Friday, 31 October 2014

Fieldfares moving through

Sunny, 20º, breezy S.

The warmest Halloween day on record.... Nine out of the 10 months so far this year have been warmer than average according to the BBC weather centre!

A quietish few hours out at Lollingdon today however some Fieldfare now evident moving through with a flock of 60’ish that flew south at dusk then another flock of c200 that followed around 10 minutes later.
TW also saw the same flocks from near the Bullshole and confirms the numbers, TW also had around 50 Blackbird working their way along the brook hedgerow.

"We saw the same smaller flock of Fieldfares passing the sewage works! Missed the bigger one, as we headed SE down the lane to Wallingford Rd, where we flushed about 80 Redwings and 30 Continental Blackbirds. RB"

The smaller flock of Fieldfare was effectively tracked for roughly 5km moving in a SW direction from somewhere in the Winterbrook area and disappearing over the downs? Maybe there will be more sightings of Fieldfare over this weekend in Oxfordshire as there have been very few so far?

A single Raven flew west along the hill and 2 Starling flew south, also a few Yellowhammer, Skylark and Meadow Pipit around.

A single Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush and 6 Redwing nearby.


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Illegal hunting arrests in Oxfordshire

Thames Valley Police have arrested twelve men within a week in the South Oxon and Vale area on suspicion of hunting act offences.

Four men were arrested and their vehicle and five dogs seized in Longcot, Faringdon.

The men aged 72, 58, 47 and 23 from Pontypool, were arrested on Sunday (26/10) at 7am, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing on farmland in Longcot. The men have been released on police bail until 1 December 2014.

Three men were arrested in Cholsey on Friday (24/10) at 1.20pm, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing on farmland in Blewbury. One man age 36 from Surrey, and two men aged 29 and 21 from Wokingham, have been bailed until 29 November 2014.

Two men aged 20 and 22 from Reading were also arrested on Friday (24/10) at 3.25pm, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Woodcote on (24/10). Both men have been bailed until 29 November 2014.

Three men were arrested in Marcham, Abingdon. Two men aged 35 and 31 from Abingdon, and a 34 year old man from Sunningwell, were arrested on Wednesday (22/10) at 11.14pm, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing on farmland in Marcham. The men have all been bailed until 28 November 2014.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Overcast with low cloud and almost constant light rain, 14º, light E.

Lollingdon hill is only 95 metres ASL and was at times shrouded in low cloud at the top as was some of the downland to the south.

A rather damp day with little about except for a small fall of thrushes out at Lollingdon,  c100 Blackbird, c50 Redwing and 20 or so Song Thrush evident. An increase in the number of Robins also noted.

20+ Yellowhammer around the hill area and a single Corn Bunting.

A single Jay at the Bullshole and an albino Pheasant were the only other birds of note.

A couple of Roe Deer seen distantly.

Did not get out yesterday but a lot of activity in the garden.

A Coal Tit has been feeding most of the day on the feeders.

The pair of Crows have been in and out the garden during the day also and around 15:00 they flew in and one of them attacked a Wood Pigeon, managing to take out a few rump and tail feathers. It then turned its attention to one of the Moorhens in the garden but bit off more than it could chew as the Moorhen stood its ground with a threat posture and the Crow backed down.

Albino Pheasant
Coal Tit

Monday, 27 October 2014

A mixed bag!

A bright sunny day, 16º, breezy SSW.

An uneventful walk out to Lollingdon produced a Kingfisher flying up Cholsey brook near the millennium wood and a Green Woodpecker at the Bullshole.

Lollingdon was fairly quiet although c20 Redwing in the hedgerows and 2 Bullfinch and a Chiffchaff present.

The hill had 2 Corn Bunting and a scattering of Skylark, Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.

Also a Kestrel, 4 Buzzard and 6 Red Kite overhead.

Another 2 Kingfisher nearby and the Grey Wagtail still around.

2 Roe Deer and a Muntjac noted.

An unfortunate Common Frog that was trampled by a flock of Sheep being driven along one of the tracks.

Dragonflies; 3 Common Darter and an unidentified Hawker.

Butterflies; 1 Large White, 2 Red Admiral and 1 Peacock.

Meadow Pipit
Shaggy Inkcap

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The hill

Sunny spells, 14º, breezy SW.

Quite warm in the sunshine and generally a lot cooler than of late.

A singing Corn Bunting on Lollingdon hill today, the first one back there for a couple of months. They do not usually stay for long at this time of year.

A Raven flew overhead and another heard calling nearby, 2 Jay, 3 Pied Wagtail, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Kingfisher, 2 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, 3 Yellowhammer, 50+ Linnet, 60+ Meadow Pipit, 20 Skylark, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker.

The pig fields in the distance had upwards of 300 gulls present and appeared mostly Lesser Blackback Gulls with a few Black-headed Gulls, a lot of Rooks, 20+ Jackdaw and a flock of c40 Starling.

2 Roe Deer and 2 Muntjac Deer seen in the area this week.

Butterflies; 6 Red Admiral.

Dragonflies; 5 Common Darter.

R.I.P. Jack Bruce

Not wildlife related but my tribute to the best Bass player that ever was who died today aged 71.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Late Butterfly and first Fieldfare of the autumn

A few sunny spells, light showers, 15º, light SW.

A quiet time on the hill this afternoon but the first 2 Fieldfare of the autumn noted flying west.

Singles of Grey Heron, Jay, Grey Wagtail and Goldcrest were the only other species of note.

2 Red Admiral on the hill.

At least one Raven Lollingdon Hill this morning (BW) and a White Wagtail with cattle along Church road (RB).

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Overcast, light rain, 12º, light W.

A relatively quiet few hours on the hill today, highlight of a Merlin that flew through heading west and a Sparrowhawk with prey (Meadow Pipit).

Other species noted were; singles of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, 2 Grey Wagtail, a Grey Heron, 2 Kingfisher, 50+ Linnet, several Skylark and Meadow Pipit, a Tawny Owl heard, a single Mistle Thrush, 5 Song Thrush and c20 Blackbird.

A single Red Admiral noted.

One of the Grey Wagtails

Monday, 20 October 2014

Not happening..............yet

Showery, fresh SW, 12º.

A wet and breezy visit to the hill today with very little of note and after last week rather disappointing. Will it happen?

2 Sparrowhawk, a Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail were the only species of note today.

 Finches in the garden (Loren)
Moorhen arriving (Loren)

Friday, 17 October 2014

Knock on wood

Cloudy, 17º, light SW.

Redwing still around the Lollingdon area a flock of 32 feeding on Hawthorns and another flock of around 20 flew over towards Aston Tirrold. Certainly a few more Blackbirds around and a few more Song Thrush evident also a Mistle Thrush noted.

2 Chiffchaff still present, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2+ Jay, Grey Heron, Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail all seen and a flock of c100 Linnet on the hill.

                              Great-spotted Woodpecker

Carrion Crow hassling a Buzzard 

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Sunny spells, showers, 16º, breezy S to SSW.

2 Swallows on the wires on Cross Road in the village this morning (MP).

A Treecreeper in the garden around midday.

Other garden visitors today; Mallard, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Moorhen, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch.
In the meadow: Magpie, Carrion Crow,  Blackbird, Song Thrush.
Overhead; Rook, Jackdaw, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Blackback Gull, Red Kite, Redwing, Starling, Pied Wagtail.

Swallow (archive pic)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What a difference a day makes

Overcast, 16º, rain, light SSE.

Another walk out to Lollingdon today in milder conditions and as soon as I got to the guessed it....................rain.

Only around 20 Redwing in the area today as yesterdays flock had moved on.

3 Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrest noted but little else seen.

Redwing in the rain....again

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Overcast, rain, 12º, light SW.

Up to 400 Redwing today out at Lollingdon, also numbers of Blackbird and Song Thrush present. A Raven still present in the area. (per TW).

Acting on Tony’s phone call I took a rather damp walk out to Lollingdon.

A good flock of thrushes still present in the area and appeared to be slowly moving west.

c400 Redwing, 50’ish Blackbird and 20+ Song Thrush both Redwing and Song Thrush calling as they were moving through the hedgerow feeding on Hawthorn berries.

Upwards of 200 Meadow Pipit around, 40+ Pied Wagtail and a few Skylark.

2 Raven, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Grey Wagtail, c200 Linnet, c100 Chaffinch, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker and 3+ Jay noted, also 36 Lapwing flew north.

A surprise of a Short-eared Owl drifted high overhead moving west.

A Southern Hawker dragonfly seen hunting in the rain.

2 Hedgehog frequenting the garden after dark along with at least 2 Tawny Owl recently.

 Redwings in the rain

Monday, 13 October 2014

Yucky, but the first Redwing of the autumn

A dull, wet and overcast day, almost constant light to heavy rain with varying wind, 14º, light to fresh SW.

A brief and wet visit to the hill late afternoon, subsequently the camera did not come out to play very much.

2 Wheatear present, a Raven overhead and a Jay on the north side.

A hedgerow to the north had a lot of activity with counts of 14 Blackbird, 9 Song Thrush and 2 Redwing, may have been more but my bins kept steaming up and I was getting quite wet, also at least 2 more Jay here.

The local tit flock was also out in this area and as usual dominated by 20+ Long-tailed Tit; there were also several Blue and Great Tit, at least 3 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper, (2 other Chiffchaff nearby).

2 Jay near the garden this morning and a Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff in the garden over the weekend.

A rather snatched shot of the Raven flying over.

Friday, 10 October 2014


Still breezy but sunnier, 16º, SSW.

A brief visit and still relatively quiet on the hill with a few summer visitors still moving through and anticipating the arrival of winter visitors soon, a very autumnal feel.

1 Wheatear present on the south side and the usual Red Kites and Buzzards around and 8 House Martin and 2 Swallow flew over.

A single Goldcrest and 3 Chiffchaff on the north side and a Jay nearby.

Up to 6 Pied Wagtail and the Grey Wagtail still present.

c100 Golden Plover on Cholsey hill late afternoon, not there when returned an hour+ later (first of the autumn).

Dragonflies; 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies; 4 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Large White and 1 Small White.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Tits, Tails and Rainbows

Sunny spells with heavy showers, 15º, and a fresh SSW easing late afternoon.

A few hefty rain showers passed through this afternoon so had to take shelter on a couple of occasions.

The more sheltered north side produced a Goldcrest and up to 6 Chiffchaff with a Tit flock. The Tit flock consisted of around 30 birds and were mainly Long-tailed Tit.

3 Wheatear present today but little else on the south side except for the odd Buzzard and Red Kite and the usual Kestrel.

8 Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Yellowhammer, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Song Thrush and a Jay also in the vicinity.

Dragonflies; 1 Common Darter and no butterflies.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

North-South divide.

Sunny spells, 14º, a few distant rain showers, breezy WSW and much cooler.

Very quiet on the southern exposed part of the hill  as the wind was quite fresh and blowing across the face!

The sheltered north side was more productive with 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jay, 2 Kingfisher, 10 Yellowhammer, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Little Owl.

Dragonflies; 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies; 1 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Red Admiral.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


A few sunny spells, cooler, 15º, light SSE.

A quiet time on the hill with no much noted. The only migrant on the hill today was the Clouded Yellow butterfly, appeared to be the same one as was present on Friday and again too flighty.

2 Raven flew over the hill towards the downs and there were a few Skylark and Meadow Pipit moving around and a Sparrowhawk also flew south on to the downs.

3 Chiffchaff, 3+ Jay, a Grey Heron, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail and 2 Song Thrush were all of note.

A lot of gulls following the plough in a distant field.

Dragonflies; several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 1 Large White, 2 Peacock, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 5 Red Admiral and a Clouded Yellow.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Late Cuckoo

Overcast, 15º, rain, breezy W.

Juv Cuckoo this morning seen initially by a paddock then flew towards the millennium wood. (per TW).

Friday, 3 October 2014

Same as yesterday...Well nearly.

Another warm and sunny day, 21º, fresher SSW.

Same as yesterday....but. The 4th record this year of a Clouded Yellow butterfly on the hill, too flighty to get a pic but looked fresh and bright.

When I arrived there were 4 Buzzard resting on the hill, they immediately flew off, caught the breeze and drifted off to the north, recognised as a local family group.

Every Red Kite double checked today as there was a possible Black Kite seen at Port Meadow, Oxford earlier today but alas no luck.

Still the same 2 Wheatear present and a Kingfisher, Grey Heron and a Grey Wagtail and a single Jay nearby. (ref;Jays, there has been a movement of Jays also east of Oxford & Dorset noted this week).

Dragonflies; several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 6 Red Admiral, 2 Peacock, 1 Large White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Speckled Wood and a Clouded Yellow.


You got it!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A quiet hill

Another warm and sunny day, 20º, very little wind SSW.

A quiet day on the hill, still 2 Wheatear present, 2 Sparrowhawk over south also c30 Starling flew north.

At least 3 Jay still around the north side, c4 Chiffchaff and a Grey Wagtail nearby.

Numbers of Meadow Pipit around 200 noted between the village and the hill and far fewer Pied Wagtail c20.

Also a Grey Wagtail in the garden.

Dragonflies; a Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

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


Common Darter

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What’s that coming over the hill...........?

Mainly cloudy, little sunshine, 19º, light to mod W.

Quite a surprise to see a Budgie fly over the hill today accompanied by 2 Linnet, they did a couple of circuits and then disappeared to the west.

Apart from that there were 2 Wheatear on the hill, a few Red Kite, Buzzard and a single Kestrel over.

The Grey Wagtail, Grey Heron and 2 Kingfisher still present nearby, up to 6 Jay in 2 locations still around.

10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, several Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit etc.
Fewer Gulls today again scattered around various fields.

Dragonflies; Several Common Darter.

Butterflies; several Small White, 1 Large White, 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Peacock and 10+ Red Admiral.

3 Moorhen (ad & 1 juv) feeding in the garden late afternoon.

 Lesser Blackback Gull
Interesting what an upturned dustbin lid can attract.