Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Quiet month end

Sunny, 21º, light SW.

Looks as though it will be the driest September on record and maybe the warmest?

Not much today, a walk in to Wallingford alongside the bunk line produced little other than a flock of 17 Yellowhammer and a singing Chiffchaff.

No dragons but a few butterflies; 2 Common Blue, several Small White, 2 Peacock and a Comma.

Tawny Owls in the garden again tonight and rather vocal.

Monday, 29 September 2014

A walk to the hill

Cloudy with little sunshine, 18º, light SW.

A walk out to Lollingdon.

Plenty of gulls around today scattered in fields that had recently been worked, mainly Lesser Blackback Gull with a number of Black-headed Gull and 2 Herring Gull.

Quite a few Meadow Pipit, 17 Yellowhammer, 20+ Pied Wagtail, 2 Reed Bunting and a handful of Skylark.

There were 3 Wheatear on the hill but little else other than the Kestrel (with no tail), a few Red Kite and Buzzard overhead and a single Swallow flew south.

20+ Chiffchaff in total with a couple in song, Great-spotted and Green Woodpecker, 3+ Jay and another single flew west from the Bullshole.

A Grey Wagtail on a garden pond and a Grey Heron flew in.

Dragonflies; 2 Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White and Speckled Wood frequent, 8 Red Admiral and 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

A Hedgehog in the garden this evening for it's 4th day.

Meadow Pipit
Grey Wagtail
 2 Wheatear

Friday, 26 September 2014

Another Chat

Sunny spells, 20º, light NW.

A brief visit to the hill today found 6 Wheatear and a single Whinchat turning up this time, along the south face.

Was not aware of the number of Meadow Pipit around until a Sparrowhawk flew low over the field they were feeding in and just over 100 were flushed along with c20 Skylark.

4 Chiffchaff around and 60+ Hirundines mainly Swallows but also 20+ House Martin through also a couple of Jay still present in the area.

Dragonflies; Several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Small Tortoiseshell and singles of Brimstone, Peacock and Red Admiral.

A Hedgehog and a couple of Pipistrelle Bats in the garden last night.


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Chat time

Mainly cloudy with little sunshine, 18º, breezy WSW.

After yesterdays influx of Chats there was 1 Stonechat (diff from yesterday) and 1 Wheatear on the hill today, also 2 Pied Wagtail, 20 Swallow and 7 House Martin overhead.

4 Chiffchaff around the hill and 3 Jay on the north side, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Kingfisher and a Grey Heron noted nearby.

Dragonflies; 2 Southern Hawker, 1 Migrant Hawker & several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Sunny spells, mainly cloudy with a breezy NW, 17º.

Quite a few Swallow passing over the hill today averaging close on 100 per hour. Flying low in the breezy conditions with some lingering and feeding over the sheltered south face, c300 noted.

5 Stonechat present along with 4 Wheatear and a Pied Wagtail, c20 Meadow Pipit feeding in a nearby field and a Hobby in the area.

2 Kingfisher still around nearby and a single Chiffchaff in a sheltered spot.

2 Yellow Wagtail in a garden in Cross roads briefly. (per BH).

Dragonflies; a few Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 of each Comma, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell.

3 of the Stonechat present

Just about make out all 5 Stonechat on the hedge in the distance.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Jays and more!

Cloudy with hazy sunshine and a little cooler than of late, 18º, light SSW.

More Jays seen today with 9 in a short stretch of hedge on the south side of the hill and they flew off towards Kingstanding hill and the downs. Another 1 flew into trees on the north side of the hill, at least 2 more seen and heard further back and another 2 flew from a hedge on the east side of the hill making a total of at least 14 and all moving in a southerly direction. So with TW’s sighting yesterday makes a total of at least 26 in 2 days. Is there a movement of Jays in the county?

A Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, a Redstart (diff from yesterday) and 4 Chiffchaff on the hill, 6 Meadow Pipit and 4 Swallow over.

2 Kingfisher nearby.

A Mistle Thrush seen near the church earlier.

A Redstart behind my garden along the brook. Also 6 Grey Wagtails coming into roost. (per RB).

Cholsey Marsh; much the same as yesterday + a large Tit flock including a couple of Goldcrest and Treecreeper plus a Hobby overhead. (minus the Jays) (per TW).

Dragonflies; a Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; a few Small White and Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock and 1 Red Admiral.

A couple of the Jays from a distance.
Roe Deer

Monday, 22 September 2014

Elusive birds and posing insects

Sunny, thin high cloud, 20º, light NW.

A walk in to Wallingford after lunch alongside the Bunk line.

40+ House Martin over Cholsey SF then drifted off south and 6 Swallow feeding over the fields north of Manor farm.

20+ Meadow Pipit and a Chiffchaff were the only other birds of note.

Later on Lollingdon Hill; 1 Redstart, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail.

Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Grey Heron, 8 Yellowhammer, 4 Red Kite, 1 Buzzard and a Kestrel.

(Per Tony Williams; A Raven flying over the hill on several occasions recently.
20+ Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and 1 Blackcap along the Thames between Ferry road and the 4 Arches also an interesting sighting of at least 12 Jay flying high south!)

Dragonflies; 2 Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White and Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 4 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Comma.

A Coal Tit in the garden on a few occasions this morning.

Birds were very elusive to photograph today but the insects posed in the autumn sunshine. 

Even the Grey Heron was trying to evade the camera
Red Admiral
 Common Darter
 Southern Hawker
 Small Tortoiseshell

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Birds & Bats in the garden

Overcast, 17º, light NE

A Chiffchaff in the garden today and 28 Goldfinch and a Yellow Wagtail over the garden.

Several Pipistrelle Bats hunting the garden tonight.

Bath time for one of the local Wood Pigeons

Friday, 19 September 2014

Everyday different!

Warm, muggy, thunderstorms, 20º, light NNE.

Every day seems different on the hill lately with today no exception with at least 53 Pied Wagtail (incl 2+ “White" Wagtail)  counted along the south face, also 2 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Meadow Pipit.

A field to the west that was in the process of being ploughed had 35+ Stock Dove plus a similar number of Wood Pigeon and over 100 Lesser Blackback Gull loafing nearby accompanied by a single Herring Gull again.

A Tit flock on the north side consisted of 40+ birds (c25 Long-tailed, 9 Blue and 6 Great Tit) with 2 Goldcrest and at least 3 Chiffchaff present.

8 Chiffchaff in total today, 8 Yellowhammer, a Hobby, a Grey Heron, 1 Great-spotted and 1 Green Woodpecker.

A Stock Dove, Moorhen, Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail in the garden today.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker and 1 Southern Hawker (in garden).

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 4 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell.


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Kite flying

Cloudy with a little sun, 24º, light NE.

Another warm and muggy day with a lot of farming activity around the hill today with 3 fields being worked.

Again quite a few raptors in the air with 24 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard and a Hobby over the hill area also around 200 Lesser Blackback Gull, 1 Herring Gull and 20+ Black-headed Gull on a field being ploughed.

6 Chiffchaff in the area, 1 Blackcap, 6 Yellowhammer, a small flock of 12 Swallow overhead and 2 Kingfisher nearby.

Dragonflies; 2 Migrant Hawker, 1 Southern Hawker, 2 Brown Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock, 1 Large White.

Hoverfly sp (Loren)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Warm hazy sunshine, 24º, light NNE.

2 Wheatear on the hill today along with 4 Chiffchaff and a Kestrel but that was about it.

Sparrowhawk in the garden briefly today.

Dragonflies; 1 Southern Hawker, 2 Migrant Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, 5 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Large White.

Yesterdays ♂ Kestrel appears to have lost all it's tail feathers.
A distant rubbish shot of one of the Wheatear.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A little movement

Mostly cloudy with hazy sunshine, light ENE.

A couple of hours and a different feel to the hill today with a Yellow Wagtail over, 23 Meadow Pipit and 21 Swallow all moving south.

A single Chiffchaff and 2 Jay noted.

Over 20 Red Kite and 14 Buzzard counted in the area, also 2 Kestrel.
8 House Martin flew over the garden when on the way out.

Dragonflies; 1 Southern Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Meadow Brown.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A few migrants

Sunny, 22º, very little wind NE.

Just a couple of migrants around on the hill today, a single Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaff.

50+ Linnet present, 5 Yellowhammer, both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, several Buzzard and Red Kite overhead and a Grey Heron nearby and at least 5 Robins around.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker & 1 Brown Hawker.

Butterflies; several Small White, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 1 Meadow Brown & 1 Gatekeeper.

At least 3 Tawny Owls present around the garden most evenings and very vocal!

Spotted Flycatcher

Speckled Wood

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Egyptian Goose invasion!

Sunny spells, 16º, breezy NE.

At least 32 Egyptian Geese stood on river edge, they then flew and more counted, perhaps 40 along the river Thames adjacent to Cholsey Marsh, also a Common Sandpiper along the river bank (per MA).

The highest count of this goose species in Cholsey as far as I am aware! 

Egyptian Geese (archive pic taken c70miles dowstream as the goose swims)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pretty quiet here!

Sunny spells, 22º, light NE.

No change in the weather, fairly sunny, warm, dry, light north to east winds and very little bird movement at least around here also the grass was being cut on the south face so nothing there. Where are all these scarce migrants that the east coast is getting along with Scilly, Bardsey etc that's on the other side of the country?...............................Ah hang on a minute, this is Oxfordshire................................! We can dream though.

A few hours spent on the hill and again little to show for it, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Meadow Pipit (first of the autumn), 6 Yellowhammer, 30+ Stock Dove, 1 Green Woodpecker, a few Buzzard and Red Kite overhead and the fields around that were being worked had a good number of Rook, Lesser Blackback Gull and a few Jackdaw present.

A Grey Heron seen nearby.

2 Goldcrest in the garden this morning.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood and 1 Brimstone.

Crane Fly (Loren)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A little better than yesterday!

Sunny spells, 22º, light NE.

Another warm day and not much change on the hill since yesterday although after scouring many of the hedgerows in the area I managed to find 5 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 1 Green Woodpecker, a couple of Yellowhammer, 2 Kestrel and a small Tit flock of Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tit.

The south face of the hill was also quiet, 1 Sparrowhawk flew over, up to 8 Red Kite at times soaring overhead and 10+ Buzzard overhead.

100+ Swallow over the village this morning all moving in a southerly direction and a single Jay flew over Honey Lane.

Dragonflies; 1 Brown Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

Common Darter

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Not a single migrant on the hill

Sunny, 22º, light S.

Not a single migrant noted on Lollingdon hill today, quite a contrast from the last few weeks and Portland!
Several Buzzard and Red Kite in the area and several Lesser Blackback Gull overhead was about all.

20+ Linnet, 1 Song Thrush and a few Yellowhammer noted nearby.

A Willow Warbler noted in the garden today.

Dragonflies; Several Common Darter, 1 Migrant Hawker (in the garden).

Butterflies; Small White, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Brimstone, 1 Peacock.

 Green-veined Whites
                                            Wren dustbathing 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Migrants a Whooper and a Cuckoo

During the past week TW has been visiting Lollingdon hill and has noted Redstart still present plus Wheatears and Whinchats passing through. 

Lots of common migrants also seen on the downs.

I had an email in the week referring to a bird heard “whooping” around the centre of the village. As I was not around I got word to a couple of local birders to check it out and as I have not heard anything I assume it did not come to anything.

Email; “I am getting reports of an unusual bird call in the village in the last three days. The latest report was from Little Lane yesterday - when an unusual whooping sound was heard. This is similar to the report of Tuesday when a similar sound was heard behind The Forty and close to the Rec”.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Cholsey
Juv Cuckoo with a Fox Moth caterpillar or a Fox moth caterpillar with a juv Cuckoo, Cholsey. (Courtesy Roger Wyatt).

Sunday, 7 September 2014

They go South, we go North

Misty with some sun, 20º, very light NNE.

Last day on Portland, sultry day weather wise and some good Viz-Mig.
The sea watching has been dire this week however a single Balearic Shearwater seen today.

As for the land a noticeable increase in a couple of species with c250 Wheatear and 30 or so Whinchat noted. Swallow was also noted in good numbers with a steady flow most of the day and a few large flocks seen c500 birds through the day, 5 House Martin, 40+ Yellow Wagtail, 7 Grey Wagtail, 12 Tree Pipit, 3 Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 50+ Willow Warbler, 3 Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 juv Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Little Ringed Plover, and at last a flyover Ortolan Bunting!

A noticeable tail off on passage after midday.

A stop off on Ferrybridge on the way back produced 20+ Wheatear, 3 Sandwich Tern, 1 Knot, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, several Dunlin and Ringed Plover.

Dragonflies; Common Darter.

Butterflies; Red Admiral, Small Copper, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and 1 Clouded Yellow.

Pied Flycatcher 
Spotted Flycatcher
Small Copper
Crab at Ferrybridge with incoming tide (Loren)