Saturday, 27 May 2017

Violet-backed Starling

Also known as Plum-coloured or Amethyst Starling (Cinnyrisinclus leucogaster). Seen in a garden along the Wallingford road on the 21st May at 17:00.

The bird had a lilac band on its right leg so we can assume this was an escapee from an aviary/cage, they are a commonly kept cage bird unfortunately.

This species has a very large range from forested areas across  sub-Saharan Africa and right across southern Africa from Tanzania to South Africa.

Photos courtesy Claire Holford

Friday, 26 May 2017

Final day out West

Another sunny day, 18°, breezy ESE.

Another touristy day with a visit to a now defunct Tin Mine and going underground………..interesting none the less.

A coast walk in the evening with another sighting of a flyby Chough, 3 Wheatear still around with 1 in song, several Stonechat and Common Whitethroat present as well.

A light movement on the sea with much of the same from this week.

Butterflies: good numbers around today, 20+ Large White, 40+ Common Blue, 20+ Painted Lady, 10+ Red Admiral and a few Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Getting warm out West

Sunshine, 18°, breezy E.

A touristy visit to St Ives today, not too busy and enjoyed a pastie each and a dark chocolate sorbet and black cherry ice cream for me and a dark chocolate sorbet and strawberry vanilla for Loren 😋.

An evening walk along the coast produced a pair of flyover Chough and 3 Wheatear and of the coast a few Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Fulmar etc.

Butterflies: an influx of Red Admiral today with 10+ seen, also Common Blue and Speckled Wood.

And a beautiful sunset!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sunny out West

Sunny, 15°, light ESE.

A walk along the coastal path today and a brief (1.5 hr) seawatch.

The sea watch produced just over 400 Manx Shearwater in 1.5 hrs this evening, + 35 Gannet, 60+ Auks, virtually all if not all Guillemot, 8 Kittiwake and several Fulmar.

2 Red-billed Chough again in the distance also Raven, Buzzard, 9 Stonechat, several Meadow Pipit and Rock Pipit and 3 Wheatear.

Mammals: Grey Seal.

Reps: Common Lizard.

Butterflies: several unidentified Whites, Common Blue, Painted Lady and Speckled Wood.

Female Linnet
 Meadow Pipit
Grey Seal
 I couldn't resist the Stonechats

Loren out West

Some of Loren's photos from today.

 Very pale Buzzard
 Common Carder Bee ?
Painted Lady

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Foggy out West

Foggy with variable visibility, 13°, light W.

Not much birding today and a visit to Sennen.

About 30 minutes spent sea watching during a clearer period with 20+ Gannet, 100+ Manx Shearwater, c40 Guillemot and a Shag all flying south.

2 Wheatear on land and a Rock Pipit.

Butterflies: Common Blue and Speckled Wood.

Photos courtesy Loren

Monday, 22 May 2017

Way out West

Overall a sunny day, 14°, light WSW.

Several places visited in the south west today, doing the touristy bit as well as some birding.

A couple of Red-billed Chough seen again today, along with several Raven and Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, Pied Wagtail, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzard, Fulmar, Gannet, Manx Shearwater plus many others,

Butterflies: Large White, Painted Lady and Speckled Wood.

Painted Lady soaking up the last drops of sunshine this evening (courtesy Loren).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

West again

Sunny spells, 12°, breezy ESE.

A quiet day but some great walks along the coast here.

My bird of the day has to be a couple of Chough (Red-billed Chough to be precise), seen flying along the coast with possibly a 3rd. They were fairly distant but the distinctive shape and the long curved bill said it all.

A few Gannet and Manx Shearwater passing off the coast, a couple of small flocks of Guillemot on the sea and several Fulmar.

Stonechat, Buzzard and Raven, other birds of note on land.

Butterflies: Clouded Yellow, Large White, Green-veined White, Small Copper, Common Blue and Speckled Wood. A Fritillary seen but not specifically id’d.

Photos © Paul & Loren.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Out West

Sunshine and heavy showers for the trip west.

Arrived around 18:00 this evening and a walk after dinner noted several species: Stonechat, Rock Pipit, Fulmar and Great Blackback Gull to name a few.

Also Foxgloves in flower and lots of other interesting plants around.

Friday, 19 May 2017

All quiet out at Lollingdon

Overcast with almost constant light rain, 12°, light WSW.

A rather damp day with very little noted, a wet week culminating in a thunderstorm this evening.

Most resident and summer visitors have all settled down in breeding mode and all the usual’s seen.

A handful of Swift over the hill and a Treecreeper heard singing and a Little Owl seen.

Appears to have been a good spring for Starling, loads of youngsters around.

Mammals: Roe Deer & Brown Hare.

East End news

From Tony Rayner: 

Seen today in our meadow - 2 Roe Deer and the first Common Blue & Brown Argus of the year.

Photos courtesy Tony Rayner.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Settling Down

Overcast with almost constant light rain, 14°, light S.

Looks as though migration has virtually come to an end and most species settling down to breed for the summer.

2 Swift and a Sparrowhawk seen around Lollingdon hill but little else of note.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Another Hobby

Cloudy with a few light rain showers, 14°, light S.

A Hobby over the village pavilion around midday and lots of Starling families in the Rec and playing field area.

a brief visit to Lollingdon Hill this afternoon with very little seen, a single Mistle Thrush and a Green Woodpecker.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Getting Warmer

Cloudy, 18°, light ESE.

A cloudy but warmer day than of late and a walk out to the Lees area.

My first Hobby of the year with 2 seen over the Church, 1 drifted off south and the other west.

The Dyke and Reedy ditch held 8+ Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 6 Reed Bunting and several Common Whitethroat.

2 Yellow Wagtail and a male Peregrine also seen.

A distant Cuckoo heard from Silly bridge, more than likely the bird that frequents Cholsey Marsh. per MA.

Mammals: Brown Hare and Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: The first one of the year, a single Large Red Damselfly.

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