Thursday, 31 July 2014

July bows out!

Cloudy, 23º, light SW.

A late and brief (60 mins) visit to the hill, a light shower passed through and it got quite breezy for a time.

No sign today of any Redstarts but around 15 Chiffchaff counted and present on both sides of the hill.

A flock of 30 Corn Bunting, 10+ Linnet and several Yellowhammer present, a couple of Common Whitethroat and a Blackcap seen and a Hobby flew north over the hill.

Good numbers of Lesser Blackback Gull and Rooks in the vicinity.

Given the weather there were not many butterflies around, however a few were noted; Small Tort, Small White, 2 Large White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Peacock.

A lot of interesting insects around at the moment.

A Goldcrest passed through the garden this afternoon and a Grey Wagtail flew over.

 Pointing at the Hobby that just flew over and Loren got the shot.......just.

 14-spot Ladybird (Loren)
 Buff-tail (Loren)
 Snipe Fly (Loren)
 ? (Loren)
 ? (Loren)
 Small Tortoiseshell

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Sunny, 26º, light W.

Another warm sunny day and a couple of hours spent on the hill, fewer butterflies around today and slightly different birds except for..........!

3 Common Redstart still present, I am assuming the recent warm and stable weather conditions for the last couple of weeks are keeping them on the hill as well as adequate food. The & juv were at the western end and a halfway along the south face in the Hawthorns.

Just a couple of Chiffchaff present, 2 Kestrel still and adjacent fields that are being worked had c300 Lesser Blackback Gull, around the same amount of Rook and 8 Red Kite and Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer around in good numbers.

A few more Blackbird in the hedgerows at the moment taking advantage of berries that are ripening.

A Willow Warbler and a couple of Chiffchaff present around the pond, 2 Song Thrush and a Common Whitethroat and Blackcap nearby. 

Overhead 2 Hobby were hassling a couple of Red Kite that passed over.

Dragonflies; 2 Brown Hawker, 1 Blue Emperor, 2 Southern Hawker, 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small Skipper, Small White, Brimstone, Peacock, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Comma, Small Tort.

 Common Darter
 Common Blue
 Kestrel (Loren)
 Yellowhammer in song (Loren)
 Southern Hawker (Loren)
 Sloe Bug (Loren)
                                      Southern Hawker (Loren)

Monday, 28 July 2014

Same again!

Sunny at first then cloudy, 24º, light NE.

Initially a sunny afternoon then turning cloudy with negligible rain, it keeps missing us here.

3 Common Redstart still present on the hill along with 8+ Chiffchaff around the south face of the hill.

A flock 25 Corn Bunting moving around between one of the fields and the hedgerow and a couple of Yellow Wagtail on the wires, a few Swallow and Swift passing overhead and a handful of Lesser Blackback Gull in the area.

A Willow Warbler and several more Chiffchaff in the grounds of the Manor house around the pond, also Grey Heron and Green Woodpecker noted.

A nearby field where slurry is being sprayed attracted a flock of c30 Rook and 17 Red Kite.

Dragonflies; Brown Hawker, Blue Emperor, Common Darter, Azure Damselfly.

Butterflies; 1 Large White, Small White, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, 1 Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, 1 Holly Blue, 1 Common Blue, Small Tort

Sparrowhawk mobbing one of the Crows in the garden this evening and the young Sparrowhawks still present nearby.

 Common Redstart
 Some of the Red Kites

 Small Skipper
 Small White

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cool Redstarts

Cloudy, 23º, breezy SW.

A slightly fresher, cooler day and a late visit to the hill.

One particular corner of the hill was sheltered and was very active with 3 Common Redstart (1♂, 1 juv & 1f/juv), 2 Common Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff, and 1 Willow Warbler all feeding in a 20 metre stretch of hedgerow.

Also noted were several Yellow Wagtail, 23 Linnet, 3 Yellowhammer, 2 Corn Bunting, 14 Swallow flew SW and 5 Swift flew south, 2 Kestrel, 2 Red Kite and 1 Buzzard, also 48 Lesser Blackback Gull with the corvid flock in the pig fields.

Dragonflies; 1 Southern Hawker, 2 Brown Hawker, 1 Blue Emperor & several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Large White, Peacock, 1 Marbled White, 2 Ringlet, Meadow Brown, 2 Holly Blue, Gatekeeper, 2 Red Admiral, Small Skipper, 1 Large Skipper and 2 Speckled Wood.
 Common Whitethroat
 Harvestman sp ? (Loren)
 ? (Loren)

Spot the difference

 Didcot Power Station

The 3 southern most cooling towers were demolished with 180kg of explosives at 05:01 this morning. Apparently loads of folk stayed up to watch the event in the early hours but we settled on watching the video after the event!

One photo taken several months ago and one taken today from almost the same spot (Loren).

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Warm & Sunny

Sunny, 28º, light NW.

Plenty of raptors in the air today over the hill, 20+ Red Kite, 9 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 3 Hobby, 1 Sparrowhawk, several Swallow and Swift feeding overhead also. I guess they are feeding on insects disturbed by the harvesting.

A single Lesser Blackback Gull flew NW.

A single Redstart still on the hill halfway along in the Hawthorns and several Chiffchaff feeding along the south face as well.

Several Yellow Wagtail in the vicinity, 1 Spotted Flycatcher still around, 2 young and 1 adult Bullfinch on the north side of the hill was unexpected.

Butterflies: Small Tort, Small White, Large White, Green-veined White, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Skipper Large Skipper, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Marbled White, Peacock and Red Admiral.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Blue Emperor and Common Darter.

Common Darter and Migrant Hawker in the garden.
 Common Darter
 Common Blue