Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bye bye 2016

Well as some of you have noted I have not been out for the last 2 weeks and that has been due to illness, almost back to normal now.

Fortunately it has been a quiet time locally with only a few reports in.

Blackcaps being noted in 2 locations in the village (per TR & MP), and a possibly a pair of Marsh Tit feeding in a garden in Cholsey Meadows. (per TR).

As for the garden here it’s been business as usual with the last few days hosting 2 Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 2 Coal Tit and Song Thrush and a surprise rare visit of a single Starling to name a few. And a Grey Heron in the meadow.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Little change

Murky at first then hazy sunshine around midday, 10°, light SSE.

A dull day initially but the misty conditions clearing up around midday but still little change out there.

However very little change out at Lollingdon, 5 Thrush species noted along with a good number of Starling.

The Linnet flock is now around a hundred birds and a good number of Chaffinch and Goldfinch around the hill.

Also a small group of 5+ Bullfinch present.

The Bunting flock also staying steady at 50+ birds.

3 Peregrine Falcon seen in the week between Cholsey and Aston Tirrold, 2 males appeared to be having a territorial dispute while the female looked on. Eventually one male broke off and flew towards Lollingdon Hill (per Brian Wyatt).

9 Roe Deer noted in the mist.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

A day in the Garden

A sunny day, 11°, light SE.

Some time spent in the garden today tidying some of the planted areas.

Firstly a belated report of a Ring Ouzel seen near Lollingdon Hill on Saturday 10th Dec. (per MHH).

A fair bit of activity in and around the garden this week.

A Grey Wagtail has been feeding in the garden most of this week and a Kingfisher seen today flying upstream along the brook.

Fieldfare and Redwing heard most of the day moving overhead with some settling in the garden trees for a short time.

Also overhead the occasional Buzzard and the regular Red Kite and a Sparrowhawk noted earlier in the week.

Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and Blackbirds also around.

A Treecreeper has been a regular visitor lately and Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit both daily on the feeders and several Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch regular visitors.

Several Mallards are still visiting early morning and the Crows and Moorhens several times per day.

2 Stock Dove and Collared Dove also frequent along with several Wood Pigeon.

Other regulars: Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green WoodpeckerBlue Tit and Great Tit.

At least 2 Tawny Owl regular around the meadow and garden most nights and the Hedgehog still active in the garden at night during the mild spells of weather.

Tonight's Moon and what looks like a bird flying across the lower part.

Monday, 12 December 2016

A drab old Day

A dull, misty morning with that horrible drizzle showers, 9°, light SSE.

Fieldfare and Redwing scattered more widely now, most of the berry concentrations in the countryside appear to have been depleted so the birds are foraging further afield and are being seen closer to built up areas.

3 Mistle Thrush, 9 Song Thrush and 22 Blackbird noted.

The Bunting flock still around the stubble field and adjacent hedgerows and over 50 counted today, all Yellowhammer except for 1 Reed Bunting.

2 Jay, 2 Corn Bunting and a Goldcrest on the hill and 5+ Bullfinch nearby.

Several Roe Deer seen.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

A Sunday stroll

A bright day, 8°, light SW.

A Sunday afternoon walk with Loren out to the Lees and back near the church.

The usual thrushes seen, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird and Mistle Thrush.

a few flocks of Corvids and Gulls in the fields and a few Buzzard and Red Kite around.

Also Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet and Yellowhammer present.

All pics by Loren.

Fruit Fly sp?
 Cholsey Church
The "Bunk" train
Wittenham Clumps

Friday, 9 December 2016


A mild, bright day, 12°, light SSW.

As I walked back from the hill today I noticed a Rabbit laying on the track (which was not there 20 mins earlier). Initially thinking it may have myxomatosis I noticed it was still alive but no visible signs of injury or disease.

This may sound a bit harsh but I left the Rabbit where it was and moved up the track for roughly 50 metres and waited.

Within approx. 2 minutes a Stoat appeared, quickly despatched the Rabbit and started to feed.

I stayed and watched for around 20 minutes then moved on leaving it to its meal.

Fewer numbers of birds around today out at Lollingdon, Fieldfare and Redwing numbers still dominant and quite a few Blackbird (50’ish) and Song Thrush (20’ish) noted today.

A flock of around 40 Buntings in a stubble field, mainly Yellowhammer and a few Reed Bunting. Also 3+ Corn Bunting around the hill.

Kestrel, Buzzard, usual Red Kites, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Linnet etc., also noted.

Other Mammals today were Roe Deer and the Hedgehog out in the garden this evening.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A quieter Marsh

Cloudy, 11°, light S.

A quieter marsh this evening with another stunning sunset, approximately 50 Corn Bunting and 50’ish Meadow Pipit in at the roost.

Most of the Corn Bunting came in late this evening and went straight into roost, no hanging about in trees this time.

Lots of Fieldfare and Redwing still around and slowly stripping the Hawthorns of their fruits.

Redwings were more apparent as it got dark with a flock of c60 flying over and a constant stream of smaller groups passing overhead.

A Grey Heron, Cormorant, Coot, a couple of Water Rail and 2 Common Snipe seen.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Same old story

Hazy sunshine, 6°, light E.

Very samey on the hill today with plenty of Fieldfare, Redwing and Starling around.

A Common Snipe flew from the pond.

A Finch flock with Linnet and Chaffinch present and a few Yellowhammer in with them and a couple of Corn Bunting nearby.

Little else of note other than a Red Fox that was not easy to get a clear photo of as it was always behind foliage. In fact very little was photogenic today!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Odds & Sods

Female Blackcap in a garden in West End.

18 Common Snipe in a marshy field between Cholsey and Aston Tirrold.

A Peregrine on pylons out near the Lees.

Male Merlin flew over Cholsey Hill on Thursday.

All info from Tony Williams.

Friday, 2 December 2016


Overcast, 5°, light NW.

A late walk out with Loren this afternoon through the churchyard and out to the Lees. A little milder than of late but still somewhat chilly.

There were loads of thrushes around the church, 100+ Fieldfare, 80+ Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, 6 Song Thrush and around 20 Blackbird.

The Lees were very quiet with just a few Fieldfare out there and very little else other than a Grey Wagtail that flew over.

5 Buzzard noted out in the fields presumably hunting for worms or other invertebrates.

A flock of around 40 Goldfinch and a few Linnet on a weedy field near the railway bridge.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Dusk on the Hill

Another sunny and cold day, 2°, light W.

A late and brief visit to the hill today.

Again the area around the hill dominated by Fieldfare, also several hundred Starling and quite a few Redwing.

A flock of around 40 Meadow Pipit flew over and a small flock of Long-tailed Tit on the hill moving off to roost accompanied by a Goldcrest.

The Hedgehog out in the garden again tonight, clearing up under the bird feeders.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Sunset on the Marsh

Cold and bright, 0°, very light SSW.

Benson recorded the lowest overnight temperature in the UK on Monday night of -9° and the second lowest last night of -6° so it is pretty chilly out there.

A cold late afternoon at Cholsey marsh for the roost. 60+ Corn Bunting in and a similar number of Meadow Pipit.

Lots of Fieldfare and Redwing around and 2 Chiffchaff noted, 1 on the marsh and another over the other side of the river, both with Tit flocks.

A Little Grebe on the river along with several Black-headed Gull and a few Cormorant up and down the river.

3 Water Rail and a couple of Common Snipe on the marsh.

A distant Sparrowhawk observing the roost this evening but flew of east after about 5 minutes.

 A couple of photos by Loren this morning of the 2 Moorhen that visit the garden. Trying to decide whether to come in, then going for it.

The Lime Tree in the meadow in the morning frost.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cold & Quiet

Sunny but chilly, 7°, light E.

A little quieter out at Lollingdon today, still plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing around plus a good Starling flock but most of the buntings appear to have moved elsewhere. Just a few Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Corn Bunting out there.

A small flock of c50 Meadow Pipit in one of the fields and a flock of c80 Linnet still around on the hill and at least 1 Bullfinch present.

Roe Deer also seen and a Hedgehog still feeding in the garden.