Friday, 29 May 2015

Wet 'n' Windy

Sunshine and Showers, 13°, breezy NW.

Weather not too good today, very breezy and showery on the hill and raptors dominated.

At least 10 Red Kite and 2 Buzzard in the area, also a ♂ Sparrowhawk on the hunt, a single Kestrel flew north and a Peregrine drifted high overhead.

Up to 10 Swift and a few Swallow feeding on and around the hill and a Lesser Whitethroat singing along the hedgerow to the east.

Quite a few young Great and Long-tailed Tits around but very few young Blue Tits so far.

Butterflies: very few, 2 Green-veined White and a single Common Blue.

Garden visitors today: Great-spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch & Goldfinch (courtesy Loren)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Was not expecting that!

Sunny spells, 15°, breezy WSW.

A walk today from Lollingdon, skirting Aston Tirrold and back through the Lees.

A rather unexpected find today in the form an Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) found roaming around a field edge, not heard of any nearby so no idea of its origin.

A Green Woodpecker and a Lesser Whitethroat on the hill.

At least 2 of each Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler along the “reedy ditch” and a pair of Reed Bunting also present and a pair of Yellow Wagtail nearby.

A ♂ Peregrine seen on a pylon out towards Aston Tirrold and 3 Lesser Blackback Gull flew west.

Other species of note: Grey Heron, Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Tawny Owl (heard), Swift, Swallow and House Martin, Skylark, Mistle Thrush, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, 52 species in total.

Mammals: Brown Hare, Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: several Large Red Damselflies.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Common Blue.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Not a lot happening

Cloudy, 14°, light N.

Not a lot going on just the regulars present.

Butterflies: still few around, 2 Peacock, 1 Brimstone, 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

 Corn Bunting

Monday, 25 May 2015


Cloudy, some light rain, 14°, light NW.

Very little of note today, approx. 20 Swift feeding over the hill and the first Common Blue butterfly for the year on the hill.

Butterflies: very few today, 2 Brimstone, 2 Large White, 3 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Orange Tip, 1 Speckled Wood and the Common Blue.

The usual regulars present.

 Corn Bunting & Yellowhammer
 Common Blue

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Out of Africa, Beijing Swift!

A fascinating commentry on the incredible journey of Common Swifts (Apus apus pekinensis).

Click link below

Friday, 22 May 2015

Much the same.

Mainly showers with the odd sunny spell, 18°, light SSW.

Much the same as yesterday overall no appreciable change all the regulars present.

6 Swallow, 2 House Martin and 2 Swift flew north over the hill.

A Treecreeper worked through the garden this morning and a rare brief visit by a Kestrel.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Orange Tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.



Thursday, 21 May 2015

Becoming settled

Sunny, 16°, light W, a brighter and warmer day.

Just the usual on the hill bird wise today, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and 2 Whitethroat and a single Swift flew north.

A surprise of a ♀ Broad-bodied Chaser on the hill and hawking insects from old cow parsley stems on the hill.

Elsewhere looks as is everything is settling down for the summer!

Dragonflies: Large Red Damselfly, Broad-bodied Chaser.

Butterflies: a few more around today, Brimstone, Large White, Orange Tip (never appreciated the intricasy of the pattern of the underwing of this species before now), Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Chiffchaff acrobatics

Cloudy with few sunny spells, 14°, a couple of light rain showers, fresh WNW.

Fairly quiet again on the hill, 8 Swift and a single House Martin feeding overhead and 2 Grey Partridge on the hill.

A Hobby also flew over (TW noted one along the river near Winterbrook recently), and a Lesser Blackback Gull (2nd su) also overhead flying west.

5 Yellowhammer heard in song around Lollingdon and a Chiffchaff collecting food, 4 Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap also seen.

Butterflies: still very few, 1 Brimstone, 1 Large White and 1 Orange Tip.

Chiffchaff collecting food, Whitethroat and Orange Tip.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Sun, Rain, Wind, Thunder.

Sunshine, heavy showers, thunder and lightning, 13°, fresh SW.

Another windy day interspersed with heavy showers passing through.

Very little on the hill given the circumstances, 5 House Martin flew north and a few Swift and Swallow feeding overhead.

2 Yellow Wagtail down by the horse paddocks and a couple of Swallow feeding and resting on wires and a Grey Heron by the pond.

During the odd sunny spells Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and a few others all singing.

Mammals: 2 Hedgehog frequenting the garden now.

Butterflies: just the one again ... a Brimstone.

The Rooks flying very low over the hill and fields where possible whilst heading in to the wind as they made their way to the pig fields to feed and on returning they were much higher with a following wind.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Life and Death

Sunny spells, light and heavy showers, 13°, fresh W.

Very changeable weather recently, the jet stream is currently over southern England and has been slowly moving north and is predicted to clear the north of the UK by the end of the month so hopefully the weather should settle and start getting warmer.

A Sparrowhawk hit the garden this morning and put everything in to panic mode but a ♂ Chaffinch was too slow and got taken.

The Great Tits have flown the nest and 2 Blue Tit nest boxes are still occupied with young being fed by the adults.

Lollingdon hill was very quiet today just the usual Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Skylark in song and 6 Swift and a Yellow Wagtail flew over.

Nearby Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat, Grey Heron and both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker present.

Cuckoo present again at Cholsey Marsh today (per MA).

Just one butterfly seen today, a lone Brimstone.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A few garden pics

A few pics by Loren from the garden this afternoon.

The Moorhen and Mallards paths cross and a high flying Buzzard (one of four overhead).

Friday, 15 May 2015

Buntings on the hill.

Cloudy with few sunny spells, 15°, light W.

Fairly quiet on Lollingdon Hill today, apart for at least 4 Corn Bunting and a Yellowhammer in song and 3 more Yellowhammer in song nearby.

2 Swift (very few so far this spring) flew over heading north and a Yellow Wagtail flew overhead.

In the area, 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Tufted Duck of note.

2 or 3 Yellow Wagtail in the bean field at the back of Cholsey hill yesterday (Weds). Definitely 2 males there seen from the road (Per Michael Pocock).

Butterflies: very few, Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Dragonflies: 1 unidentified medium size dragonfly, surprisingly flew past me on the hill, possibly Hairy or Club-tailed or?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Garden Time

Sunny, 17°, light NE.

A very pleasant day weather wise and a day spent catching up on some gardening.

The Whinchat still present on the hill (per Tony Williams and Dave the dog).

Cuckoo, Garden Warbler and Reed Warbler noted regular at Cholsey Marsh (TW & MA).

Both Great Tit and Blue Tit feeding young in the garden nest boxes.

A few visitors in the garden today include a Sparrowhawk (twice), 7 Mallard, 1 Moorhen, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Treecreeper, Stock Dove, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 House Sparrow and the regulars, 4 Wood Pigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 6 Blackbird, 2 Robin, Wren, 2 Dunnock, 4 Greenfinch, 6 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, Carrion Crow. Overhead: 2 Red Kite, 3 Buzzard, 8+ Swallow, 4 House Martin.

Butterflies: Large White, Brimstone, Speckled Wood.

 Mallard having some down time (courtesy Loren)
 Nettle Weevil
 Great-spotted Woodpecker