Wednesday, 30 December 2015


A couple of photos of a Treecreeper that has been visiting the garden lately.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Whoopers still present

Whooper Swan family still present on Cholsey Hill between the road and railway.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Mini Murmuration

Sunny with partial cloud, 10°, light S.

A mini murmuration of Starling at the roost this evening, approx. 30 came in and performed an aerial ballet for about 20 minutes before dropping in to the reed bed.

Also 80+ Corn Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer and 14 Meadow Pipit in the roost.

At least 2 Water Rail, 2+ Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch, 6 Reed Bunting, a Sparrowhawk, 3 Grey Heron and 2 Kingfisher present.

2 Cormorant flew down stream.

The Whooper Swans still on Cholsey Hill plus 30'ish Golden Plover.

 Corn Bunting arriving

Periwinkle (thanks to Mike Amphlett and Phil Dyson for the id)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Whooper Swans

Cloudy with a few light rain showers, 14°, fresh SSW.

The family of Whooper Swans are still present on Cholsey Hill between the railway and the road although distant, also a small flock of c20 Golden Plover in the area.

The hill was pretty dire today with a fresh SSW blowing directly on to the face of the hill subsequently not a lot there apart for a few resident Corvids.

A flock of Fieldfare (c100) and a handful of Redwing in the lower fields and a few Pied Wagtail present.

The Nuthatches still visiting the garden along with a Treecreeper, Coal Tit(s) and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

2 Hedgehogs still visiting the garden after dark, I think this is the latest in the year I have seen Hedgehogs still out and about.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Moon over the Marsh

Cloudy, 14°, light SSW.

Some very mild weather at the moment, very unseasonal.

Corn Bunting numbers at the roost on Cholsey Marsh are slowly increasing with around 90 in this evening, also a handful of Meadow Pipit.

A flock of approx. 80 Starling flew north and a little later a single Starling then dropped in the roost.

2 Siskin and a Chiffchaff along the river bank and a single Jay flew over.

A few Fieldfare and approx. 50 Redwing flew over.

Also a Water Rail, 2 Bullfinch and 2 Kingfisher noted and a single Cormorant flew down river.

A Merlin out at Lollingdon today (per Tony Williams) and the Whooper Swans still on Cholsey Hill (per Ralph Watts).

A Sparrowhawk flew through the garden at midday.
The Moon over the Marsh
Some of the Corn Buntings waiting to roost

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Winter doldrums

Overcast with steady light rain, 11°, light SSE.

A rather dull dreary day out there today with little to be found around Lollingdon.

Around 30 Pied Wagtail feeding out with the sheep on the south side of the hill and a flock of Starling and a few Fieldfare further out.

200+ gulls nearby with the majority of Lesser Blackback and a few Black-headed Gull.

A few Fieldfare and Redwing to the north but little else noted.

The Whooper Swan family still present on Cholsey Hill and a small flock of Golden Plover still there.

2 Hedgehog still active in the garden.

Garden photo courtesy Loren

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Whoopers still here and a late Hedgehog

Cloudy, light to moderate rain, 8°, light SSE.

The family of Whooper Swans still present on Cholsey Hill between the road and the railway.

A Hedgehog still visiting the garden, I am assuming it is a male as it’s quite large. Normally do not see them after October and it’s late in the year activities are probably reflecting the mild weather we are having so far this winter.

A few garden pics.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Cetti's Warbler

Sunny spells with light cloud, 10°, light SW.

A Cetti’s Warbler on Cholsey Marsh today, seen briefly on a couple of occasions, first one since April of 2013.

35 Lapwing flew south and a flock of c60 seen distantly over towards Waterloo close.

c60 Corn Bunting in at the roost this evening along with c20 Meadow Pipit and a few Reed Bunting.

A Common Snipe on the marsh, a couple of Bullfinch, 5 Siskin and a scattering of Fieldfare and Redwing.

Whooper Swans still present on Cholsey Hill.

Cholsey Marsh at dusk

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

A Woodcock & Whoopers

Sunny spells with a few rain showers, 9°, mod SW.

Pretty quiet on the hill today, a flock of 200+ Fieldfare feeding in the fields to the south and a scattering of Fieldfare and Redwing elsewhere.

A Woodcock flushed from a ditch that flew off west.

23 Yellowhammer and 14 Chaffinch feeding in a field to the north, also a flock of 80+ Starling.

2 Siskin flew over with a small flock of Goldfinch.

The Whooper Swans still present on Cholsey Hill and a small flock of c20 Golden Plover.

A ♀ Great-spotted Woodpecker frequenting the garden.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Whooper Swans 6th December

Some video of the Whoopers today.

A Savage Resident

Cloudy with rain showers, 12°, wind decreasing to light SW.

A trip out to “Savages of Blewbury” this afternoon for some more bird feed and met “Charlie” the resident cockerel.

Apparently he turned up some months ago in a rather sorry state with a lot of feathers missing and decided to stay. He gets fed and looked after and appears to have made a good recovery.

Back to birding:

A pair of Ravens over Church road heading south at approx. 14:00 (per Richard Broughton).

The Whooper Swans still present (per Alan Dawson).

                                           Photos courtesy Loren.

Saturday, 5 December 2015


5 Whooper Swans (2 ad, 3 juv) still present on Cholsey hill between the road and the railway though distant.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Whooper Swans still present

5 Whooper Swan: Cholsey: Cholsey Hill SU577869.

Family group still present between Manor Farm and railway.

Michael Pocock

Also a flock of around 20 Golden Plover. Tony Rayner

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Whooper Swans

Cloudy, 12°, light SSW.

A brief trip to Didcot today we noticed some swans on Cholsey Hill near the railway and I made a mental note to check them out on the way back thinking they were probably Mute Swans.

On returning they had flown to the other side of the road to the east so I had a quick look at them and realised they were note Mute Swans but thinking they were Bewick Swans, however they were a bit distant.

Got home and returned taking the camera and got a few shots and made a few phone calls putting the info out as Bewick Swans.

A little later I received a phone call from Brian Wyatt who was watching them with a ‘scope and he suggested they were Whooper Swans. Thanks Brian for confirming Whoopers.

A closer look at the photos confirmed that they were Whooper Swans, 2 adults and 3 juveniles.

Apparently 5 swans were seen last Thursday flying towards Cholsey over Waterloo Close on the Moulsford border that were presumed to be either Bewick’s or Whoopers (per MA) so I guess these are the same birds.

A rare bird species in Cholsey (cannot recall the last record) and a scarce species in the county.

Also at least 14 Golden Plover on the hill though mobile.

Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies seen on the wing today by the EastEnder.

And finally one of Loren's pics.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Grey Days

Cloudy and dull, 12°, light SW.

Rather dull and overcast for the last few days with SW winds light to strong with the winter storm Clodagh passing through and blowing in a second Grey Phalarope to Farmoor reservoir. Both still present today.

click link - Grey Phalaropes.

Not been out over the last few days due to not being 100% so have to be content with garden stuff.

2 Nuthatch and 2 Coal Tit and a Treecreeper frequenting the garden of note, also a few more species either visiting the garden or nearby or flying overhead - 5 Mallard, 1 Red Kite, Buzzard (over), Sparrowhawk, 2 Moorhen, Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull (over), 6 Wood Pigeon, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Collared Dove, Tawny Owl, Kingfisher (heard along the brook), Great-spotted Woodpecker, Skylark (over), 2 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, 2 Robin, Redwing (over), Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare (over), Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Jackdaw (over), Rook (over), 2 Carrion Crow, Starling (over), House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

Also a Hedgehog still active in the garden after dark.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

National Tree Week

Cloudy with rain at midday, 10°, light SW.

At the beginning of National Tree week 28th Nov – 6th Dec, Loren and I plus many others helped out with planting some trees in Cholsey Rec on Saturday 28th. A group of local folk had organised acquiring some trees and it was arranged to plant a couple of areas in the Rec with up to 200 trees.

It was good to see a number of people of all ages turn out to plant trees from the village and I hope, over time we can find more areas for planting.

A good selection of trees were planted that included Cherry, Rowan, Maple, Willow and Birch.

Thanks to Mitch who rustled up some bacon & egg rolls for everyone and also kept an eye out for a few birds that were noted.

Also thanks to Vicky and the Tree Lady amongst others who organised the tree planting.

Sorry I did not get everyone’s name who was involved.

Let us hope over the coming years we will see these trees grow and flourish.

A flock of Long-tailed Tit passed through and Mistle Thrush, Skylark and a Grey Wagtail flew over.

Barn Owl seen on Cholsey hill tonight (28th) hunting along the verges (per Michael Pocock).

Nuthatch and a couple of Pied Wagtail in the garden.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Another Black Redstart

Cloudy with light rain, 9°, fresh SSW.

A delay in publishing this from Friday due to technical difficulties on line. My new ISP did not get a router to me.....................

Still somewhat quiet on the hill today, up to 100 Fieldfare around, 40+ Redwing, 80+ Starling, 2 Goldcrest and a single flyover Siskin.

A Kingfisher still around the pond area.

I had an email from a lady who walks the area around Lollingdon who saw a Black Redstart around the farm on Sunday 22nd Nov, a good description given (per Val Viner).

114th Species for the year.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Black Redstart & The Marsh

Cloudy, 9°, light NW.

A visit to Wallingford where the Black Redstart was still present around St Mary’s church in the centre of town.

It spent most of the time in the large tree in the graveyard and rarely ventured down whilst I was there, seemed to be feeding well and caught a large caterpillar which it fed upon on the roof top of pizza hut opposite in St Mary's street.

A visit to Cholsey Marsh later saw approx. 80 Corn Bunting come to roost, also 30 Starling and 18 Meadow Pipit in at the roost.

2 Kingfisher along the river bank and a Great-crested Grebe on the river. A single Cormorant flew upstream and a Green Sandpiper flew on to the marsh.

60+ Fieldfare and a handful of Redwing present on the opposite bank, 5 Bullfinch in the Blackthorn and a Chiffchaff present.

5 Siskin in the bankside Alders with several Goldfinch and a few Reed Bunting on the marsh.

Towards Bow Bridge at dusk I counted at least 500 (may have been closer to 1K) Corvids coming in to roost somewhere upriver.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Black Redstart - Wallingford

A Black Redstart around St Mary's Church in the centre of Wallingford today, on the church and in the graveyard. (per RB).

 Photos courtesy of Grzegorz Hebda

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Hill & the demise of a Barn Owl

Sunny at first the clouding over, 4°, light SSW.

Another cold day and relatively quiet on the hill.

Approx. 200 Thrushes around, c160 Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing, 20+ Blackbird, 8 Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush.

23 Pied Wagtail with the sheep and a Chiffchaff nearby.

News via Richard Broughton: We looked for the Barn Owl around the church yesterday evening, unsuccessfully, and today I found it dead in the cow field next to the Bunk Line/Church Rd. It was being scavenged by a Kite (no head, otherwise mostly intact). It had an older injury on the right wing carpal joint, which explains the difficulties seen when flying (I'm guessing it was clipped by a car), and was also very thin. Cause of death was likely starvation or possibly another car (hard to say without a head!).

News via Michael Pocock: A couple of Song Thrush and a Common Snipe in flight – all along the bunk line by the sewerage works were the highlights.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Short-eared Owl and Woodcock

Sunny spells and getting colder, 6°, light to mod WNW.

Some info from TW.

A Short-eared Owl seen today out by the Lees and also a Woodcock there earlier in the week.

2 Barn Owl seen, 1 along the Bunk line and another out Lollingdon way.

Thanks Tony.

Chiffchaff still present out at Lollingdon, The Lees and Cholsey Marsh.

2 Nuthatch , a Great-spotted Woodpecker and Coal Tit still frequenting the garden this week.

Thursday, 19 November 2015


Cloudy and wet, 12°, light to mod SW.

Another wet day with a few pics of the Moorhens that visit the garden.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Blowing in the wind

Cloudy with frequent rain and strong south westerly winds, 14°.

Another wet and windy day, a brief visit to the hill but the weather won today.

A few Yellowhammer, Fieldfare and Redwing present but nothing else noted.

A Sparrowhawk in the garden attempted to take a Great-spotted Woodpecker but the woodpecker was too quick and evaded the attack.

2 Nuthatch and 2 Coal Tit frequenting the garden with the regulars.