Monday, 31 August 2015

Rain then a few migrants

Heavy to light rain most of the morning becoming clearer but overcast, 16°, light NNW.

The sea was relatively quiet today, a steady stream of Gannet passing through with some feeding offshore, 40+ Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Common Scoter, 6 Gadwall, 1 Cormorant and the odd Fulmar and Shag. Also 3 Oystercatcher and 3 Dunlin.

After the rain ceased a few land migrants and residents began to surface with 2 Raven, 1 Swift, 30+ Wheatear, 20+ Willow Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Blackcap, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit, 4 Common Redstart, a Black Redstart, 6 Stonechat, 3 Pied Flycatcher and 10+ Spotted Flycatcher.

Little Owls calling after dark.

1 possibly 2 Wryneck still present (not seen).

Butterflies: Few noted, Red Admiral and a few Large White.

Other insects were: Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Southern Oak Bush Cricket and a European Beewolf (Philanthus triangulum).

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Portland Wryneck, Rose-coloured Starling & Osprey

Cloudy, 18°, light to mod NNE.

An excellent start to our visit to Portland, initially an Osprey seen heading out to sea off the bill.

A walk a little later towards the west cliffs turned up 5 Stonechat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Wheatear, 6 Swift, Little Owl, approx. 100 Swallow (thinking about crossing the channel) and 1 Meadow Pipit before Glen (assistant warden) called us over to the Pulpit pub where the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was sat on the pub roof along with a flock of European Starling and eventually flew off and then a Wryneck seen in the brambles nearby.

Dragonflies: Emperor, Common Darter.

Butterflies: Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown.


Portland, Dorset.

View of Portland Bill Bird Observatory at the old Lower Light and the Portland Bill Lighthouse.
Not sure who took this pic but I hope they do not mind me using it as it is one of my favourite pics of the Bill.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Marymead Garden

In the garden today:
1 Grey Wagtail,
2 Nuthatch (have been visiting since mid-June),
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker,
1 Treecreeper,
1 Sparrowhawk flew through,
and a Grey Heron in the meadow.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Wheatears and more.

Sunny, 19°, breezy SSW.

A walk out to the hill today with no rain for a change.

3 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow Wagtail, and a Blackcap, a Hobby flew west and c50 Swallow and a handful of House Martin flew south. The Common Redstart still present this afternoon and a Common Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher also there this evening (per TW).

2 Jay also noted again.

A lot of Hirundines closer to the village feeding over the meadow and playing fields, 40+ Swallow and 20+ House Martin. These probably represent the local breeding population at this end of the village.

A Sparrowhawk soaring over the meadow and 4 Green Woodpecker nearby.

Dragonflies: Common Darter and a possible Migrant Hawker.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

A species not often photographed.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A few more migrants

Sunny eventually after a morning of rain, 20°, breezy SSW.

2 Whinchat (one ringed) and 2 Wheatear on the hill today along with 5 Kestrel, upwards of 100 Swallow and approx 20 House Martin over, also a Yellow Wagtail.

The Common Redstart still present and a couple of Chiffchaff and a Little Owl heard calling.

A Kingfisher on the pond this morning (per TW).

The Nuthatches still visiting the garden and a Sparrowhawk took a Blackbird this afternoon.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter and a Brown Hawker flew through the garden.

Butterflies: very few, Large White, Small White, Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Not a lot!

Light to moderate rain, 16°, breezy S.

Very little today, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest (first of the autumn) on the sheltered side of the hill.

The south side was a bit wind and rain battered with a few Swallow and House Martin moving through.

A Raven along the Thames yesterday and a few Herring Gull in with some Lesser Blackback Gull on Cholsey Hill (per TW).

Butterflies: one of each, Small White and Speckled Wood.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Spot Flys +

Cool and breezy with frequent rain, 15°, mod NNW.

The south face of the hill fairly quiet today with c80 Swallow and a handful of House Martin over and a single Yellow Wagtail south.

The north side had a little more closer encounters with 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroat and 4 Chiffchaff.

The Common Redstart still present in the hedgerow further north of the hill.

Mammals: Stoat.

Very few insects around given the weather.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker.

Butterflies: 2 Small White and a Speckled Wood.

Weekend News: A Common Redstart and a Common Whitethroat on the hill on Saturday, also a few Mistle Thrush still evident (per Tony Williams).

2 Hobby hunting Hirundines over the recreation ground on Sunday (per Michael Pocock).

Friday, 21 August 2015

Zilch on the hill

Sunny, 23°, breezy S.

After the pulse of migrants this week on the hill there was zilch today just 5 Kestrel hunting over the hill.

A hedgerow to the north of the hill still held a Common Redstart, a Blackcap and a couple of Chiffchaff and a handful of House Martin overhead.

2 Jay and a Sparrowhawk also noted.

The Nuthatches still visiting the garden.

A few more species of Dragonfly and Butterfly today in the warmer conditions.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: a single Clouded Yellow, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Common Darter (male)
 Common Darter (female)
Holly Blue

Extent of illegal killing of birds in the Mediterranean revealed in BirdLife report


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Moving on.

Mainly cloudy, a few light rain showers, 19°, light SSE.

Looks as though the majority of the migrants on the hill have moved on, however 6 Wheatear still present and a Common Redstart.

2 Raven flew across the hill and settled on fence posts at the far end and 160 Hirundines over today, with just over 100 Swallow and the rest House Martin.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies: again very few, Small White, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Cloudy then rain, 16°, light S.

Light rain set in around 14:30 but then go heavier so left the hill at 16:00.

At least 7 Wheatear on the hill with 5 along the fence line and a couple more in the fields, also a Whinchat with them.

2 Common Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler and 5 Chiffchaff.

Before the rain came I had 127 House Martin and 39 Swallow fly over.

The Mistle Thrush flock still present, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, 5 Yellowhammer and 2 Jay.

A number of Blackbird (at least 8) and 3 Song Thrush feeding on Elderberries on one part of the hill.

Mammals: 2 Bank Vole.

Butterflies: very few, same as yesterday.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Coming & Going

Cloudy, 16°, light WNW.

A brief visit to the hill today and cooler conditions.

Some birds appeared to have moved on but with others arriving, 4 Common Redstart out at Lollingdon today with 3 on the hill and the 4th along a hedgerow to the north of the hill still.

3 Wheatear present on the hill and then flew off to the fields nearby, 2 Willow Warbler, a single Lesser Whitethroat, a single Common Whitethroat and 5 Chiffchaff.

The flock of 20+ Mistle Thrush still present and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

An adult and juv Green Woodpecker in the meadow today.

Mammals: Bank Vole.

Butterflies: few today, Large White, Small White, Gatekeeper & Meadow Brown.

Monday, 17 August 2015


Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 20°, light N.

A good day and a good bit of activity on the hill today with quite a few common migrants turning up, either on or over the hill. Interesting to see if this is reflected elsewhere in the county.

3 Common Redstart,
5 Common Whitethroat,
4 Blackcap,
1 (poss 2) Garden Warbler,
2 Lesser Whitethroat,
4 Willow Warbler,
9 Chiffchaff,
1 Sedge Warbler,
2 Yellow Wagtail over,
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker,
1 Green Woodpecker,
20+ Mistle Thrush,
5 Kestrel,
20+ Goldfinch feeding on thistle heads,
50+ Swallow over,
6 House Martin over,
1 Hobby over,
2 Whinchat along the fence line leading to the hill.

Mammals: Roe Deer, several (Common) Pipistrelle hunting the garden and 2 Hedgehog.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Then there were three

Cloudy, 19°, very light NE..

3 Redstart out at Lollingdon today, 2 on the hill and another in a hedgerow to the north of the hill.

A single Willow Warbler on the north side of the hill and several Chiffchaff in the area.

5 Kestrel, 4 Buzzard and a few Red Kite, also a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Mammals: Red Fox.

Dragonflies: fem Southern Hawker.

Butterflies: very few, Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

A Sparrowhawk in the garden late afternoon.

Friday, 14 August 2015

A bit of a wet one.

Heavy to light rain, 16°, light NW.

A walk out to Lollingdon between bouts of rain and fortunately got a lift back with T&G W………Ta.

Both Redstart still on the hill and a flock of around 25 Mistle Thrush (also seen yesterday by TW).

Also 100+ Swallow and at least 4 House Martin feeding over and around the hill before moving off and a single Swift flew over.

A Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaff also noted.

Needless to say with the weather conditions there was a complete lack of larger insects, however singles of Small White, Gatekeeper and a Southern Hawker seen.

The 2 Nuthatch still frequenting the garden several times throughout the day and a Treecreeper this evening and the feeders have been particularly busy today with Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Red tails on the hill

Sunny, 20°, light ENE.

The 2 Common Redstart still present on the hill today, also 3 Mistle Thrush on the hill for a short time.

2 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat present nearby.

20+ Red Kite and 2 Buzzard riding a thermal out towards the village and a couple of Kestrel around.

A Kingfisher by the pond.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

R&A's: Common Lizard, 1 seen sunbathing on an ant hill.

Dragonflies: Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Some record shots, couldn't get close to anything today except the Brimstone!