Monday, 29 February 2016

The extra day

Cloudy with a few sunny periods, 7°, very little wind SSW.

Pretty quiet again on the hill. The recently ploughed field hosted 28 Pied Wagtail and the south face of the hill had 4 Fieldfare and 21 Starling feeding there but that was about it.

100+ Redwing flew over heading north and a few Fieldfare around the fields to the north and a couple of Yellowhammer.

A Treecreeper in the garden today and giving a few bursts of song, the male Blackcap still feeding up on apples and a Nuthatch, 2 Long-tailed Tit, a Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Sparrowhawk amongst other visitors.

A Tawny Owl flew over the meadow at dusk yesterday.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Siberian Chiffchaff

Earlier this month Roger Wyatt was fortunate to find a first for Cholsey.

The species in question was a Siberian Chiffchaff with not just one but two together at a private site in the village.

A Firecrest also seen at the same site and a Common Chiffchaff.

(Some authorities regard Siberian Chiffchaff as a sub-species of Common Chiffchaff and others a full species in its own right. However that debate is for another time.)

Photos courtesy Roger Wyatt

Friday, 26 February 2016

Gulls Galore

Cloudy with some sunshine, 5°, light SSE.

A walk out to Lollingdon hill, several Redwing and Song Thrush feeding in the playing field and a Coal Tit along the hedgerow adjacent to the brook.

A couple of Siskin flew overhead with a small flock of Goldfinch.

The other side of the Bullshole was a sizable flock of small birds comprising c150 Linnet, 18 Yellowhammer, 9 Greenfinch and several Chaffinch at least.

A Sparrowhawk flew through to the north of the hill.

A small field to the south of the hill had been half ploughed and was frequented by a single Lesser Blackback Gull. Around 10 minutes later a tractor arrived to complete the ploughing and within 15 minutes had attracted 1000+ Gulls, 16 Red Kite and a flock of c50 Starling.

The gull flock was predominately Black-headed Gull with well over 700, the rest made up by Lesser Blackback Gull, at least 12 Common Gull and 2 Herring Gull.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Quiet times

Sunny, 5°, light N.

A walk along the Bunk line this afternoon with very little noted.

A Chiffchaff was about all worth reporting and the odd Redwing and Fieldfare present.

A Grey Heron flew over the garden at dusk followed shortly after by a Tawny Owl and a Sparrowhawk took a Blackbird from the garden earlier in the day.

This Wren was the only bird that posed for a pic.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Cholsey Marsh roost

Sunny, 6°, light NNE.

Close on 200 Corn Bunting in this evenings roost at Cholsey Marsh, also 80+ Meadow Pipit and 20 Starling.

A couple of Reed Bunting in song on the marsh and 2 Treecreeper in the riverside Alders and a couple of Siskin also present.

2 Great Crested Grebe on the river along with several Canada Geese and Greylag Geese and at least 3 Kingfisher along the same stretch of river.

A Grey Heron on the opposite bank and 3 Cormorant overhead.

A couple of Water Rail quite vocal on the marsh at dusk.

Monday, 22 February 2016


Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 7°, light WNW.

Another quiet time out at Lollingdon, c200 Fieldfare and a handful of Redwing, a Kingfisher, 1 Chiffchaff with a Tit flock and a few Yellowhammer.

Close on 1000 Gulls seen distantly on a recently ploughed field and a few Skylark in song and a few small Starling flocks around.

A female Shoveler seen on the Thames at Cholsey Marsh yesterday (per Bob Wyatt).

Saturday, 20 February 2016


Mild and wet, 11°, breezy W.

The first Siskin of the winter on the feeders today.

A Sparrowhawk flew through the garden late afternoon and a Red Kite touched down briefly.

The male Blackcap still present and Nuthatch, Great-spotted and Green Woodpecker visiting the garden today.

A Merlin seen to fly through the EastEnder’s garden today and the Redpolls still present on the feeders.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Still quiet

Sunny but clouding over, 8°, breezy SSW.

Still pretty quiet out at Lollingdon, the most notable was a Woodcock flushed from a ditch almost the same spot as last winter.

Fewer thrushes around than earlier in the week but still 5 species noted.

A Kingfisher, 9 Yellowhammer, 30+ Linnet and a couple of Bullfinch, 6 Buzzard also noted.

A Barn Owl still present along the Bunk line and a Peregrine took a Song Thrush in the same area (per TW).

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Garden Time

Sunny, 5°, light S.

A cold and frosty start to the day and a few things to catch up with in the garden.

A couple of Mistle Thrush and a small flock of Redwing in the meadow and a Sparrowhawk flew over mid-afternoon.

The Rooks nearby are repairing nests at the moment flying backwards and forwards with new nesting material.

The Moorhens seem to spending a fair amount of time in the garden these days and a pair of Mallard arrived and spent around 15 minutes there.

Other visitors were: Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, male Blackcap, and 3 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Stock Dove plus the other regulars.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Not a lot happening

Sunny spells, 5°, light NNW.


Little change from Friday, lots of Thrushes (5 species) scattered around feeding in the fields.

Several Yellowhammer and 2 Reed Bunting and a number of Lesser Blackback Gull on the partial floods.

Several Roe Deer.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Lollingdon & Garden

Cloudy, 6°, light E.

Lollingdon visited today and 2 Raven seen flying south over the hill was the most notable.

Quite a few Thrushes around scattered in the fields between Lollingdon and Cholsey village, 250+ Fieldfare, 120+ Redwing, 20+ Blackbird, 12 Song Thrush and 5 Mistle Thrush.

Also several small flocks of Siskin overhead, around 30 birds in total.

Both male and female Blackcap feeding in the garden today with the male being somewhat belligerent and chasing the female off on several occasions.

The female has a standard ring on her right leg.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Lees

Sunny skies, 5°, light SSE.

A walk out to the farm land by the Lees today.

Relatively quiet, a Peregrine seen resting up on one of the pylons and around 20 Skylark and a small flock of Lesser Blackback Gull out on the partial floods in the fields.

A small flock of finches at the Lees of several Goldfinch, Siskin and at least one Lesser Redpoll and a Chiffchaff with a Tit flock.

Several Buzzard and Red Kite around and a flock of c30 Fieldfare and a couple of Redwing in trees by the railway bridge.

A Kingfisher seen flying along one of the brooks out by the Lees (per Phil & Mary).

A Hedgehog feeding in the garden last night.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cholsey Marsh

Sunny at first then clouding over with a breezy WSW wind, 6°.

120+ Corn Bunting in the roost this evening and a handful of Meadow Pipit.

Little else of note other than a few Redwing and Fieldfare, plus a Chiffchaff, 2 Water Rail and a Sparrowhawk.

Monday, 8 February 2016

New one for the garden

Few sunny spells interspersed by heavy rain showers, 7°, strong WSW gusting to 60 mph.

Not a good day to be out with very wet and windy weather as storm Imogen sweeps through.

Staying in however did pay off with a Merlin shooting through the garden late afternoon, made the Moorhens duck!

The Merlin was a new one for the garden and the second new this year with a Barn Owl last month.

A Sparrowhawk also went through the garden early afternoon but did not catch anything.

Blackcap, Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit and Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden today as well.

A Merlin also out at Lollingdon recently (per RW).

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

More Owls

Sunny spells, 6°, light to mod WNW.

A visit to Lollingdon hill today, 20+ Redwing and a few Fieldfare on the hill, 6 Yellowhammer and a couple of Buzzard.

A nice Barn Owl appeared late afternoon and was hunting for a time before being chased off by a couple of Crows. Quite probably a different bird to the one yesterday around Manor Farm.

A Short-eared Owl this evening flew across Church road and continued north (per RB).

And...........2 Tawny Owl in the meadow this evening.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Barn Owl

Sunny spells with the odd rain shower, 8°, breezy WSW.

Barn Owl seen between the Bunk line and Manor Farm this afternoon (per RB).

Corn Bunting numbers back up at the roost this evening with c140 in, c30 Meadow Pipit and 8 Starling also.

Rather quiet otherwise, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Water Rail and 9 Reed Bunting was all of note and a couple of Red Kite performing over the river.
Barn Owl courtesy Richard Broughton.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Another Blackcap

A female Blackcap turned up in the garden today in addition to the male that's been present since the 19th Jan.