Thursday, 30 January 2014

Boggy & Foggy

A dismal day, low cloud, misty with poor visibility, 6º, virtually no wind, slight breeze from the NW.

A walk out to Lollingdon hill and the Lees and very wet underfoot with a lot of water lying on the farmland, c50 Redwing in the tree tops in the meadow and a Song Thrush singing well being the first of 9 heard singing today.

Both Stonechats still present with the one on Lollingdon hill still and the other out by the Lees.

Still good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing around with 400+ of each in the area also 30+ Blackbird, 11 Song Thrush in total and 5 Mistle Thrush, 5 Robins on Lollingdon hill and at least 6 more elsewhere.

Again quite a few gulls on the flooded fields with several hundred each of Lesser Blackback and Black-headed Gulls.

Green Woodpecker heard and a Great-spotted Woodpecker seen, 2 Yellowhammer and a Corn Bunting also on the hill and numbers of Lapwing and Golden Plover seen from the hill towards the pig farm but no count as too misty to see all and get a count.

Raptors not as prominent today due to the weather however, 2 Buzzard, 2 Red Kite, 2 Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and just as I got back to Marymead a Merlin went zipping through just below tree top height towards the village scattering Wood Pigeon, Jackdaws and Rooks in its wake.

A Moorhen back in the garden again feeding on and off today and the Blackcap and 5 House Sparrows regular.

TW checked the Corn Bunting roost at dusk yesterday and noted zero Corn Bunting again so the winter roost may be over?

Also c50 Pied Wagtail flew over the river presumably roosting somewhere in the Little Stoke area.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Another rainy day

Another rainy day and a little cooler, 4º, light NE.

Quite a wet day again and during a brief trip in the car today noted that the local flooding is more widespread again with the Thames overflowing its banks once more and loads of gulls around, one field near Brightwell had well over 600 Black-headed Gull present.

The local playing fields have also had increased numbers of gulls in the last few days.

Activity confined to the garden again today with the Blackcap on and off for most of the day and a single Long-tailed Tit in the garden for a time but high up in the trees. Apart from that just the normal visitors around.

 Long-tailed Tit
 Blackcap & Goldfinch


Sunday, 26 January 2014

RSPB Garden Birdwatch

Results from the RSPB garden birdwatch from today.
Wood Pigeon - 5
Stock Dove - 2
Collared Dove - 2
Carrion Crow - 2
Blackbird - 2
Song Thrush -1
Dunnock - 2
Great-spotted Woodpecker - 1
Wren - 1
Robin - 1
Blue Tit - 4
Great Tit - 2
Coal Tit - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 5
Treecreeper - 1
Blackcap - 1
House Sparrow - 3
Chaffinch - 16
Goldfinch - 22
Greenfinch - 5

Birds that flew over or on the periphery but not counted were, Lesser Blackback and Black-headed Gulls, Grey Heron, Red Kite, Buzzard, Redwing, Fieldfare, Rook, Magpie, Jackdaw, Pied Wagtail, Starling & Green Woodpecker.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Don't forget the RSPB garden birdwatch this weekend. Take part here.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Cholsey Marsh 24th Jan

Overcast, 8º, light to heavy rain showers, light SW, a very dull evening!

Zero Corn Buntings at the roost this evening, somewhat early in the year for the winter roost to be over but maybe the mild weather this winter has contributed, also the water levels are substantially down on 2 weeks ago.  Will make another visit next week to check the roost again.

Around half dozen Reed Bunting present on the marsh, at least 2 Water Rail present, 2 Green Woodpecker and 5+ Common Snipe.

7 Pied Wagtail flew east over the marsh and 3 Song Thrush singing in the neighbourhood.

2 Kingfisher along the river and 2 Cormorant flew towards the 4 Arches and a couple of Mute Swan landed on the river at dusk whilst about 50 Canada Geese flew upstream.

3 House Sparrow back in the garden after not being seen for 10 days or so and the Blackcap still visiting.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The hill

21st & 22nd Jan both days a visit to Lollingdon hill, birdwise similar days, weather wise dissimilar. Yesterday was fairly overcast with a moderate southerly and 6º, heavy overnight rain and today was sunny, light SW and 10º.

Greeted today when we arrived with a Skylark in full song flight over the hill (1st in song for the year) and a couple of Song Thrush singing in the hedge to the east.

Yesterday had my first Chiffchaff of the year in the parish with one along the hedgerow in fields to the north of the hill and 3 Herring Gull with the Lesser Blackback and Black-headed Gull flocks on the flooded fields.

Back to today and the sunny skies had brought out the Raptors with Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine all seen around the hill.

Still plenty of Redwing, Fieldfare and Starling in the area with at least 2 large flocks also Blackbirds frequent and several Song Thrush and 11 Robins noted today with a couple in song.

A few Meadow Pipit noted today along with a couple more Skylark and a Grey Heron.
A flock of Long-tailed Tit and a couple of Bullfinch noted in a hedgerow between Cholsey hill and Hithercroft.

In the garden the Blackcap still visiting but the not seen for a couple of days, also the Moorhens have deserted the garden recently and my theory is that since the brook has risen they may feel more exposed as the vegetation in the brook is submerged so they have moved off temporarily to an area up or down stream to gain more cover as upstream has a hedgerow on both sides and downstream is along fields and does not have a footpath alongside? 


 Fieldfare & Starling
 Carrion Crow