Thursday, 30 August 2012

30th Aug

A Redstart on Lollingdon hill this morning along with three Willow Warbler, several Whitethroat and Blackcap.

Another day at the Bunkfest, site nearly complete for kick off on midday tomorrow.

A thousand plus gulls passed NNE over the Bunkfest site this evening heading for the roost sites, mainly Lesser Blackback Gulls and a few hundred Black-headed Gulls.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

29th Aug

Another early visit to Lollingdon Hill, a single Hobby, a Willow Warbler, 5 Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap and quite a few Chaffinch on the north side (20+).

A Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden early this morning and when I got back tonight the sunflower heart feeders were both empty, I guess the Green and Goldfinches have been on them most of the day.

Tawny Owls, Hedgehogs and Pipistrelles active in the garden for the past few nights and a Grey Heron in the meadow late yesterday.

A Swift flew over Church rd today, a late one for here!

A wet day at the Bunkfest today, but site coming together OK and should be ready for the open at midday Friday. More at! If you can come check it out, it’s a family friendly festival with lots going on.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

28th Aug

An early visit to Lollingdon hill produced two Redstart and a couple of Whitethroat. Working on Wallingford Bunkfest this week, so not so much time for birding!

A Grey Wagtail in the garden this morning.

Ben Hobbs had around a dozen Sand Martin feeding today somewhere near the sewage works.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Lollingdon, 27th Aug

Overcast, showers, 20º, fresh to strong S.

With a fairly brisk wind blowing there was not a lot on the south side except for one Kestrel and around twenty Jackdaw and Rook seemingly enjoying the windy weather.
A Redstart still present on Lollingdon hill, in the hedgerow to the west, also two Whitethroat and a Blackcap.

Sunday had two Redstart, a Stonechat, four Whitethroat, and a Blackcap (per TW).
Two Swift feeding over Wantage yesterday!


Friday, 24 August 2012

Lollingdon, 24th Aug

Overcast, 20°, freshening SW.
Another Redstart on the hill today, seen initially in the hedge to the west then later on the hill.
Several Whitethroat seen feeding on blackberries, Blackcaps feeding on elder berries and a couple of Willow Warbler and around a dozen Chiffchaff.
Met another birder up there (Peter Law) and we managed to relocate the Redstart.
A single Swift still feeding over Wantage today.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Cholsey, 23rd Aug

Cloudy, a few sunny spells, 22º, light SSW.

Cholsey Marsh was rather quiet, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and approx six Chiffchaff, also two Blackcap, a Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat, several Bullfinch and Great-spotted Woodpecker.
Along the river, a Kingfisher flew to the opposite bank, a pair of Mute Swan with two Cygnets on the river and a Grey Heron flew downriver.

There was a Hobby circling over the small wood at Bow Bridge and a Cormorant in the usual tree near Bow.
No sign of the flycatchers at Lollingdon, a Willow Warbler, several Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and two Whitethroat. A Peregrine circling north of the hill with two Buzzard.

Brown Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies around in numbers today and Banded Demoiselle along the river.
A Great White Egret at Cassington GP today, more at

A quieter day!

Sunny, breezy, 22º, fresh SW.

A walk out to Lollingdon on a sunny but breezy day, a few Chiffchaff around, a Reed Bunting and a few Yellowhammer.

The Spotted Flycatcher family still around and a Willow Warbler nearby, also a couple of Whitethroat and a Blackcap, and two Grey Herons feeding along a ditch, the hill had a couple of Kestrel and a few Jackdaw and Rook enjoying the windy weather over the hill.

A finch flock seen on a recently cut field had around eighty birds, mainly Goldfinch and Linnet and around ten Greenfinch.

Some of the local Swallows and House Martins have left!

The garden getting busier with a family of Greenfinch, a couple of Goldfinch and several Chaffinch turning up regularly and at least five Blackbirds, a Stock Dove and the usual cast of, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock and Wren.

A Muntjac Deer barking in the meadow tonight!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Lollingdon, 21st August

Sunny spells, 22º, light W.

A couple of visits to Lollingdon today overlapping with visits from two other birders. TW arrived first and had a Lesser Whitethroat, a couple of Whitethroats and a Spotted Flycatcher on the south side of the hill.

The flycatcher family still present and quite mobile and one of the Redstart of yesterday still present nearby, another Spotted Flycatcher at the other end of the field giving a total of eight in the area.

Several Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff in the area, two Hobby, a Sparrowhawk, five Kestrel, a Song Thrush, nine Mistle Thrush, three Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper, one Grey Partridge, and two Grey Heron flew over and one settled on the spring.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Redstarts & Spot Flys

Sunny spells, 24º, light W.

A visit to Lollingdon hill on the way home today found the six Spotted Flycatchers still in the area and three Redstarts. One with the flycatchers, one in the hedgerow on the west of the hill and another on the north side of the hill.

A Willow Warbler and two Chiffchaff also seen. Another visit there later with TW and we could only locate one of the Redstarts.

Large numbers of Corvids in the area (mainly Rooks with some Jackdaws), and fewer gulls. Only two Kestrels seen near the hill, a Buzzard and two Red Kite.

Five Greenfinch in the garden this evening, at least two juveniles and two Chaffinch.

Brown Hawker and Blue Emperor dragonflies seen.

Friday, 17 August 2012


Cloudy, a few sunny spells, 22º, fresh SE.

An early visit to Cholsey marsh proved very quiet, a couple of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler present and a Reed Warbler observed but no Sedge Warblers. A Kingfisher seen, a small but steady stream of Black-headed Gulls moving downstream, and a few Lesser Blackback Gulls flying at a higher altitude and in the same direction.

A flock of 60+ Hirundines were over the marsh and may have roosted there, mainly Swallows, c10 House Martin and 2 Sand Martin also.

2 trips to Lollingdon hill today, this morning found another Redstart on the north side of the hill, it then flew over to the Manor house and I lost it. A few Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler in the vicinity and 5 to 6 Mistle Thrush still around.

The south side was dominated by Kestrels, 7 in all and at one point joined by a male Sparrowhawk that took part in an ariel joust with several Kestrels before flying off west. The only other species on the south side were 3 Carrion Crows that would see off the Kestrels if they strayed too close.

Only 5 there this afternoon.

The long dead remains of a Buzzard found yesterday in the middle of an open field and TW found the remains of a Red Kite close to some overhead cables a few months back!

One of the juvenile Sparrowhawks seen in the garden today and the remains of a Wood Pigeon in the meadow being cleared up by the 2 resident Crows. A Green Woodpecker also around most of the day.

Tawny Owls and Pipistrelle bats active in garden again tonight.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Wet stuff again!

Overcast, a few rain showers and a thunderstorm, 20º, light to fresh S.

Went to Cholsey Marsh but it was tipping down so had to give up on that, then later a brief visit to Lollingdon  between rain showers, the Spotted Flycatchers were still present but have moved by about 500m, a couple of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs still present also.

No flycatchers seen this afternoon!

The hill had 2 Kestrel, a Buzzard and 2 Red Kite around along with 3 Magpie and 4 Carrion Crow on the hill, a Chiffchaff briefly in the Hawthorns and a Yellow Wagtail over. A small flock (8) of Long-tailed Tits on the north side.

3 Grey and 4 Red-legged Partridge noted this afternoon, also 9 Mistle Thrush, 8 on the north side and 1 on the south side.

Still large numbers of Corvids and Gulls in the area.

A few species back and visible in the garden again, 2 Robins, 2 Chaffinch, a few Blue and Great Tits and a couple of juvenile Blackbirds as well as the regular Stock Doves.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Lollingdon again!

Sunny spells, 24º, light SE.

4 to 5 hours spent out at Lollingdon today on the hill and the fields to the north. Spotted Flycatchers still present, at least 6 (a family group, did they breed nearby?) in the field and 1 on the wooded north side of the hill.

The hill had 4 Kestrel, 10 Buzzard and 4 Red Kite, either perched in the bushes, on the deck or in the air above, needless to say there were few small birds on that particular patch! Only a Yellow Wagtail flew over and 2+ Bullfinch in the hedgerow to the west.

The flycatchers were back in the field in the area of a couple of Oak trees, I spent quite a time sat there watching them and joined by TW in the afternoon, and as well as the flycatchers there were 3+ Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper, several Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 4 Greenfinch and several Stock Doves.

(TW also had a Redstart in Lollingdon in early August).

9 Mistle Thrush flew over and settled in the next field and a Hobby was catching dragonflies nearby.

A Kingfisher seen flying over the railway at the Bullshole and followed the brook upstream and a male Sparrowhawk further on towards Lollingdon.

Also noted were Lesser Blackback Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting.

A Grey Heron flew over the meadow “calling”, after dark and Pipistrelles active in garden again tonight.

Monday, 13 August 2012

More Spot Flys

Cloudy, sunny spells, 22º, showers later, light S.

Just some brief notes, 2 Swift over Wantage this morning and 1 over Lollingdon hill this afternoon.

Not much on the hill as there was a fair bit of activity harvesting with a combine parked on the hill!
2 Spotted Flycatchers in the garden briefly and flew towards the school and the Sparrowhawks still present in the meadow.

Pipistrelles hawking the garden tonight.

Friday, 10 August 2012


Sunny, 26º, light SE.

4 hours walking around Lollingdon today, proved quite reasonable, the hill was relatively quiet, only 1 Kestrel still present, rather than hovering this one sat on top of the Hawthorns and descended on prey from there, maybe running out of grasshoppers? In addition, there were 2 Pied Wagtails that flew over.

Walking along the track by the manor house I saw a Spotted Flycatcher and realised there was more than just the one, 6 in total all flycatching around the large garden pond and grounds. Just back up the hill on the north side, I heard a Redstart calling and located it about 200m away in a hedgerow that unfortunately I could not get very close to. Both Whitethroat and Blackcap noted.

Back down in the cattle field there were at least 5 Willow Warbler present in the Oak trees, a few Chaffinch (16+) and Tits in the surrounding hedgerow and 15 Stock Doves counted in the vicinity.

A female Peregrine zipped through just above tree top level putting the fear into all and headed towards the downs and around 30 minutes later a Hobby was calling on the far side of a field, flew in to a tree and joined another whilst a third was calling from a tree c50m away. Around 6 Buzzards seen and 4 Red Kites.

Dragonflies and Butterflies much as previously this week! A Blue Emperor dragonfly in the garden this afternoon.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

More migrants

Sunny, 26º, light NE.

A warm day and another day for migrants moving through, first visit to Cholsey Marsh with a Grasshopper Warbler and a Willow Warbler in song, plenty of Sedge Warbler still present around 50% juveniles, 1 Reed Warbler seen.
Secondly, a visit to Lollingdon hill produced another Redstart in the hedgerow to the west. Decided to circumnavigate the hill and take a look at the wooded north side where 2+ Bullfinch were present also a Reed Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat. On the south side of the hill, a Magpie was hassling the 3 Kestrels, and also 3 Mistle Thrush present. The field to the north had a Spotted Flycatcher still and a Willow Warbler.

Popped over to Wantage in the afternoon where 2 Swift were still around, maybe they still have young? Around 20 minutes later that numbered 7 then shortly after that, 40+ went through!
Had a quick look at Churn from the old railway bridge were there was another Redstart and 2 Willow Warblers, 30+ Goldfinch, a Blackcap and 2 Whitethroats.

Chiffchaffs present at all sites.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A minor fall!

Sunny spells, 22º, light NW.

Migrants on the move, one field in Lollingdon today had 5 Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, a Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff, with another Spotted Flycatcher on the wooded north side of Lollingdon hill and a Garden Warbler in the hedgerow to the west.
9 Greenfinch together in the hedgerow where the flycatchers were, the hill had 3 Kestrels still hunting there and a small flock of 9 Long-tailed Tits and 2 Blue Tits and a Willow Warbler. Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Linnets also in the vicinity.

Still a large number of Gulls and Corvids at the pig farm but too distant for any id’s, however Lesser Blackback Gulls regular overhead all flying towards the downs.
Bumped in to a group of local ramblers who were blissfully unaware of a buck Roe Deer that was watching them from approximately 20m in a field, as they passed it ran off and crossed the track in front of me.

3 Sparrowhawks seen near the Lees, a female and 2 juveniles and the same back home in the meadow, late afternoon whilst working in the garden the female came in with prey prompting calls from the 2 young there.
The “reedy ditch” had 1 Sedge Warbler present and a couple of Whitethroats and Blackcaps seen.
Several more Kestrels seen, also a Hobby, several Buzzards and Red Kites.

A few Swallows and House Martins overhead most of the time and still good numbers of the aforementioned around Manor farm along with quite a few House Sparrows and around 8 Collared Doves.
Bumped in to my neighbour Richard

( )  who was feeding the “runner ducks” in his garden and he had some Swifts pass over this morning and has been getting a Kingfisher along the brook on the other side of Church road on a regular basis.
Quite a few Chiffchaffs noted, several Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers seen/heard.
Several butterfly species, Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large and Small Whites, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Holly Blues.

Several Brown Hawkers, 2 Southern Hawkers and a possible Migrant Hawker, also 20+ Common Darters.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Lollingdon Hill

Cloudy, showers, 18º, light W.

Lollingdon hill still had 5 Kestrels feeding over the hill and the 6 Mistle Thrush present. A Buzzard and a Red Kite present, a couple of Linnet and Yellowhammer.

Swallows passing through with up to 50 seen all heading south, still a fair number of Gulls and Corvids in the pig farm area.

Juvenile Tawny Owl on the roof of the bird table tonight!
                         Common Green Grasshopper

Wallingford Bunkfest

Wallingford BunkFest - music, dance, steam and beer

Welcome to BunkFest 2012!
friday 31st aug - sunday 2nd sept

concerts... dance displays... ceilidhs... a marvellous beer festival...
huge Craft Fair... Fab Food from around the world... Community Street Fair...
sessions... workshops... children's BunkFest... vintage displays...
music on river boats and vintage trains... storytelling fringe...
late night festival club... great value camping... Park & Ride + Lift Share...
Once again... ALL events free admission!!!
(except river boats, vintage trains, late night festival club and camping)

Warsaw Village Band

Edward II


Edward II, Oysterband, Warsaw Village Band,
Heron, The Urban Folk Quartet, The Sex Pirates,
Will Tun & the Wasters, Sarah McQuaid, Corncrow, Hipbone Slim,
Dolly & the Clothespegs, Swing ‘Em Fair, The Diatonics, Pete Orton,
Melobo, The Devil's Rejects, The Rough n Ready Boyz, Jon Harvison,
Gipsy Fox, Andy Raven Band, Cliodhna, Jody Wyatt, Monty's Maggot,
Short Drag Roger, Craig Folk, Damian Clarke, Ramblin Minor, Skeptics,
Paul Openshaw, Matthew Beesley, James Weikert,
... and many more... full lineup coming soon!!!

Camping tickets now on sale...
click here for a postal booking form
or here to buy online from WeGotTickets (small booking fee applies)

Check back regularly for the latest news
and click
here if you would like to join the
mailing list and be kept informed.
Last updated 30th July - major update due soon!
Click here to see a roundup of 2011's fab fest...
or here for the main 2011 website...
Come and help us organise BunkFest 2012!
If you'd like to help run BunkFest 2012, email
or click here to download a Friends form in pdf format,
print and get it back to us (instructions on form)

If you can't use pdf files, please call us on
07743 330494 and we will send one to you.Our Friends also include the many businesses and organisations who donate goods, services and money.
If you work in or know of any businesses who would like to be involved in this way,
please get in touch for details of the sort of things we need.

Contact: P.O.Box 16, Wallingford OX10 9YNAdvance booking and information line: 07743 330494
Copyright © 2002-2012 Wallingford BunkFest

Monday, 6 August 2012

6th Aug

Sunny spells and showers, 18º, light to fresh W.

A brief visit to Lollingdon hill produced 6 Mistle Thrush in the Hawthorns and 3 Kestrels still present. Little else around, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting heard and Red Kite, Buzzard and several Lesser Blackback Gulls over.

6 Swift seen over Wantage this morning and at least 1 probably 2 present all weekend, maybe still feeding young!

Pipistrelle bats hawking the garden tonight.
                                   Yellowhammer on the downs.

                                Mistle Thrush (Kestrel behind)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Eddie Lizard

Sunny spells, showers, 20º, light to fresh SW.

Cholsey Marsh was reasonably quiet today, however 2 Grasshopper Warblers heard and seen, I heard one reeling and then another started up behind me maybe one is passage bird as there has not been two heard since mid-May as far as I know.
A few Sedge Warblers seen (one carrying food), a Reed Warbler, a Willow Warbler, several Chiffchaff, Blackcap and 2 Whitethroats. Kingfisher, Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swans and a Great-crested Grebe seen also.
Bow bridge quiet birdwise, but quite a few butterflies there and a Viviparous (Common) Lizard found sunning itself and still a few Pyramid Orchids in bloom.

Lollingdon hill had 5 Kestrels there today and I think they are taking grasshoppers as there is a lot around. 2 Red Kites and a Buzzard, a Pied Wagtail flew over also a few Lesser Blackbacks passing over, the gull numbers have dropped probably due to other fields being ploughed and they are more spread out.

2 juvenile Sparrowhawks in the meadow and garden this afternoon putting the fear in to the local Wood Pigeons, looked as though they were practising their craft, the adult female seen also a bit later.
No Swifts seen today!

Banded Demoiselles and Brown Hawkers seen on the dragonfly side and Red Admiral, Small, Large and Marbled Whites, Comma, Large and Small Skippers, Common Blue, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone.

A Kingfisher seen along Cholsey Brook recently and a Grey Wagtail, also 4 Grey Herons roosting nearby (cheers Richard). A Grey Heron seen today flying at roof height along Station road.

2 Pipistrelles around tonight hawking moths and the Tawny Owls again.