Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Chiffchaffs & not a lot else.

Sunny, 17°, breezy E.

A very bright and breezy day and little evidence of any migration. Now highly unlikely of seeing any more summer migrants except Chiffchaffs, locally from now on.

In fact only Chiffchaff noted today, 8 in number on the hill with a Tit flock.

Coal Tit and Grey Wagtail in the garden.

Up to 10 Chiffchaff along the Thames from Cholsey Marsh to Bow Bridge. Also a few Swallow on Monday (per TW).

Dragonflies: Unidentified Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 1 Red Admiral and several Speckled Wood.

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

So Quiet

Sunny, 17°, thin high cloud, light ENE.

Very quiet on the hill today with very little activity.

20+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Pied Wagtail, a Blackcap and 6 Chiffchaff.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker, several Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, 1 Red Admiral, several Large White, Small White and Speckled Wood.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Lollingdon 25th Sep

Sunny, 16°, light NW.

A Stonechat on the hill today not seen first time around but appeared later in the afternoon, a Wheatear in fields to the west and 5 Yellowhammer on the hill.

50+ Hirundines over with a 50/50 mix of Swallow and House Martin and a passage of Pied Wagtail (20) and Meadow Pipit (42) also 2 Siskin flew over, all moving south.

4 Sparrowhawk sightings of at least 3 birds and quite a few Buzzard in the air today.

The wooded side had 2 flocks of Tits pass through, the first around 20 birds and the second of around 50. The majority of birds were as usual Long-tailed Tit with several Great and Blue Tit. However the second had 3+ Coal Tit and at least 1 Marsh Tit and both flocks had Goldcrest and Chiffchaff with them. A total of 14 Chiffchaff around the hill today.

A walk out to the Lees proved rather fruitless with just a few Skylark, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer noted.

2 Nuthatch, 2 Coal Tit and a Chiffchaff around the garden today.

Mammals: Roe Deer, Muntjac Deer and Red Fox.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Red Admiral and Comma.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A little quiet

Cloudy with occasional sunny spells, 16°, breezy W.

Very little on the hill today, 7 Mistle Thrush passed through and 60+ Hirundines over, mainly House Martin with around 20 Swallow and a single Sand Martin.

8 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 3 Goldcrest also in the area.

Dragonflies: Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Speckled Wood.

More Illegal hunting arrests

Thames Valley Police has arrested a man and a boy on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Blewbury, near Didcot.

A man aged 43 and a boy aged 14, both from Hampshire, were arrested last night (22/9) at 10.50pm in Chilton, on suspicion of poaching and trespass in Blewbury on the same evening.

Both have been bailed until 15 November.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Illegal Hunting Arrests in Oxfordshire

More illegal hunting arrests in Oxfordshire. Keep your eyes peeled.

Two men arrested for hunting act offences – Blewbury, Didcot

Thames Valley Police have arrested two men on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Blewbury, near Didcot.

Two men aged 30 and 31 from Surrey, were arrested yesterday (21/9) at 4.10pm, in Streatley, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Blewbury, at around 3.40pm the same day.

A vehicle and a dog were seized.

The 30-year-old man has been bailed until 19 October, the 31-year-old man has been bailed until 22 October.

Three arrested on suspicion of hunting act offences – Fyfield, Abingdon

Thames Valley Police has arrested three men on suspicion of Hunting Act offences in Fyfield, Abingdon.

An 18-year-old man, and two youths aged 16 and 17, all from Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, were arrested yesterday (21/9) at 5.15pm, in Pusey, Faringdon, on suspicion of illegal hare coursing in Fyfield the same day.

A vehicle, mobile phones and two dogs were seized.

The three men have been bailed until 29 October.

Monday, 21 September 2015

upon us all a little rain must fall

Rain, 14°, breezy WSW.

A visit to the hill today in rather wet and windy conditions so did not expect to find much.

A Wheatear briefly before flying off to a distant field, 20+ Meadow Pipit and 6 Pied Wagtail around.

Just over 20 Swallow battling through in todays wet conditions.

A Tit flock on the wooded side with around 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Little else of note seen.

A Southern Hawker appeared just as I was leaving when the sun appeared.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Agatha Christie and Wildlife

Saturday & Sunday: Mainly sunny after a misty start, 17°, light SE to SW.

2 walks over the week end along the Agatha Christie Trail.

Over the week end Loren and I plus a few others were helping Tony Rayner lead a couple of walks along the Agatha Christie Trail between Wallingford and Cholsey.

As well as some locals on the walks we had visitors from Cornwall, Devon, Romania, Holland, Australia, USA, Brazil and Japan to name but a few.

Tony would commentate on various aspects of Agatha Christie’s life in Cholsey and also some local recent history and some that dates back to Iron Age, Saxon and medieval times.

On the Saturday we walked from Wallingford to Cholsey and the Sunday a walk to Wallingford from Cholsey and catching the heritage train back along the Bunk line.

Agatha Christie is buried in Cholsey and lived for 40+ years in Winterbrook House (Cholsey) and was a regular visitor to both Cholsey Village and Wallingford Town.

Fortunately I was able to do some birding, after all we were outside so no problem!

Migrants found were 2 Stonechat, found today both along the Bunk Line, one near to Cholsey and the other near Winterbrook, also several Siskin overhead and a couple of Yellow Wagtail with some Pied Wagtail. A Blackcap and up to 7 Chiffchaff.

Whilst in Cholsey Churchyard this morning a flock of 300+ Hirundines (Swallow & House Martin) flew over moving south and over the last couple of days over a 1000 birds counted in total.

Unfortunately no Dragonflies of Butterflies noted.

Birds noted: Pheasant, Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Blackback Gull, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Swallow House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Treecreeper, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.

 Tony in Winterbrook
 The Trail from Cholsey
 The Bunk passing us along the trail
 Agatha Christie's grave
 an informative chat at the graveside
Heading back along Winterbrook
The train drivers
 A very old train driver
 A forgotton passenger
 The return train journey
 Our Japanese visitor
 Still happy!
 A new friend
 The Stonechats

A welcome break at the end.

Little Egret and Siskin

Little Egret dropped onto the Brook right next to Marymead this afternoon, then appeared on the other side of Church road a bit later. Fourth time I've seen one/it in the past couple of weeks.

Siskins in the big garden next to ours most days too, or flying around.

(Per Richard B).

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Rover

Sunny, 18°, light N.

A long walk out to Lollingdon and the Lees today, roving around to see what I could find.

Lollingdon: 50+ Meadow Pipit around the hill, 5 Pied Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 9 Siskin over.

The wooded side held at least 8 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap and 2 Goldcrest.

A good movement of Swallow and House Martin over also, around 400 birds in total.

3 Wheatear in a ploughed field to the north of the hill.

The Lees: 2 Stonechat, 2 Whinchat, 3 Reed Bunting and 2 Jay.

Garden: Nuthatch and Grey Wagtail.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Comma and Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fool in the Rain

Rain, 13°, light NNE.

A brief visit to the hill this afternoon, initially the rain was light but then became heavy and persistent.

Some expected new arrivals around the hill with at least 125 Starling, 20+ Pied Wagtail and 15 Meadow Pipit did not hang around though as the rain got heavy and I got rather wet.

A couple of Chiffchaff and that was it.

Red Underwing on an outside wall at Marymead today

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


Sunny with showers, 16°, light to moderate SW.

Little change from yesterday except a little milder and less rain.

 A single Raven flew over and headed towards the downs and a small flock of around a dozen Siskin flew SW.

The Tit flock still present with Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and a Blackcap still roaming the wooded side of the hill.

Up to 50 Hirundines over with House Martin in the majority again and a handful of Swallow.

A Kingfisher still present around the pond and a Spotted Flycatcher in a private garden.

Up to 20 Siskin still present in a garden in the east of the village (per Tony R).

7 Mallard in the garden at first light and a flock of Canada Geese flew over honking loudly.

Dragonflies & Butterflies: same as yesterday plus a Brown Hawker.

 hræfn (old English name for Raven)

Monday, 14 September 2015

Autumn has arrived

Cloudy with frequent rain showers, 14°, blustery SSW.

A windy day with frequent showers and a fair bit cooler than of late, certainly an autumnal feel.

Very little on the hill today as the wind was blasting on to the south face, just a few Buzzard and Red Kite hanging in the air.

The north side was a little more active with a tit flock of approx. 50 birds. Majority being Long-tailed Tit, 10+ Blue Tit, 6+ Great Tit, 6 Chiffchaff, 3+ Goldcrest, 1 Blackcap and a Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Shortly after a rain shower passed a flock of roughly 150 Hirundines flew over with House Martin outnumbering Swallow 3 to 1 and shortly after a Hobby flew through.

Dragonflies: during a brief sunny interval there were a few Common Darter on the wing.

Butterflies: Small White and Speckled Wood.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Even the Deer are flying

Sunny with thin high cloud, 20°, breezy SE.

A walk out to the hill today with not a lot going on, around 60 Hirundines passing over with a mix of Swallow and House Martin, 4 Siskin and a Grey Wagtail.

Also approx. 300 gulls passing over north easterly, mainly Lesser Blackback Gull with a few Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull.

Up to 10 Chiffchaff and a Blackcap around Lollingdon but little else as far as migrants go. 6 Yellowhammer still present.

Then a walk out to the Lees area which proved fruitful. At least 2 Whinchat, a Stonechat, a Yellow Wagtail, and a Sedge Warbler along the “long dyke” also 4 Reed Bunting and a Hobby flew over.

The chats were feeding in a field of maize and the crop was at least 2 metres high so could only see birds along the periphery so may have been more in the field.

A Grey Wagtail along the brook early evening and 4 Canada Geese flew over the garden at 20:30 and a couple of Tawny Owl around the garden.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 1 Red Admiral and several Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

One for sorrow, Two for joy....but what is 25?

Mainly cloudy, 19°, light E.

Fairly quiet on the hill today and interesting count though of 25 Magpie foraging on the hill and moving into the fields nearby.

Up to 200 Hirundines passing through moving in a south easterly direction, majority were Swallow with around 50 House Martin.

7 Yellowhammer, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, a Yellow Wagtail, a Sparrowhawk and a Kingfisher also in the area.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

Other: Dark Bush Cricket.