Monday, 30 September 2013

Where there’s muck there’s birds.

Overcast, 18º, light ESE.

Lollingdon hill was quite busy today...........some “muck” had been spread on a field on the south side of the hill last week and it has now been ploughed in. Subsequently there were a lot of birds present on said field feeding on the insects that the “muck” had attracted.
At least 6 Wheatear (at last) present along with 50+ Pied Wagtail, 40+ Meadow Pipit and a very mobile flock of 30+ Linnet. Other species present were 2 Kestrel, a Buzzard, 2 Red Kite and a Great-spotted Woodpecker flew over. 20+ Chaffinch and a couple of Yellowhammer on the north side.

A walk in to Wallingford and back along the Bunk line last Friday (27th), produced a Jay flying over the community hospital and several more en route, 4 Chiffchaff including 1 in song, 3 Green Woodpecker between the SF and the Church, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 House Martin feeding over Cholsey SF.
Cholsey cemetery (26th) hosted 3 Green Woodpeckers and coming out of the churchyard last week, saw approx 10 small Bats circling the Horse Chestnuts. (Per Ben Hobbs).

Several Pipistrelle feeding in Marymead garden recently.

Chiffchaff (courtesy RB)

Pied Wagtail

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


Hazy sunshine, 22º, very light SE.

Still rather quiet in South Oxfordshire no migrants to speak of, 2 Chiffchaff is about all.
As for other species, 5 Meadow Pipit seen, a flock of 40+ Skylark flew over, 2 Kestrel, a Mistle Thrush, 2 Pied Wagtail, 5 Yellowhammer, 30+ Goldfinch and several Red Kite and Buzzard.

24-spot Ladybird seen in Wallingford and a couple of other species recently.
Pics today by Loren Chaplin.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Quiet on the hill

Sunny spells, 20º, light SE.

A foggy start to the day but had cleared by midday......................Lollingdon hill again quiet this evening..................2 Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker (still), several Magpie, a single Red Kite and 2 Buzzard on the hill.

Common Darters present also Small White and Speckled Wood.
At least one Nuthatch and 2 Coal Tit present in the Castle gardens Wallingford at lunchtime today.

 Lollingdon Hill
A veiw from the hill towards the downs

Monday, 23 September 2013


Overcast, 20º, light SE (rain earlier).

A couple of hours around Lollingdon today turned up 7 Chiffchaff with one briefly in song and at last another migrant warbler in a male Blackcap.
 7 Magpie again ranging widely around the hill, 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Linnet, 3 Grey Partridge, 1 Reed Bunting, a couple of Robins in song and overhead 500+ Hirundines passed through, the majority being Swallows and the rest House Martins, One flock consisted of over 100 birds.

A confrontation between a Cat and a Pheasant saw a bit of a standoff and a distant Buzzard being mobbed by a Carrion Crow.
A couple of other Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and plenty of Gulls around.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Where are all the migrants?

Churn & Lollingdon

Sunny spells, 20º, negligible wind.
 Migrants are very thin on the ground this autumn............ down to the weather?????
The Churn area was rather quiet the only migrant being a lone Yellow Wagtail that flew over, a couple of Meadow Pipit, a Chiffchaff, a Kestrel and 2 Buzzard in the area.

Lollingdon Hill was also quiet with a single Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Magpie on the Hill and 2 Hobby high overhead.
Comma and Small White butterflies seen and quite a few Common Darter dragonflies around the hill.

Moorhen back visiting the garden again after an absence of several weeks!
 Green Woodpecker
High flying Hobbys

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Richmond Park

Overcast, 18º, little wind.

It’s been years since  I was last in Richmond Park (I was 8 years old) , still very much the same but more traffic and the addition of Ring-necked Parakeets everywhere.............. The park is a National Nature Reserve, London's largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation and the largest of London’s 8 Royal parks, famous for it's herds of Red Deer and Fallow Deer.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Birding by bike!

Light rain, sunny spells, 18º, light SW.

A cycle ride out to Lollingdon hill this evening produced very little apart from 2 Chiffchaff, a single Meadow Pipit on th hill, a large flock of Sheep being driven from Cholsey to Aston Tirrald along the bridleway held us up for a short time but no problem. A Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Red Kite and 10 Stock Dove elsewhere in Lollingdon and still a good number of Gulls present in the area.
Earlier today a visit to Cholsey marsh saw 2 Hobby hawking dragonflies over the marsh also good numbers of Hirundines (2-300) passing down river, mainly House Martin with a small percentage of Swallows and 3 Sand Martin amongst them.

A Kingfisher flew upstream, a Grey Heron flew downstream and an adult and full grown young Great Crested Grebe on the river, a single Mute Swan drifted by and a couple of Chiffchaff on the marsh.
Several Brown and Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters noted and only a few Small White butterflies.

Still a couple of House Martin visiting a nest site at Marymead and a few Swallow still overhead also a Sparrowhawk overhead on several occaisions. Both Green and Great-spotted Woodpeckers still around the garden and a Coal Tit visited this week.
Lunch in the Castle gardens in Wallingford today produced, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, 2 Goldcrest and several Stock Dove.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Warm sunny spells, showers, cool breezy wind SW, 15º.

A farmland walk out to the Lees and Lollingdon had all weathers......from rain, warm sun, cool wind etc, birdwise saw quite a few Hirundines passing over in excess of several hundred Swallow and House Martin. 2 Wheatear present on a freshly ploughed field near the Lees and a Corn Bunting in the long dyke, 6 Yellowhammer, a few Linnet and several Juv Green Woodpecker seen, 8 Chiffchaff noted including 1 on Lollingdon hill with a small flock of Long-tailed Tits.
A Hobby seen in Lollingdon and 5 Kestrel seen overall and up to 10 of each Red Kite and Buzzard.

Many Gulls around following various ploughs or loafing in fields also overhead and again Lesser Blackback Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and a few Common Gulls noted.
Several Roe Deer noted.

A few Small White butterflies and several Common Darter dragonflies seen.

 Juv Green Woodpecker
 Gulls following the plough
Paul Chandler
All quiet on Lollingdon Hill

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Churn & Lollingdon

Rain, 15 º, fresh, blustery 6 SW.

Churn was relatively quiet in the blustery conditions, a single Red Kite the only raptor noted, a flock of c100 Starling foraging the stubble fields and c50 Goldfinch feeding on weedy areas and approx 500 Rooks present in the area.
A few small flocks of Swallows and House Martins moving through and keeping low to the ground in the wind.

Lollingdon hill quiet again, 6 Swallow feeding close to the hedgerows and 7 Magpie present on the hill along with 2 Kestrel.
A large number of gulls following the ploughs near the pig farm alongside the A417, c1000 mainly Lesser Blackback, Black-headed and a few Common Gull noted but was driving so could not see if any other species present and 1 Lesser Blackback dead on the road.

A Little Egret on the Thames at Winterbrook this morning seen by Leon Chandler and a Grey Heron in the meadow this evening and 5 House Martins still present around Marymead.

Pipistrelle bats frequent in the garden recently
Starlings foraging in the stubble 
Loren foraging for Elderberries

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Home and away.

Rain and more rain, 14º, minimal wind.

Have been in Surrey for the past week and not seen a great deal other than Ring-necked Parakeets, several hundred would fly over each evening to a presumed roost site also quite a few Starling seen around and several Swallow and House Martin over a local reservoir.
A visit to Lollingdon hill today proved rather fruitless, only a single Chiffchaff, 4 Swallow feeding low around the trees, 2 Brown Hare and 2 distant Roe Deer.

A few Swallows and House Martins still around the village.
The past week has seen another Stonechat on the hill and a Hobby overhead, also a flock of 250+ Starling (mainly juvs) in the village yesterday feeding on Elderberries but none present today (per TW).

Migration on the hill this autumn has been poor with no Wheatears (yet) and very few migrants at all!

Ring-necked Parakeets

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Lollingdon Hill

Sunny, 22º, light to zero wind S.

A walk around Lollingdon hill this afternoon produced a Redstart and a juv Whinchat (there has also been a Whinchat and a Stonechat on the hill at the week end per TW), also 2 Yellowhammer, 5 Chiffchaff, 30+ Goldfinch feeding on the thistles and a Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker and a steady stream of Lesser Blackback Gulls and Corvids flying over.
Good numbers of Black-headed Gulls over the village late afternoon also Swallow and House Martin still around Manor Farm/Marymead area.

Both Large and Small White butterflies and Speckled Wood noted along with Migrant Hawker and several Common Darter dragonflies.
Tawny Owls still around the garden at night and Pipistrelle bats at dusk.

A pair of Grey Wagtail fledged 3 young at the Old Mill.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Wallingford Bunkfest

 The Roving Crows
 The Roving Crows
 The Roving Crows
 The Albion Band
 The Albion Band
 The Albion Band
 Geordie MacKeeman & his Rythmn Boys