Monday, 30 July 2012


Sunny spells, 18º, fresh W.

A visit to Lollingdon Hill today found a Redstart in the Hawthorns on the hill, I was lucky to hear it calling as I may have missed it otherwise. It tended to stay in the lee of the hawthorns in the brisk breeze and mostly hidden as there was a Kestrel hunting the slopes and up to 5 Red Kites patrolling!
One of the fields on the lower slope was in the process of being ploughed and had attracted 400+ Gulls, Lesser Blackback Gull in the majority, a few Herring Gulls and a few Black-headed Gulls.

At least another 5 Red Kites in this area mainly loafing in the field.
Looks as if most of our breeding Swifts have gone, there were none seen in central Wantage today and yesterday and I noticed none en route back to Cholsey today. The Oxonbirds email group are saying that the Wallingford Swifts have moved on! I would guess that there are still a few around that maybe have young not fledged yet. There were 5 that flew west over Lollingdon Hill today. Did they move off in response to the wet weather coming in?

Only one House Martins nest occupied at Marymead this year and appear to be feeding young.
The remains of a young Wood Pigeon in the garden this afternoon partly cleared up by a Red Kite that swooped in, grabbed a piece and left and one of the Carrion Crows took the rest. I would hazard a guess that the pigeon was initially take by a Sparrowhawk.

Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Gatekeeper butterflies on Lollingdon Hill.

This evening a Green Woodpecker flew through the garden being chased by a Sparrowhawk! Sparrowhawk veered of and the woodpecker flew to the otherside of Churh road.

                                   Redstart (a bit distant)
                                   Red Kite
                                   Lesser Blackback Gull

                                          Following the plough

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