Saturday, 31 October 2015

Another Wheatear

Sunny, 14°, light SE.

Another Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill today and more Fieldfare and Blackbird noted (per Tony W).

Friday, 30 October 2015

After the Rain

Cloudy after heavy overnight and morning rain, 14°, light SE.

Still rather quiet out on the hill, 2 Mistle Thrush, c50 Fieldfare and a handful of Redwing around and a Brambling flew across the hill with a small flock of 5 Chaffinch.

A flock of Long-tailed Tit passed through on the north side with 4+ Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff and another Chiffchaff in a hedgerow to the north of the hill.

The Linnet flock numbering around 200 has moved a few fields to the east.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Still quiet

Sunny with moderate cloud, 14°, light S.

Lollingdon and Cholsey Marsh today with both being fairly quiet, hope things liven up soon.

A Chiffchaff seen at both sites and winter thrushes still thin on the ground with a handful of both Fieldfare and Redwing at each.

2 Raven and 2 Sparrowhawk over the hill and the usual Buzzards present but quiet otherwise.

5 Siskin at the marsh and a Water Rail calling, 2 Cormorant flew downstream and a Kingfisher present.

40+ Corn Bunting in again at the roost along with several Meadow Pipit.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Gone quiet again

A cloudy, dull but milder day, 15°, light ESE.

The hill was very quiet today and only around 20 Pied Wagtail out in the sheep field and 3 Buzzard sparring with each other over the hill.

40+ Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, several Blackbird and Song Thrush but not the numbers in yet.

A Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest along one of the hedgerows with a small Tit flock and that was about it.

2 Coal Tit and a Goldcrest in the garden this morning with around a dozen Long-tailed Tit.

Barn Owl see hunting near Church road late afternoon (per TR).

Redwings heard flying over tonight in the rain.

Butterflies: a single Red Admiral.

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Hill & the Marsh

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 12°, light ESE.

Lollingdon was rather quiet today with a couple of Goldcrest on the north side and very little to the south with approx. 150 Starling out with the sheep and a few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail.

40+ Fieldfare and 5 Redwing also present.

A later visit to Cholsey Marsh had 42 Corn Bunting come in at the roost and 20+ Meadow Pipit roosting on the marsh also.

A Green Sandpiper was an unexpected addition for the year that flew downstream and a single Redpoll seen, 50 Redwing flew in to the trees on the marsh and a Kingfisher along the river.

Dragonflies: unidentified Hawker.

Butterflies: 4 Red Admiral.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Nuthatch still here and a BO & SEO Cholsey Hill

After 5 years of just one fleeting record of a Nuthatch visiting the garden, 2 have been visiting regularly now since June of this year. Hopefully they will stay in the area now.

A very weak-looking Barn Owl around the church and Church Rd bridge/bunk line just now. It was flying with some effort, flapping hard, moving from perch to perch, often landing on the ground. None of the usual floaty/hovering hunting flight. I'm guessing it's starving/sick/clipped by a car.  Also 150+ Skylark on the fields between the church/gym and the railway line.(per RB).

A Short-eared Owl on Cholsey Hill on Thursday 22nd Oct (per TR).

Friday, 23 October 2015

Late Wheatear

Overcast, 12°, light SSE.

A rather dull day but more of a variety of birds noted.

A late Wheatear seen on the hill today that flew into the middle of the sheep field and was initially hassled by Pied Wagtails before settling down to feeding.

Firstly a Tit flock along Cholsey brook with the usual majority of Long-tailed Tit being accompanied by 2 Coal Tit, 5 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff.

Back to the hill, 45 Lapwing flew over moving south west, 2 Sparrowhawk over south and 3 Buzzard over (local birds), also 26 Skylark over in multiple directions.

The sheep field had 35 Starling, 40+ Pied Wagtail, 50+ Meadow Pipit, at least 1 Corn Bunting and 15 Yellowhammer. In total close on 40 Yellowhammer between Cholsey village and Lollingdon.

To the north of the hill were 120+ Fieldfare, 30+ Redwing, 6 Mistle Thrush, 20+ Blackbird, 7 Song Thrush and 2 Jay.

A Grey Wagtail also noted near the pond.

A Tawny Owl in the garden this evening.

This bird appeared much brighter through bins and rather distant for a good pic, could it be a "Greenland/Icelandic" Wheatear?
The late date and it's arrival also coinciding with Fieldfare and Redwing.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Numbers again

Cloudy with early rain, 14°, light W.

A slightly milder day with little wind.

A flock of around 500 Starling out with the sheep today also the Linnet flock was back on the hill and appears to have increased with at least 350 birds in the flock.

Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting also present but not counted.

A flock of 20 or so Long-tailed Tit on the north side with 2 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff with them.

To the north of the hill approx. 200 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 12 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush along the hedgerows, also at least 3 Bullfinch.

A Sparrowhawk and Kingfisher also noted.

Butterflies: a single Red Admiral on the wing.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What a difference a day makes

Sunny periods, 12°, light NW.

Most of yesterday’s birds appear to have moved on, similar species to yesterday but much smaller numbers. The only species in to three figures were Starling (100+) and large numbers of Gulls (500+) around.

A Little Egret flew over the garden as I was going to the car early afternoon and then presumably the same bird seen out at Lollingdon flying towards Amwell spring late afternoon.

At least 2 Raven heard calling but not seen as they were on the other side of the hill, 24 Fieldfare and 2 Mistle Thrush also noted.

A single Chiffchaff in a hedgerow to the north of the hill and a Sparrowhawk over.

Late news of both a Common Redstart & an unknown number of Brambling on Cholsey Downs on this date (per RW)

Butterflies: a single Brimstone and 2 Red Admiral.

Sorry, another Meadow Pipit (the only ones that stay still long enough)

Monday, 19 October 2015

2000 birds

Overcast, light rain showers, 12°, light N.

A rather dull oppressive day weather wise.

With all the Gulls, Corvids, Pigeons and Raptors, as well as the passerines and others below there were probably well over 2000 birds around Lollingdon today.

Still a lot out in the sheep field and nearby, 80+ Meadow Pipit, 40+ Pied Wagtail, 40+ Corn Bunting, 20+ Skylark, 20+ Yellowhammer, 80+ Starling, 50+ Chaffinch and a flock of 300+ Linnet.

On the hill, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker and 5 Mistle Thrush and 2 Raven flew north.

A few more thrushes around today off the hill, 100+ Redwing, 23 Fieldfare, 8 Blackbird, 5 Song Thrush and another Mistle Thrush most if not all newly arrived.

2 Siskin and a single Goldcrest of note.

A Barn Owl seen by the church this morning (per JD), also seen again this afternoon (per BD).

Meadow Pipit

Friday, 16 October 2015

Another Friday another Merlin.

An overcast hazy day, 12°, breezy N.

A relatively quiet day on the hill with a chilly north wind still.

The relative calm was interrupted by a Merlin that flew across the sheep field and put up all the birds present. I could hear a few Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit in the field but had not got around to trying to count them.

As the Merlin flew through around 200 birds flew up and scattered, not easy to do a count under those conditions but my best estimate follows.

100+ Meadow Pipit, 40+ Pied Wagtail, 15 Corn Bunting, 12 Yellowhammer, 20 Skylark, 20+ Linnet and a single Starling.

  Quite a few more Chaffinch around today.

The only other birds of note were 5 Goldcrest in 2 locations and a Chiffchaff at the Bullshole.

Mammals: a Pipistrelle Bat hunting over the garden at dusk and a Hedgehog after dark.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

A wintery feel

Few sunny spells, 12°, light N.

Reasonably quiet on the hill today and a little chilly, 26 Yellowhammer feeding along the south side and a single Corn Bunting in song, also a scattering of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit in the surrounding fields.

30 Redwing, 5 Siskin and 43 Starling over and 20+ Skylark on the move.

2 Chiffchaff and 5 Goldcrest with a Tit flock, another Chiffchaff near the Bullshole and another in the Millennium wood.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Always Changing

Cloudy, few sunny spells, 11°, breezy N.

A chilly day with a brisk northerly blowing, temperature close to freezing overnight and quite a contrast to yesterday, always changing.

Most of yesterday’s birds appear to have moved on so back to normal, 2 Raven, 5 Redwing, 30 Starling and a single Lesser Redpoll over the hill.

Still a few Goldcrest around also several Blackbird, a Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush.

A handful of Pied Wagtail and 30+ Meadow Pipit.

A Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher (per TW) by the pond.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker.

Butterflies: 3 Whites and a Red Admiral still on the wing.

Yeah I know they could be anything but believe me they are Ravens

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Getting Better

Overcast, 12°, light to breezy N.

A cooler day today and 5+ hours spent in the field on and around the hill and quite a contrast bird wise to yesterday with 2 new species for the year in Cholsey.

A phone call from Tony W this morning to say he had seen 20+ Redpoll out by the Lees, also several Reed Bunting, 5 Redwing, 2 Peregrine Falcon, 1 Chiffchaff, several Goldcrest and an increase in Blackbird numbers.

Also seen over the week end, an Owl flushed alongside the Bunkline was either a Long-eared or Short-eared Owl (per GW).

Anyway back to Lollingdon today, 18 Grey Partridge, in excess of 200 Meadow Pipit, 70+ Pied Wagtail, 70+ Linnet, 23 Yellowhammer and 18 Corn Bunting on or around the hill. Flyovers were 63 Starling, 5 Siskin, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Tree Sparrow and 2 Redwing.

5 Chiffchaff and 11 Goldcrest in total with several Tit flocks and a Little Owl heard calling. Also a Grey Wagtail still present in the area, plus 1 Sparrowhawk and several Buzzard and Red Kite.

Fieldfare and Ring Ouzel seen on Cholsey Downs yesterday and today (per RW & TW).

Butterflies: 1 Small White and 1 Red Admiral.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Things can only get better ...... I hope.

Sunny, 14°, light N.

Very quiet on the hill today with virtually nothing noted other than a Sparrowhawk that flew over.

Back down in the hamlet a couple of Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest noted.

Also 2 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail.

2 Redwing in a garden along Church road today (per RB).

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies: a few Large White, 1 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Ramble On

Sunny, 17°, light ESE.

Not a lot for 5 hours in the field with a walk out to Lollingdon and the Lees.

A Tawny Owl on the hill today flushed from a fence post and mobbed by Chaffinches before disappearing in to some trees.

The south side was quiet just a few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail around and 3 Swallow flew south.

The north side had the usual Chiffchaff (5) and Goldcrest (3), a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Green Woodpecker.

A Stonechat out by the Lees, Grey Wagtail and a couple of Reed Bunting.

15 Siskin in total today and a scattering of Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull on ploughed areas.

2 Coal Tit and 2+ Goldcrest in the churchyard and a Coal Tit, Chiffchaff and Moorhen in the garden.

A Little Egret lifted from the brook at approx 20:30 and called and I could just make out the bird flying over the trees.

Mammals: a single Bank Vole noted and a Hedgehog in the garden.

Dragonflies: a single Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: several Large White and Small White, a Comma, 4 Red Admiral and a single Painted Lady.

A very distant shot of the Stonechat

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Little change.

Overcast, 13°, breezy W.

A cooler day than of late with a brisk westerly breeze blowing.

A flock of c40 Hirundines west over the hill with at least 5 Swallow and the rest House Martin.

25+ Yellowhammer on the hill and 50+ Meadow Pipit in the sheep field.

Several Pied Wagtail and Skylark overhead and a small Tit flock on the north side with accompanying Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.

38 Starling and 2 Bullfinch also noted nearby.

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Speckled Wood.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Chiffchaffs still.

Heavy showers, the odd sunny spell, 16°, breezy SE.

Another visit to the hill today and managed to miss most of the rain.

Again a relatively quiet time, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest and a single Coal Tit of note.

A few more Pied Wagtail around and several Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

Also a Grey Wagtail near the pond.

Butterflies: a few Small White braving the weather.

European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Lollingdon: 5th Oct

Rain, 16°, light SSE.

A brief and wet visit to the hill today and not expecting much.

30+ Meadow Pipit feeding in with the sheep and 4 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest on the hill with a Tit flock.

100+ Hirundines flew over in 2 flocks, the first flock of 48 House Martin and the second flock of mainly House Martin with at least 5 Swallow.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker.

The camera didn't come out to play today due to the wet weather.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Merlin saves the day

Sunny, 18°, light NE.

Another warm and sunny day, more like summer than autumn but the birds not representative of that time.

A rather quiet time on and around the hill but the day was saved by a ♂ Merlin seen. Initially perched on wires then flew low and fast towards the downs.

More Goldcrest than Chiffchaff around the hill today with 7 and 5 noted, a few more Goldcrest and 3 Chiffchaff also noted between the millennium wood and Marymead.

A light movement overhead with around a dozen Skylark, 30’ish Meadow Pipit, 7 Pied Wagtail and 2 Siskin.

In addition 50+ Starling flew over and 2 Bullfinch noted to the north of the hill and a Tawny Owl heard.

A tractor working one of the fields had attracted a flock of around 200 Gulls, mainly, Lesser Blackback Gull, as usual, also 3 Herring Gull and 6 Black-headed Gull.

A lot more Gulls noticed around the pig fields but too distant for id.

2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel and the usual Buzzard and Red Kite noted.

Mammals: 2 Pipistrelle Bats hunting the garden at dusk and a Hedgehog after dark.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.