Friday, 28 November 2014

Thrushes and Peregrines

Cloudy and dull again, 12º, light E.

Pretty dead out in Lollingdon for the first hour until I came across a flock of winter thrushes feeding on the east side of the hill. Up to around 500 birds, mainly Fieldfare with a few Redwing. Also 3 Mistle Thrush close by.

Only other birds up on the hill were 5 Yellowhammer and the usual flock of Linnet.

A Grey Heron out foraging amongst the sheep and 22 Starling flew west.

Little else around noted but a Peregrine flew fast overhead harrying a Wood Pigeon and then veered off towards and settled on a distant pylon only to be joined by a second bird moments later.

 Redwing & Fieldfare
A Peregrine top centre and another on the lower gantry to the left

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A dull day

A dull overcast and misty day. 8º, no wind.

A lot quieter out at Lollingdon today with c80 Fieldfare, 26 Redwing, 6 Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush. The local Blackbird population has increased with birds well distributed in the area, 60+. Both the Fieldfare and Redwing were all passing overhead.

On the hill there were 8 Corn Bunting with 2 in song, 5 Meadow Pipit and c150 Linnet.

A Treecreeper nearby and singing, also 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker present in the area.

Monday, 24 November 2014


Sunny, 6º, (heavy frost at dawn, -3), negligible wind.

A walk out to the west of Lollingdon hill today out by the Lees.
A few thrushes around, c40 Fieldfare, 25+ Redwing, a few Blackbird and Song Thrush and a single Mistle Thrush on the way back by the Church.

3 (poss 4) Stonechat still present out along the “long dyke” (TW & JL saw 4 last week) and a couple of Reed Bunting.

A Peregrine perched on a pylon with prey.

A single Lapwing and c150 Gulls out on the floods nearby, 50/50 Lesser Blackback and Black-headed Gull.

c150 Golden Plover in flight over Cholsey Hill and a Grey Heron flew over the Church.

A Sparrowhawk in the garden late afternoon.

TW spent a few hours around Cholsey marsh this morning, no sign of the Shrike sp but a Chiffchaff there.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Cholsey Marsh; 23rd Nov - no sign of Shrike

Cloudy, 8º, light NW, cloud clearing at dusk.

No sign of the Shrike sp all day at Cholsey marsh with several birders looking this morning on both sides of the Thames in the rainy conditions and myself and TW this afternoon.

However; 70+ Corn Bunting came in to roost on the marsh along with a few Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipit.

A Sparrowhawk flew through and quite a few Fieldfare and Redwing moving overhead and a Mistle Thrush along ferry Lane.

A single Chiffchaff, 3 Common Snipe and at least 2 Water Rail present on the marsh.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Cholsey Marsh 22 Nov 2014; Great Grey Shrike; "Think it was a lesser grey shrike, I have a photograph. 15:00"............ per Mark Fox.

Any chance of the photo Mark?

4 Stonechat out along the "long dyke". (per TW)

A single Siskin yesterday by the Wallingford road end of caps lane (per MP).

Both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush singing today between Marymead and West End.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Sunny spells, 10º, light E.

Far fewer thrushes out at Lollingdon today with c100 Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing and a scattering of Blackbird, Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush, also c20 Starling feeding in one of the fields.

2 Raven flew off towards Aston Tirrold and 6 Red Kite, 2 Buzzard and a Kestrel in the area.

5 Grey Wagtail noted, 3 Lollingdon, 1 on the brook near Church road and 1 at the Bullshole. Also a Kingfisher there.

18th Nov; c400 Golden Plover, Cholsey Hill (per BJW).

1 Common Darter still on the wing also a Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly noted.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

More Thrushes and a Dragon

Sunny spells, showers, 10º, light ENE.

Lollingdon was buzzing with thrushes this afternoon, appeared to be another influx, c500 Fieldfare, c50 Redwing, c80 Blackbird, 12 Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush and all very mobile.

A fair number of Chaffinch (c80) in the area plus 6 Yellowhammer, 2 Bullfinch, several, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Skylark, c100 Linnet on the hill and 2 Corn Bunting nearby.
An unidentified butterfly (a white) seen on the wing and a Common Darter basking in the sun.

 Common Darter

Monday, 17 November 2014

Have you ever seen the Rain?

Overcast, showers, (heavy rain earlier), 8º, light E.

Fields becoming very boggy and partially flooded after a lot of recent rain. Figures are not available for rainfall this month yet but if the rainfall for November and December are even an average, 2014 would be the wettest on record!

Lollingdon still dominated by Fieldfare, up to approx 300 with a small number of Redwing c50. A Mistle Thrush heard calling and 10+ Song Thrush and c20 Blackbird also in the vicinity.

c100 Starling flew over and another flock of around 30 feeding in the damp fields.

At least 1 Kingfisher and the Grey Wagtail still present, c 100 Chaffinch and several Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail.

 Wood Pigeons feasting on the last of the garden berries (Loren)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Not all Wildlife

Sunday 16th Nov.

Overcast, light rain showers, 11º, misty, no wind.

A walk out to the Lees proved uninspiring; however back towards Cholsey Church saw several flocks of Fieldfare flying overhead numbering 300+ in total with several Redwing accompanying them. Also around 20 Chaffinch, 3 Yellowhammer, 10 Meadow Pipit and 2 Pied Wagtail overhead.

Some time spent wondering around the church yard area and produced 2 Mistle Thrush, 5 Song Thrush, 14 Blackbird, 2 Jay, a Goldcrest and a Green Woodpecker in the church yard and a Kestrel hunting nearby.

Several Grey Partridge heard in the surrounding farm land.

Only had the Fuji bridge camera with me today so a pic of the church and a famous resident.

Agatha Christie's gravestone
Cholsey Church
For more information: Cholsey

Saturday 15th Nov.

Just had at least 17 Grey Partridge at Manor Farm (between Cholsey hill and the church), including coveys of 9 and 6, and at least 2 other calling birds. Most I've seen around here. Also 50-plus Meadow Pipit got up from the rape there, possibly going to roost. (Per RB)

Goldcrest and several Long-tailed Tit passed through Marymead garden at lunch time ‘ish.

Friday, 14 November 2014


Sunny (after a very wet start), 12º, no wind.

Several unexpected butterflies surprisingly on the wing in the afternoon sun today; 2 Red Admiral, 1 Peacock and 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 unidentified, all were in flight, none settled.

Bird-wise somewhat similar to yesterday with the thrushes a little more scattered around Lollingdon.

2 Raven flew over heading towards the downs and there were 4 Jay present in the vicinity.

Sunset over the hill (Loren)

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Wet and windy, 13º, fresh SSE.

Yesterday: Was watching a Peregrine () preening, on a ploughed field at the top of Cholsey hill last evening (12th Nov) at about 4pm eventually flew off towards the railway line. (Per BH).

A quick visit to the hill in poor weather conditions, still fair numbers of Fieldfare around, few Redwing and 1 Mistle Thrush, also 2 Goldcrest only other species of note.

Fieldfares (again) 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fieldfares still on the move.

Sunny, 10º, breezy SSE.

A wet start to the day before brightening up early afternoon then rain again later.

A brief visit to Lollingdon after some domestic chores. A little quieter than of late but still around 100 Fieldfare present, slowly but surely stripping the Hawthorns of the berry crop along with a few (10) Redwing, (20) Blackbird and (6) Song Thrush.

The Fieldfare were very mobile with some small groups moving off in a westerly direction so there may have been more in the area.

Around 50 Meadow Pipit in the area along with 5 Pied Wagtail, 50+ Linnet, 8 Yellowhammer, 2 Goldcrest, 100+ Chaffinch, 50+ Goldfinch, a Grey Heron and a Jay.

Magpie searching for parasites

More illegal hunting arrests!

Keep your eyes open folks!

From Thames Valley Police;

Three men arrested for hunting act offences – Blewbury, Didcot

Thames Valley Police has arrested three men on suspicion of hunting act offences in Blewbury, Didcot.

A 20-year-old man from Bagshot, a 36-year-old man from Farnborough and a 53-year-old man from Aldershot, were arrested yesterday (11/11), at 3.28pm near Junction 11 of the M4 motorway on suspicion of Illegal hare coursing in Blewbury on the same day (11/11).

All the men have been bailed pending further enquiries until 18 December 2014.

Four men arrested on suspicion of daytime poaching – East Ilsley, Didcot.
Thames Valley Police has arrested four men on suspicion of daytime poaching in East Ilsley, Didcot.

A 46-year-old man from Ashford, and three men aged 25, 28 and 39 from Feltham, were arrested at 1.30pm on Sunday (9/11), suspected of daytime trespass with intent to pursue game in East Ilsley the same day.

All men have been bailed pending further enquiries until 11 December 2014.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

More and less

Overcast, constant light rain, 12º, breezy SSE.

Much the same as yesterday around Lollingdon. An increase in Fieldfare numbers at around 500, fewer Redwing and additionally 4 Mistle Thrush and a flock of c100 Starling.

A feral Greylag Goose flew around the hill and eventually settled in a field of sheep!

A small Tit flock near the Bullshole and a couple of Goldcrest with them and a Jay nearby.


Monday, 10 November 2014

Sparrows back

Cloudy and showery, 12º, light to moderate SSE.

A couple of hours out and about around the Lollingdon area today.
Scattered flocks of thrushes with around 300 Fieldfare, 50’ish Redwing, c30 Blackbird and 5 Song Thrush in total. Quite a few finches flying with the thrushes, all I could pick out though were Chaffinch and Goldfinch!

2 Goldcrest, a single Chiffchaff, a Jay and 5 Corn Bunting flew over. The hill was very quiet apart from the usual Linnet flock and 32 Starling flew over towards the pig fields.

A Great-spotted Woodpecker visiting the garden and 4 House Sparrow back after a few months absent.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Swift spp

Just now (12:20 pm), from my office window, I've seen two swift spp. heading south slowly over Benson Lane, in Crowmarsh. I had no binoculars, and by the time I got some they had gone, but I had fairly good views at moderate range for about a minute. All I can say is that they looked big, and I don't think they were Common Swifts due to the size and different flight action (but they were going into a strong headwind). If I had to put a name to them I'd say Alpine Swifts, but without a better views I can only say for sure that they were 'swifts', and 'they didn't look like Common'. (per RB).

Thursday, 6 November 2014


A clear and frosty start with cloud moving in and then rain, 10º, a freshening wind from the south as the day progressed.

A rather uneventful walk out to Lollingdon with little seen.

A good flock of thrushes out at Lollingdon with around 300 Fieldfare, c50 Redwing, c40 Blackbird, 2 Mistle Thrush and a couple of Song Thrush seen. A small flock of 40+ Starling feeding in association with the thrushes.

A few Pied Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, c50 Chaffinch and several small Goldfinch flocks, a single Goldcrest on the hill and another flock of 20 Starling flew south west over the Bullshole.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Sunshine and Showers, 8º, light NW.

Quite a contrast from yesterday around the hill area with far fewer birds around, 5 Corn Bunting and 6 Pied Wagtail present.

Elsewhere nearby, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, a Chiffchaff, 2 Jay, a Grey Heron and a Kingfisher and a Little Owl heard calling.

A couple of Chiffchaff still around Cholsey Marsh (TW).

Coal Tit in the garden again and the 3 Moorhen visiting regularly.

Corn Bunting
 Pied Wagtail
Grey Heron

Monday, 3 November 2014

5 Thrushes

Sunny and showery, 10º, light S.

Decidedly chillier the last few days!

A lot of activity in the fields to the north of Lollingdon Hill today,100+ Redwing, c30 Fieldfare, c40 Blackbird, 80+ Chaffinch, 14 Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker.

Nearby 2 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff with a Tit flock and a Grey Wagtail flew over.

The hill was also fairly active with 40+ Pied Wagtail, c20 Meadow Pipit, 100+ Linnet, 4 Corn Bunting and another Mistle Thrush.

A few Red Kite, Buzzard and a Kestrel also around.

A Sparrowhawk zipped through the garden late afternoon putting everything into a panic!

 Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pipit

421 million birds gone in 30 years

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Black Redstart

Sunny, 16º, light SSW.

November 1st and an unusually mild day.

Fortunately the Black Redstart was still around and I managed a visit to the garden it was frequenting.

A very late Cowslip was in flower in the garden also several Bank Vole seen and a couple of Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis).

Both Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell seen sunning themselves.

Black Redstart

 Red Admiral
 Small Tortoiseshell
 Wacxap sp

Black Redstart; (belated news)

Email received; "Yesterday (Friday 31st Oct) we had a Black Redstart on our roof on & off for about an hour. It visited a neighbour’s roof for a while also. Took some photos, but only distant shots."