Blue in the garden this morning along with Large White, Red Admiral and Meadow Brown.

Several Oak Bush Cricket around at the moment in the garden and indoors.


Stock Dove relaxing in the garden

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Spot Flys and more

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 22°, breezy WNW.

A good afternoon on the hill today with quite a few land migrants around.

2 possibly 3 Common Redstart on the hill and a juv Whinchat along the fence line that then flew off down a track.

A Yellow Wagtail flew over and 2 Kestrel hunting and a Hobby seen.

3 Spotted Flycatcher seen nearby, also several Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler and the usual Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer present.

Quite a few Red Kite in the area as some of the fields were being harvested and a flock of several hundred Gulls on a few fields that have been ploughed and a male Peregrine drifted over and headed towards the Downs.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Common Darter and an unidentified Hawker.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled WoodGatekeeper and Meadow Brown.





Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Hill

Cloudy, few sunny spells, 19°, breezy WNW.

A visit to the hill today with 2 Common Redstart present (ad male and female), also a Common Whitethroat and several Blackcap.

A Kestrel present hunting on the hill.

A Willow Warbler several Chiffchaff and Blackcap present nearby.

2 Whinchat on the hill at the week end (per TW).

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.




Monday, 8 August 2016

Otmoor: Purple Heron

Cloudy with some sunshine, 20°, breezy WNW.

Could not resist a trip to Otmoor today as a juvenile Purple Heron had turned up there yesterday.

This afternoon after Loren finished work we took a trip to Otmoor hoping to catch up with the Heron that had arrived there.

After about 30 minutes we saw the Heron in flight around 500m away, it has been somewhat elusive and generally only seen in flight as it feeds in the reed beds generally out of sight and now and then will take a short flight to a different area of reeds to feed.

Purple Heron breeds in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia and is a rare visitor to the UK with c10+ records per year although they have bred in Britain since 2008 but in very small numbers i.e. 1 or 2 pairs.

Other species noted were 2 Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Little Egret, Common Crane, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Redshank, Turtle Dove, Raven and a few Warblers.

Everything was a bit too distant to get any meaningful photos unfortunately.

We did see quite a few Dragonflies and Butterflies as well but more focused on the birds today so not many ID’ed.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Common Darter.

Butterflies: of note a Dark Green Fritillary and Painted Lady seen.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Spotted Flycatcher

We learned yesterday of a pair of Spotted Flycatcher breeding on the outskirts of the village. Good to know that there is at least one pair breeding in the village.

A Hobby seen on Saturday over the village.

A couple of Pipistrelle Bats hunting over the garden this evening.

Library pic

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Wild about Cholsey

Today saw the launch of Tony Rayner’s new book “Wild about Cholsey”.

A very successful day at Cholsey pavilion “The book seeks to celebrate Cholsey’s special place in the natural world. The articles in the book were written over a period of over 30 years by the Eastender and published in The Forty Magazine. The articles have been revised and supplemented by new ones plus a few by other writers.”

You can get a copy either at the Cholsey Show on the Cholsey 1000 plus stand in Whitehead Meadow on Sat 13th Aug or at the Wallingford bookshop.




Friday, 5 August 2016

Whinchat

Cloudy with the odd sunny period, 22°, light WNW.

A visit to the hill again today found a Whinchat, a Willow Warbler and 3 Common Redstart (1m, 2 juv).

In addition a Green Woodpecker, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Common Whitethroat and several Chiffchaff.

3 juv Blackcap gleaning insects from Lily pads and a Kingfisher.

A Hobby seen in the distance and several Buzzard and Red Kite.

A field in the distance being ploughed had a large number of Corvids and Gulls present. Too far to ID species but the Corvids would be mainly Rooks and the majority of Gulls more than likely Lesser Blackback Gull. Around 400 and 500 respectively.

Very little movement overhead with just a handful of Swallow. Most if not all the local Swift appear to have departed but still plenty of Swallow and House Martin around.

Dragonflies: EmperorBrown Hawker, Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady (2), Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet.

Whinchat
 Common Redstart (m)
 Painted Lady
Brimstone

A few from the garden.

 Great-spotted Woodpecker (f)
Young Moorhen

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Painted Lady plus

Mainly sunny, 21°, breezy WSW.

Another visit to the hill today and a little quieter than Monday: at least 2 Common Redstart still present, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, several Common Whitethroat and 2 Kestrel hunting insects on the hill.

Apart for a few Lesser Blackback Gull flying over there was no other movement taking place.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone (1 in garden), Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Marbled White, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown & Ringlet.