Saturday, 31 December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

Cholsey Marsh.

Overcast, rain, 8º, light W.

15:00 – 16:30

Just under 80 Corn Buntings coming to roost, all came in between approx 16:00 to 16:20.

A Water Rail flushed whilst collecting litter! Also a Kingfisher in one of the Alders along the riverbank.

2 Cormorant flew downriver.
Redwing and Fieldfare in fair numbers, a single Great-spotted Woodpecker seen to flyover. 100+ Geese on an adjacent field (mainly Canada and 3+ Greylag), also 4 Mute Swans in the field and 1 on the river as well. The usual Song Thrush singing nearby.

Another birder was down at the marsh yesterday at dusk but did not see any Corn Bunting but it was very windy. Maybe they flew in low?

Around 50 Golden Plover seen flying over (per Tom W).

A Grey Heron frequenting the brook in the meadow for the past few days and a couple of Pheasants in the meadow today.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


Overcast, 10°, light SSW
A walk around the meadow and playing fields today produced 5 thrush species amongst other stuff.
Around 5 Blackbirds, 2 Mistle Thrush a Song Thrush, c50 Redwing and c80 Fieldfare.
Also a small tit flock with mainly Long-tailed Tits.

Friday, 23 December 2011

There are Redwings

After my previous comments, there are Redwings in Cholsey.

Last Sunday they were all in the hawthorn bushes along the green track
leading to the Bunk line off the Wallingford Road, (next to Brook House).
There was a very large mixed flock (very difficult to count as they were
very spread out, but probably well over 400 birds) of Fieldfares and
Redwings and a very high proportion of them were Redwings. This is a bit
unusual along there as the flocks are usually predominantly Fieldfares.
Per Bob Dryden.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Winter Solstice.

Sunny, 12º, light SSW, very mild!

This time for the past 2 years we have had a fair bit of snow around but it appears to be staying away so far this year, have only seen snow on some of the high points on the downs recently but none at the moment.

Still some insects on the wing.

Lollingdon Hill

The hill was very quiet today, 1 Red Kite around and approx 100 Fieldfare and a few Redwing present, also 3 Corn Bunting.

Cholsey Marsh

Just over 100 Corn Bunting coming to roost, approx 12 Reed Bunting on the marsh and 5 Yellowhammer, possibly roosting as well.

2 Kingfisher along the river also 2 Water Rail heard on the marsh. More Fieldfare (c80) feeding on Hawthorn on the opposite river bank but no Redwing seen, although Redwing heard overhead later. Redwing numbers very low around the Cholsey area?

A Mute Swan on the river and 4 in an adjacent field (2 ad and 2 juv).

Great-spotted Woodpecker also seen and a Song Thrush singing at Little Stoke.

Several Roe Deer on the marsh.

2 different Treecreepers in garden recently and the Goldfinches are now getting through rather a lot of nyger seed.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Birds without Birding

What could be more boring than watching bowling? Watching golf? Playing golf? Watching birding?

I have not seen the movie, yet. I will tomorrow. My wife and a friend have coaxed me into the investment.

Birders have debated the movie for months. A few birders went so far as predicting an epiphany for the American public. Here is an example from Texbirds a few weeks ago:

Seriously, now, I am sure that this movie will…prompt thousands (millions?) of non-birding moviegoers to investigate birding via the internet…Every birding group on this continent will benefit if we have "bird stuff" ready for these potential new birders.

The Big Year has grossed a wretched $6.5 million. The movie cost $57 million to make. March of the Penguins grossed $127 million worldwide, and $77 million in this country. Penguins cost $22 million to make. Avatar, an anaemic movie about fake nature, has grossed almost $3 billion worldwide. Facebook and Twitter references to The Big Year are nonexistent. There are no millions rushing to the web to learn about birding. How could so many be so wrong?

People are just not that into us. The tens of millions of bird people love birds without birding. The public can be reached through birds. Birding is a different matter.

Consider the skills needed to be a birder. Start with a grasp of science, geography, and the written word. Field guides and articles in Birding are written for the literate. Most Americans are not.

• Only 15% of Americans are fully literate, functioning at a level equivalent to a university undergraduate degree. The "average" American reads at a 7th or 8th grade level.
• Approximately 28% of American adults currently qualify as scientifically literate.
• 70% of Americans cannot read and understand the science section of the New York Times.
• Nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 cannot find Iraq on a map.
• Half or fewer of young men and women 18-24 can identify the states of New York or Ohio on a map [50 percent and 43 percent, respectively].
• 27% of American adults read no books last year.

Birders use brains as well as eyes and ears. Birding is part sport and part mind twister. You become an accomplished birder through study, not training. Birding is learned and earned.

Watching birds is free. Becoming a birder is not. Birding takes time, money, and commitment. Look at any of the demographic studies of birders. Birders are well educated (the average being over 16 years of formal education) and relatively affluent.

Birding is also tied to the ability (or willingness) to think critically, to analyze the evidence and come to an independent conclusion. Birders gather evidence in the form of size, shape, colour, pattern, sound, and action, and arrive at a conclusion about the identity of the birds. If the bird is rare, we offer our evidence to other birders who make their own independent conclusions. A measureable number of Americans believe that Neil Armstrong did not land on the moon.

Birding also demands that you leave your cocoon and face the world outside. Between 20 and 30 million Americans (men, I am sure) play fantasy football, far more than are birders. There is no fantasy birding. There is no creature comfort that a birder will not forgo to see a target bird. How many recreations can you name where retching over the side of a boat is part of the rite of passage?

Birding is not for the masses; birds are. I am not concerned about the degree to which they care about us. I do worry a great deal, whether or not they care about birds and habitats. Birders should be advocates for birding. No one else is going to fight for someone else’s hobby. But birders also can introduce birds to the masses, to open that door slightly so that our neighbours can peek into nature and, perhaps, become bird people themselves. That, I suspect, is the best we can do.

Are we doing our best to invite our neighbours into an appreciation of birds sans birding? I love Marda Kirn's bus birding in Denver. Ted Floyd has expanded bare-naked birding to help people watch birds without the accoutrements of birding. Organizations such as the Black Swamp Bird Observatory invite the public to events such as banding days. The World Birding Centre conducts weekly bird walks at many of its locations. All of these efforts introduce people to birds.

Perhaps I am off base, but I see value in shifting the focus from birding to birds. Let's focus our outreach on connecting people to the resource, and let the recreation fight for itself. I am not worried about the future of birding; I suspect that it will continue to move forward, movie or not. But let's not lose the public's interest in birds, their emotional link to the outdoors.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Not the usual species normally seen feeding around a garden feeding station!

Showery, 4º, light WNW. Snow on some of the high points on the downs today.

Not the usual species normally seen feeding around a garden feeding station!
Picking up fallen seed.

Hare coursers spotted recently just over the river in South Stoke. Police informed. Look out for a beatern up black suzuki vitara and/or an old style red vauxhall cavalier.
                                   Carrion Crow


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Hen Harrier

Sunny, 7º, light E.

Arrived on the hill to see a Kestrel hunting over the south face of the hill, in the distance I could see another raptor heading towards the hill coming from the direction of the downs. As I got my binoculars on it I could see it was a Hen Harrier (ring tail), as it skirted the western end of the hill and disappeared. I got to the western end of the hill and scanned the area but could not relocate it.

In the distance from that point I could see 250+ Lapwing in a field loafing with 2-300 gulls.

2 Corn Bunting on the hill and a few Blackbirds (noticed a slight increase in Blackbird numbers recently, suggesting immigrants from elsewhere?).

A steady flow of corvids and gulls over the hill.

                                 Corn Buntings: Lollingdon Hill

                                   Little Grebe: Farmoor

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Not much.

Not much to report on as I have been rather busy in the month coming up to Xmas.

The garden is becoming a lot more active now winter seems to have set in.

For the first time since I have been here I am getting House Sparrows visiting on a regular basis, a maximum of 6 together so far but they have been here most days recently. They have a tendency to feed on the ground around the feeding station with the Chaffinches. I guess they will eventually start using the feeders in time.

Other visitors include a pair of Coal Tits and possibly 2 separate groups of Long-tailed Tits that have become more frequent lately.

Other species visiting the garden on a regular basis are: Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Tawny Owl, Treecreeper, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Moorhen, Mallard, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, and Greenfinch.

Hopefully will get some scarcer species once cold weather sets in.

I have also seen the Treecreeper again (the one with the dodgy leg (s)), managed to get some better views and it appears to have both legs but is crippled in some way. It uses its tail to stabilise itself due to some weakness in one or both legs and the tail is always out at an extreme angle to compensate.

Went out the other day to Farmoor where a Great Northern Diver was present and also a Goosander and then to Sutton Courtney and amongst many other waterfowl there were 2 Red-crested Pochard and a few Pintail.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Cholsey Marsh at dusk. 7th Dec

Sunny spells. 7º, fresh to strong WSW.

Approximately 50 Corn Buntings coming in to roost, also 12 Reed Buntings and 2 Yellowhammer.

Good numbers of Corvids and Winter Thrushes flying over heading to their own roost sites elsewhere.

A Kingfisher seen flying upstream and 50+ Canada Geese grazing on a nearby field.

Have heard some disturbing evidence of illegal hunting going on at or near the marsh, if anyone sees anything like this going on or any disturbance please contact the police!

On Sunday a Raven was seen flying from the area of Goldfinch Lane where it caused the resident Crows some grief before it flew off directly over Cholsey Church where a service was taking place. (per Tony Rayner)

How to report animal crime

  • Call 999 in an emergency. It is an emergency when: a crime is being committed, there is a risk of injury, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.
  • If a crime has already happened or you want to give information to the police, call 101. This is the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number.
  • If you do not want to speak to police or give your name, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

·       Important points to remember

·       The vast majority of animal crime offenders are not local. They often travel some distance to commit their crimes in rural areas.

·       Pay attention to people who you are unfamiliar with or suspicious of. Make a note of their appearance and the details of any vehicles that they are using. If you can, note registration numbers, any damage to the vehicle or other distinctive features.

·       Travelling criminals sometimes use hire cars. If possible, make a note of any hire company details. All of this information can be a great help to police if there is an incident in your area.

Monday, 5 December 2011


Sunny spells, 6º, light WSW.

Woke up last night around 03:30, looked out the bedroom window to see a Badger shuffling around the meadow, visible for a couple of minutes before losing sight of it in the darkness.

Lollingdon Hill.

Rather quiet today, had to get out briefly as I have been stuck in with a cold for the past few days.

Nothing on the hill only a few corvids, gulls, 3 Yellowhammer and 2 Skylark as flyovers.

Several Black-headed Gulls loafing at the far end of the meadow today.

The garden getting busier lately with Blue and Great Tits in fair numbers, also more Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch seen in garden. The pair of Mallards are regular visitors now.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A look back at Scilly October 1985.

Talking to a few birders recently about the Isles of Scilly and what can turn up on the islands.
Back in the 80’s Scilly was a very popular place to be (and still is) for migration and rarities turning up. I first went in 1984 and then subsequently annually for the next 20 years and intermittent from then on.
For quite a few years we went over on the boat “Scillonian III” from Penzance and camped on the garrison on St Marys for the week but after a few years we managed to get a flat (luxury) and had 2 weeks and also we flew over. A 15-minute flight as opposed to a 2½-hour sea trip, although I always enjoyed the sea.
The islands consist of 5 inhabited, St Marys, St Agnes, Tresco, Bryher and St Martins and with many smaller islands.
In 1985, I went over on my own; a few local Oxfordshire birders were already there. I arrived on the 12th October and had a brilliant week.
On the trip over on the Scillonian, we had 2 Pomarine Skuas, 3+ Great Skuas, 2+ Arctic Skuas, a Grey Phalarope and 2 Sooty Shearwaters.
On arriving on St Marys in was time to start rushing around to try to see all that was there.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Warbler all seen within 4 hours of arriving.
October 13th (Tresco)
Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-browed Warbler (3), Firecrest, Short-toed Lark, Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike
St Marys, American Golden Plover, Bobolink, Night Heron
14th October
A quieter day but added Parula Warbler to the tally. Then over to Tresco again for an Olive-backed Pipit and a Ring-necked Duck.
15th October, St Marys
Corncrake, Booted Warbler, Lapland Bunting, Red-eyed Vireo, In addition, a supporting cast of Brambling, Yellow-browed Warbler, and Firecrest etc.
16th October, Tresco.
Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-winged Teal?, Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ring-necked Duck, and the Night Heron back on St Marys.
17th October
No major rarities on this day but a good day for scarce birds.
Tree Pipit, Ring Ousel, Black Redstart (8), Little Stint, Wryneck, Brambling, Rustic Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Siberian Stonechat, and Yellow-rumped Warbler (again).
18th October
The amazing thing about Scilly is that anything can turn up as noted by the species above. Species from North America, Southern Europe, and Asia.
An uneventful trip back to Penzance then back home to Oxfordshire! All in all a very good week, wouldn’t you agree?

By the way, the blog is 1 year old today!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

one legged Treecreeper

Overcast, 12º, fresh SSW

The “one legged” Treecreeper in the garden again today, did not expect to see that one again as I assumed its survival was limited, but it’s still dealing with it. It appears to have adopted a feeding strategy of sticking to the base of the trees (no higher than 1 metre) where the incline is not as steep. The only time it moved higher was when a Carrion Crow got too close. 20 days since I last saw it in the garden.

Lollingdon Hill.

Still a Starling flock around the hill, up to around 100 birds today and a flock of 200+ Fieldfare with a few Redwing. Also 2 Roe Deer nearby.

2 Grey Squirrel and a pair of Mallard in the garden at dusk.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Cholsey, 25th Nov

Sunny, 12º, light WSW.

At least 2 Bullfinch near the Bullshole and a Song Thrush in Jubilee Wood. A Grey Heron was patrolling a ditch nearby.

Still a flock of around 60 to 70 Starling on Lollingdon Hill along with 20’ish Fieldfare and a dozen Redwing. Redwing numbers slowly building now but Fieldfare still more numerous.
A Raven flew south towards the downs and 2 flocks of Lapwing flew over, again moving south, the first flock consisted of a 100+ and the second a bit more distant of around 50 birds.

The western slope of the hill had a flock of around 80 Linnet and approximately 40 Skylark.

1 possibly more Brambling with a smallish (c30 birds) finch flock near Aston Tirrold.

Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting scattered about over the farmland.
6 Mistle Thrush in the grounds of Cholsey Church and another flock of 30+ Linnet on Cholsey Hill.

At least 6 Roe Deer also seen.

                                   Grey Heron

                                   Roe Deer (buck)

                     Mistle Thrush on the Church spire

 Just liked the shapes the Starlings created

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A quiet and mild November.

Sunny spells, 12º, fresh SSW.

Lollingdon Hill.

Fairly quiet around the hill today, unusually 50+ Starling on the hill feeding also around a dozen Fieldfare and 2 Redwing. A single Corn Bunting singing nearby and 8 Grey Partridge and 12 Skylark.

Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden again and the pair of Mallards turned up just before dusk.

We will be meeting a BBOWT Senior reserve manager and one of their ecologists in the new year regarding Cholsey Marsh.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

More news on Cholsey Marsh

BBOWT have agreed to meet us in the new year regarding their management plan for Cholsey Marsh, Linden Homes are in the process of transferring the land to BBOWT.
Hopefully BBOWT will take our concerns and ideas on board to improve and safeguard the site for wildlife and people.
If anyone has ideas or concerns about Cholsey Marsh, please contact me by email.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Garden Sat 19th Nov

Sunny, 13º, light S

A flurry of activity in the garden this afternoon around an hour before dusk. I could hear Long-tailed Tits calling and looked out to the feeders to see around a dozen Long-taileds on the feeders along with Blue Tits, Great Tits and two Coal Tits passing through, totalling around 30 to 40 birds. Two Treecreepers also went through the garden and a Great-spotted Woodpecker singled out the nut feeder for its self. Within a space of 15 minutes, they had all passed through making their way along the hedgerow in the meadow. Leaving the garden to a pair of Mallards, a Collared Dove and four Chaffinches.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Cholsey, 1066, Churn

Sunny periods, 15º, light S.

Lollingdon Hill

A flock of 600+ winter thrushes, predominately Fieldfare with around 10% Redwing all feeding on Hawthorn berries on and around the hill. 1 Corn Bunting singing, 3 Yellowhammer.

1066 (nr Sutton Courtney)

2 Pintail, 4 Shovelor, 80+ Teal, c10 Wigeon

Churn (nr Blewbury)

Buzzard, Kestrel



Thursday, 17 November 2011

Cholsey 17th Nov

Sunny, 14º, light SW.

Lollingdon Hill.

A Kestrel, 3 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard around the hill, also 2 falconers with a Harris Hawk hunting rabbits. They had also put up 2 Woodcock nearby.

Also met a person by the hill who was into “geocaching”, apparently there were 2 items near Lollingdon Hill to be found!

Flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing still passing through and several Skylark around.

Cholsey Marsh at dusk.

Around 50 Corn Bunting roosting at the marsh so far, I expect this to increase as winter progresses.

Also 2 Water Rail heard, 1 on the riverbank and 1 on the marsh and quite a few winter thrushes (Fieldfare and Redwing) around.

I have also emailed BBOWT asking if they have a management plan for Cholsey Marsh.

A couple of Goldcrest along Church rd and a pair of Mallard in the garden.

Red Kite carrying a big stick, flew around for a few minutes with it then dumped it.

Just thought I would include this pic of a Snow Bunting I found near the Ridgeway at Letcombe Bassett on Tuesday.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Information on Cholsey Marsh

I have written to Linden homes regarding changes being made to Cholsey Marsh and my concerns. Their reply is as follows:

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the above. As part of our ongoing commitment to the development of the site, we have been working with BBOWT (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust) for some time now regarding the maintenance and ongoing management of this valuable area of river bank and nature reserve. As you may be aware the entire site was and continues to be owned by the Homes and Communities Agency and as such Linden Homes do not actually own any of the land, however are building the development under licence. Part of our obligation as set out in the section 106 planning document is to facilitate the transfer of the marshland and riverbank area from the HCA to BBOWT. I am sure that you would share our opinion that BBOWT are best placed to care for this important area in the long term.

As part of the transfer process, we have opened dialogue with BBOWT and are currently discussing amongst other things, the exact alignment of fencing and boundaries separating the Thames path from the marsh land. This will ensure that they are satisfied that it placed correctly to offer both access to the public and the correct level of protection of the habitat. No works in this are take place without their authorisation.

I trust that this will help allay your fears however should you wish to discuss the matter with BBOWT directly I have added a link below that will give you the relevant contact details.

Kind Regards

but what do you think?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Local stuff.

Misty then sunny spells, 15º, light ESE.
There has been a Ring-necked Parakeet today, seen in the West End area, possibly been around for a week?

Quiet elsewhere but 2 Red Admiral butterflies and a Common Darter dragonfly seen today and a couple of Migrant Hawkers this week in Lollingdon. These late insect records almost certainly down to the mild weather we are experiencing for November.

2 Grey Herons frequenting the meadow and brook at nights recently, heard frequently. Also 2 Mallards regular in garden this past week.

Good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing around now seen frequently over the village.

Unknown number of Canada Geese flew over garden calling at 20:20.

Thanks to TW for some info.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Cholsey and Farmoor

Overcast, 11º, light SE.


Snow Bunting still present along the causeway at Farmoor reservoir and apparently the Great Grey Shrike is still present although did not see it.

Lollingdon Hill.

2 Corn Bunting and 4 Grey Partridge on the hill and not much else until I noticed the gulls in the fields to the south begin to lift off. It started on the left of me and progressed to the right as I panned along the line of gulls I noticed a small falcon belting along between the gulls and me. A Merlin, it had obviously spooked the gulls and last seen flying off towards the downs.

Cholsey Marsh.

Quiet today with only Kingfisher and approx 6 Siskin to note.

                       Snow Bunting at Farmoor reservoir.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Birds and Fungi.

Overcast, light rain, 15º, light ESE. Quite mild for November.

2 Mistle Thrush in the meadow, a lot of Finches past the Bullshole, Greenfinch (9), Goldfinch (12), Chaffinch (15) and a few House Sparrow (3+, not usually seen here).

Close to Lollingdon Hill, lots of Fieldfare (c400), Redwing (c30) and Starling (c50) all chattering away in the trees and hedgerows then moving off over the hill towards the downs. Stock Dove (7), Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker present nearby.

Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer and a single Reed Bunting on and around the hill, also 5 Red-legged Partridge and 15 Grey Partridge.

Lots of Gulls and Corvids in the surrounding Fields.

Near the Lees, I found a Stonechat feeding along the long ditch. Several Jay and Magpie at the Lees.

Cholsey Church had 4 Mistle Thrush, 9 Greenfinch and 2 Magpie in the grounds.

15 Corn Bunting on Cholsey Hill.

2 Red Admiral also seen.

A lot of Fungi seen in crop fields today, surprised by the quantity around! Also 2 examples of "Destroying Angel" found in a garden in Church Rd, One of the top 5 most poisonous fungi found in the UK.

I was in Wallingford (the old Waitrose car park) this afternoon and could hear a Ring-necked Parakeet calling but could not locate it.

At least 2 Hedgehogs still visiting garden and Tawny Owls quite vocal in the garden tonight.





                                   Shaggy Inkcap

                                    Not identified yet.

                                   Not identified yet.

                                    Not identified yet.

Green Lane

Green Lane.

Bullfinch (2+), Reed Bunting, Wren, Robin, Green Woodpecker, Red-legged Partridge (3), Buzzard, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove (16), Pheasant, Rook (lots) Chaffinch, Blackbird, Redwing (30), Fieldfare (50).

On Monday there was a female Great Tit that was ringed - the first ever time I have seen a ringed bird in the garden.

Also that day an adult male Slow-worm was found on a grass path - a very late record and hardly moving. It was put under a shelter so it might survive.

Thanks to Tony Rayner for the information.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

No sign of Wheatear

A brief visit to Lollingdon Hill today, no sign of Wheatear but may be present still?

3 Corn Bunting, 20+ Linnet and a handful of Yellowhammer.

2 Lapwing flew west.

Still one or two Red Admirals around.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Wheatear still

Overcast, 12º, light NW.

A trip to Farmoor reservoir this morning where there was a Twite and a Great Grey Shrike.

Missed the Twite but saw the Shrike.

On the way, back I dropped into Lollingdon Hill, lots of Fieldfare initially most heading towards the downs.

In addition, there was a Wheatear still on the hill, certainly the latest I have seen one in the county.

Also 3 Corn Bunting, 20+ Linnet, 6+ Yellowhammer and 4 Red-legged Partridge.

2 Roe Deer nearby.

Recently in the garden there has been a Treecreeper with one leg, interesting to see how it coped climbing the trees. Using its tail to counter the loss of the right leg, it did lose its grip a few times but recovered quickly.

A Wren singing in the garden 2 hours after dark!

                                          Roe Deer

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Cholsey, 3rd Nov

Overcast, 17º, light to fresh SSE.

Lollingdon Hill.

Around 300 Fieldfare and a few Redwing feeding in the hedgerows and fields in the vicinity, all moving slowly towards the downs.

3 Corn Bunting and 6 Grey Partridge on the hill with a few Yellowhammer and Linnet.

Cholsey Marsh.

A few Siskin flying over and a few in the Alders along the river bank, also Kingfisher, Great-crested Grebe and a few Reed Bunting, also a Cormorant on the river. A field nearby had appox 50 Skylark.

Linden homes are currently resurfacing the bottom end of Ferry rd and they are also putting a fence along the reserve upstream of ferry rd separating the reserve from the Thames path!

Don't forget to check your bonfires over this week end to ensure you have no sleepy Hedgehogs in them!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Local news

An interesting Jackdaw around the village - it has a white belly and lots of white in the wings. Seen at the weekend in the pasture field opposite the school.

Short-eared Owl
Sunday afternoon at 17.15 - a silhouette appeared from near the river Thames, flew over the paddock, buffeted by the strong wind, then,  WSW and on towards the A329, flying directly over the TOTAL garage and then up Halfpenny Lane, presumably to the downs...

Thanks to MA & RB

Monday, 31 October 2011

Wheatear still lingering

Overcast,15º light S.

Still a single Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill, possibly the latest I’ve had Wheatear in the county!

3 Corn Bunting flyovers and several 100’s of Fieldfare and a few Redwing moving south.

Also approximately 100 Fieldfare on Cholsey Hill.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A wet one

Rain and more rain, 13º, light NW.

2 brief trips to Lollingdon hill, this morning 15 Corn Bunting, 6 Meadow Pipit and some more flyover Fieldfare and Redwing.

This evening I only found 1 Wheatear looking rather bedraggled in the rain.

A Magpie and 3 Mallards feeding in the garden this morning.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and showers, 11º, light SSE, a good day for double and triple rainbows.

Lollingdon Hill again!

4 Wheatears still present on the hill, also around 20 Meadow Pipits feeding on there.

In addition 1 Corn Bunting, 6 Yellowhammer, a Mistle Thrush, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Buzzard, 3 Red Kite, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

Grey Partridge heard but not seen.
Several small flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare and 2 Pied Wagtail flying over and around 20 Skylark in the immediate area.

A Treecreeper in the garden this morning.
                                    Corn Bunting

                                          Sorry, another Wheatear

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lollingdon Hill, 25th Oct

A few sunny spells, 14º, heavy to light rain and hail, light SSE.

A brief stop at Lollingdon Hill on the way home this afternoon.

4 Wheatear, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 9 Grey Partridge.

Could not find the Black Redstart but was only on the hill for 30 mins.

Black-headed Gulls were more abundant today outnumbering Lesser Blackbacks by 3:1.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

BlackRed still present

The Black Redstart still present on Lollingdon Hill today, seen by several observers on and off.
Did not see it personally today (although thought I heard it call), a Wheatear still on the hill and a few flocks of Fieldfare going over.
Also Corn Bunting seen on the hill.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Black Redstart & Wheatear Lollingdon Hill

Black Redstart still present

Sunny, 12º,light to fresh SSE.

The Black Redstart still present on Lollingdon Hill, mobile and always in the Hawthorns, also 3 Wheatears still present.

A Merlin reported near Halfpenny Lane earlier in the week.

                                         Black Redstart
                                    Black Redstart
                                     Black Redstart
Black Redstart