Friday, 29 April 2011

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Cholsey, 28th April

Sunny, 16º, fresh N.

10:00 – 15:30

Followed the railway to Winterbrook, then along the Thames to the 4 Arches, back to Bow Bridge and along Caps Lane to the village.


60+ Hirundines feeding over Cholsey sewage farm, mainly House Martins with around 10 Swallows and a Pied Wagtail and Yellow Wagtail nearby.

At least one, possibly 3 pairs of Lapwing breeding. Probably the only ones breeding in the parish these days.

2 pairs of Grey Partridge and 3 Red-legged Partridge. Most Linnets seemed to have paired up but a flock of around 15 seen and 1 Willow Warbler singing near Wallingford Bypass.

Whitethroat, Skylark, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting regular.


3 Sparrowhawks in the air at one time, 1 and 2. The was one of the biggest Sparrowhawks I have seen (No, it wasn’t a Gos).

A steady trickle of Swallows moving up river along with 1 House Martin and 2 Sand Martins.

1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling on Cholsey Marsh briefly along with the usual although rather subdued in the early afternoon.

2 Lesser Whitethroats and 1 Garden Warbler heard singing between Bow Bridge and the Marsh.

A Kestrel hunting over the Marsh and a Grey Heron nearby.

65 species seen/heard today.


Only a Fox seen.


Another Large Red Damselfly seen and a Banded Demoiselle. 2 Common Clubtails and a single Broad-bodied Chaser.


Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, both Large and Small Whites, Holly Blue, Comma, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip, 1 Green-veined White and 2 Small Copper.

Lollingdon Hill this evening produced 1 Wheatear, 1 Green Woodpecker + Corn Buntings,  Linnets, Skylarks etc.

                                   Broad-bodied Chaser

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Cholsey, 27th April

Sunny, 16º, fresh NE.

A nice Redstart found near Lollingdon along with 2 Lesser Whitethroats.
1 Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill (different bird from yesterday).

Whitethroats are very widespread, possibly the commonest warbler along with Sedge Warbler which are more habitat specific. Around 8 Sedge Warbler singing near the Lees along with 2 Reed Warblers.

House Martins prospecting last years nest site at Marymead and a few more seen over the village.

The Moorhen along the brook is having a hard time with one young taken by Carrion Crows and another by a Dog. That makes 1 left out of 3 young.

Several Mallard with ducklings seen on various brooks.

2 Grey Partridge and around 6 Red-legged Partridge seen, 5 Yellow Wagtail and 8 Swallow.

A single Hare noted.

Hedgehog in garden again this evening.

3 Large Red Damselflies seen, my first Dragonflies of the year.

Also another Red-tailed Bumblebee.

                                          Speckled Wood

                                          Dryad's Saddle

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Lollingdon Hill, 26th April

Overcast, 12º, light NE.

1 Wheatear
1 Yellow Wagtail
1 Whitethroat
1 Green Woodpecker
+ Linnets, Corn Buntings and Skylarks.
2 Swallows flew in, fed for around 5 mins and then continued north.

Cholsey Marsh at Dawn, 26th April.

05:00 – 06:15

As I arrived, a Cuckoo flew overhead singing, managed to track it down where it joined another, a female. While watching these two another Cuckoo flew over heading up river.

2 Grasshopper Warblers reeling on the marsh, both at the northern end of the marsh today and the Lesser Whitethroat was in the same field as previously.

Many Sedge Warblers, a few Reed Warblers, Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs all singing. Negative on Willow and Garden Warblers today.

Kingfisher, Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers seen.

A Muntjac also seen.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Lollingdon Hill, 25th April


Sunny, 19º, light NE.
short visit on way home.

2 Wheatear
1 Yellow Wagtail

Also a single Hare.

First 2 swifts over the village on Easter Sunday.
The first Rooks had fledged by Saturday.
Two pairs of Blue Tits started incubating on 23rd.
Thanks to RB.

Two new butterfly species for Cholsey recorded today - Grizzled Skipper and Green Hairstreak.

Thanks to Tony Rayner

Hedgehog in garden this evening.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Birdwatching open day at Farmoor reservoir Sunday 24th April, 9am – 2pm

Enter via gate 3 on the B4017 between Farmoor & Cumnor.
Open to all levels of experience In Focus sales area for optics.
Visit Pinkhill and Shrike Meadow reserves.
Blackwells Bookshop will be present with a selection of top Bird and Natural History titles on offer. Experienced Birdwatchers from Oxford Ornithological Society will accompany visitors.
Do you watch bird and think 'I wish I knew more about them?
Do you want to discuss birding matters with similar minded people?
Then come and meet us at Farmoor.
For further information please contact Barry Hudson OOS secretary 01993 852028

Cholsey, 21st April, part II

Sunny, 24º, Light N. (a bit warmer than this morning)

The Lees
Stream full of Phragmites (approx 500m stretch), hosted 14 singing Sedge Warblers, 1 Reed Warbler seen and a couple of Reed Buntings. More Reed Buntings singing in a field of Oil seed rape.
1 Corn Bunting, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and 4 Grey Partridge in vicinity.
A queen Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) seen also.

A Sparrowhawk over the village and 2 House Martins. Also a Yellow Wagtail flyover garden tick.

Cholsey, 21st April, part I

Cool, 7º, light mist.

Cholsey Marsh, 05:00 - 06:30
1 Cuckoo
3 Grasshopper Warbler
4 Reed Warbler
20+ Sedge Warbler
3 Chiffchaff
5 Whitethroat
2 Blackcap
1 Lesser Whitethroat (bit further up river)
2 Willow Warbler
c8 Reed Bunting
1 Grey Heron
2 Swallow, Kingfisher, Bullfinch, 3 Greylags etc.

(info for evening of 20th April at Cholsey marsh,
2 Grasshopper Warblers,
1 Grass Snake
and a vixen Fox hunting small mammals.
thanks to RB for info).

Lollingdon Hill 06:45 – 08:00

4 Wheatear
1 Willow Warbler
1 Blackcap
1 Whitethroat
1 Yellow Wagtail
1 Meadow Pipit
Skylarks, Corn Buntings and Linnets.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Lollingdon Hill, 20th April

Sunny, 21º, Light N.

4 Wheatear
1 Yellow Wagtail

1 Peregrine
(Whinchat seen on Sunday 17th per TW)

House Martins over the village today and Swallows back at Manor Farm.

Lollingdon Hill this evening.

3 Wheatear
4 Yellow Wagtail
18 Linnet

Butterflies, Large White, Comma, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Orange Tip.

Only mammals seen recently are Rabbits!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Cholsey, 19th April

Sunny, 21º, negligible wind.

Lollingdon and the Lees

5 Wheatears on Lollingdon Hill also 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Meadow Pipits and the usual Corn Buntings around.

Another Yellow Wagtail out by the Lees and another Corn Bunting singing. Other Totals include 9 Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 12 Sedge Warbler and 6 Swallows.

Skylarks, Yellowhammers and Reed Bunting all fairly common.

A brief visit to Cholsey Marsh this afternoon proved rather quiet, a few Sedge Warbler singing along with 2 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat and a small passage of Swallows, numbering around 30 following the line of the Thames, also a Sparrowhawk.

6 Butterfly species: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Large White, Holly Blue, Peacock.

            One of the local Carrion Crows using the garden bird bath!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Cholsey Downs, 16th April

Cholsey: Cholsey DownsMerlin: fem. Sitting on post at head of Dean's Bottom, viewed from track up from Fair Mile to Ridgeway. SU544824.
(per Peter Law)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cholsey 15th April

Cloudy, bright, 13º, Light SW.

Cholsey Downs and Fairmile.

20+ Wheatear between the Fairmile and Juniper Valley + 6 Corn Buntings, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, Jay,  etc.
Lollingdon Hill.

5 Wheatear
2 Yellow Wagtail

1 Ring Ouzel (also seen by TW)

Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Peacock and Holly Blue seen.

                                   Corn Bunting
                                   Yellow Wagtail
            Red Kite and Buzzard. The Kite had a Blue plastic streamer hanging from it?

An email from a birder in Cholsey.

“Had my first Yellow Wagtail in west Cholsey today.
The Moorhens on Cholsey Brook have 3 surviving chicks (c.6 days old), no Blue tit eggs yet in the lined nest in my nest box (a box in Wallingford already has incubating Great Tits, which are usually later than Blue), a Dunnock nest in my garden failed with 2 eggs (cause unknown - female nobbled?), and today I had a pair of Starlings in the garden - very unusual.
A pair of Jackdaws became trapped in my neighbour's house while they were on holiday - you would not believe the mess. They came down the chimney and were surviving on the contents of a bowl of fruit!
A Buzzard was attacking the Rookery near the school yesterday, diving right onto nests (probably trying to grab the half-grown chicks).
An hour's ringing in the garden yesterday produced just 5 Blue Tits (3 recaptures). Neither of the females had a fully developed brood patch.”

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Cholsey Fairmile 14th April

Short-eared Owl still today hunting along the fairmile 17:00
+Ring Ouzel.

(per Dave Lowe)

Cholsey, 14th April

Overcast, 12º,Light SW.
Cholsey Marsh to Bow Bridge 06:00 – 08:00
1 Cuckoo, a single Common Sandpiper flew up river.
5 Song Thrush heard singing along with 4 Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 10 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and 5 Chiffchaff. Also seen and or heard
1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpecker, 12 Reed Bunting, 2 Buzzard, 4 Greenfinch, 2 Bullfinch and a single Kingfisher.

Lollingdon and the Lees.

1 Grey Heron still in area.
9 Buzzard (5 in the air at one time with 2 Red Kite), 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Peregrine.
7 Song Thrush and a few Mistle Thrush.
Lollingdon Hill produced 9 Wheatear, 5 Corn Bunting, several Linnet and 5 Red-legged Partridge.
Skylark and Yellowhammer fairly common.
6 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler (incl 1 in the Brook Meadow), 6 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Unusually, 4 House Sparrows at feeders today. Don’t usually see them in the back garden.

Both Blackcaps have ceased visiting the feeder now. Maybe they have migrated?
64 bird species today.

                                  Song Thrush

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Yesterdays Short-eared Owl

                            Short-eared Owl, 12th April, Cholsey Downs

                                            Courtesy © Roger Wyatt

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cholsey, 12th April

Sunny, partial cloud, 12º, Light SW.

Cholsey Marsh to Bow Bridge.
Arrived at dawn to a Cuckoo singing on the marsh and lots of Sedge Warblers singing (14) from the marsh to Bow Bridge.

3 Reed Warblers, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Kingfisher, 1 Swallow.
(also 2 Garden Warbler near the 4 Arches, per RW)

Lollingdon and the Lees.
6 + Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill, 2 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Peregrine (flew east), 1 Meadow Pipit, 3 Swallow, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Grey Partridge, 5 Corn Bunting.

(Marsh Tits seen between Bow Bridge and Wallingford recently)
 Short-eared Owl, Cholsey Fairmile early evening (RW)

Butterfly species today, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoishell and Holly Blue.

                                         Yellow Wagtail

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Cholsey Marsh and Downs, 10th April

Cholsey Marsh.

Cuckoo, 5 Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and a Raven.
2 Roe Deer, Fox.
Red Admiral, Orange Tip, Brimstone, Bombus hypnorum (Tree Bumblebee).

(Per MA)

Cholsey Downs
3 Wheatear
1 Raven
8+Red Kite
4 Buzzard
2 Whitethroat
2 Blackcap
2 Willow Warbler
2 Chiff-chaff
4 Red legged Partridge

(per Ewan)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Cholsey 9th April

Cuckoo and Reed Warbler at Cholsey Marsh this morning. Thanks to Brian Wyatt for the information.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Lollingdon Hill, 8th April

Sunny, 15º, negligible wind.

Still 6 Wheatears on Lollingdon Hill, 1 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Swallow, Skylarks, Linnets, Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings.


(Fair Mile 8th April
2 Marsh Harrier: Not knowing how many of each harrier species were reported yesterday, I identified this pair as Marsh since I saw no white rump when they flew. Both were perched in the same tree as I approached. SU555834.

Peter Law)

Also a Whitethroat reported in area yesterday.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Cholsey 7th April

Sunny, 20º, Light N.

Another glorious day, most of it spent in the Lollingdon area.
At least 5 possibly 6 Wheatears on Lollingdon Hill, Also 2 Swallows, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, a single Goldcrest and a Little Owl in the Lollingdon area.

Quite a few pairs of Linnets on the farmland now, several singing Corn Bunting (6) and Yellowhammers (10).
2 Grey and 4 Red-legged Partridge.

A brief visit to Cholsey Marsh produced 5 Sedge Warblers with a further 3 along the Thames towards Bow Bridge. 3 Swallows, 2 flyover Grey Wagtail and 3 Pied Wagtail, a Kestrel hunting over the marsh and a single Meadow Pipit.
A Peregrine also seen high over the marsh.

Plenty of Buzzards and Red Kites at both sites today.
4 Roe Deer seen by Bob Wyatt who I met in Lollingdon and I saw 2 Muntjac Deer, and a single Hare.
5 Butterfly species and 60 bird species seen today.

Other info!
Brian Wyatt reported an Osprey seen from Wallingford today towards the Thames. More than likely following the river and passed thru Cholsey airspace.

Roger Wyatt had a Hen Harrier on Cholsey Downs yesterday and seen again today further west near the A34 also a Marsh Harrier seen in the same area on the Downs as well.
Both and Blackcap today also Mistle Thrush all taking sultanas and
a Great-spotted Woodpecker

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wheatears and Butterflies

Sunny, 21º, light SW.

Had a call from TW to say there were 8 Wheatears on the south side of Lollingdon hill this morning and still there at 16:00 including some cracking males. Also a singing Corn Bunting and a Grey Heron seen distantly.

Cholsey Marsh, much the same as yesterday.

5 Butterfly species today – Comma, Brimstone, Small Tortoishell, Peacock and Orange Tip.

Blackcap still visiting the garden feeder!
                                  One of todays many Buzzards

                                  Mistle Thrush sunbathing

                                  Some of todays Wheatears

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Cholsey, 5th April.

Lollingdon and the Lees

Overcast, showery, 11º, fresh SW.
A quiet morning, probably down to the weather. A Willow Warbler heard and seen near Lollingdon, several Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and 1 swallow.

1 Meadow Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, Stock Doves, Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings are the only other species of note.
Thames, Cholsey Marsh to Winterbrook.

Weather conditions improved a little this afternoon and so did the birds! At least 6 Willow Warblers in song, 14 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcaps seen and heard and 3 Sedge Warblers singing intermittently on Cholsey Marsh.
2 more Swallows seen, 4 Bullfinch, 20+ Linnet and 2 Lapwing.

Great Crested Grebe seen on nest, Mallard with 10 ducklings and both Buzzard and Red Kite seen carrying nest material.

Only 2 Gulls, both Lesser Blackbacks seen, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Kingfishers and 2 Sparrowhawks.
NO Cormorants, Fieldfare or Redwing today! 55 species today!

First Hedgehog of the year seen last night in garden!

Potential gravel extraction in Cholsey.

There is a proposal to extract gravel in Cholsey! The information I have concerns 2 areas.

1. An area bordered by Cholsey Sewage Farm, the Wallingford road, Bunk railway and the Wallingford bypass.

2. An area by the Thames bordered by the river, the new Wallingford road bridge and the Reading road almost down to Bow Bridge!
As far as I understand, the proposal will be discussed by Oxfordshire County Council in June.
Oxfordshire County Council wants to extract 4.9m tonnes of aggregate from land between Cholsey and Wallingford over 25 years.

If this goes ahead and they landscape it I'll be zipping around in my hover chair bird watching!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Cholsey, 3rd April

Several hirundines over Cholsey Sewage Farm, mainly House Martins.

(per BJW)

Cholsey Downs
 c14 Wheatear
20+Meadow Pipit
Corn Bunting
11 Fieldfare
Willow Warbler

                                  One of the 14 Wheatears © Badger
(per Badger)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Cholsey Marsh

1 Sedge Warbler
2 Swallow
1 Common Snipe
1 Little Grebe

(per RB)


An environmentally friendly garden in Cholsey has produced the amazing counts of the following in the past week.

99 Slow Worms
9 Grass Snakes
2 Common Lizards

Goes to show that with the right environmental conditions it works!