Friday, 29 April 2016

Unseasonal weather still

Sunshine & frequent showers (rain, hail and briefly snow), 10°, breezy WSW.

Another mixed bag of weather today and very little change out at Lollingdon.

A single Fieldfare still present and a Swallow hawking over sheltered fields but little else apparent.

Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Song Thrush and 2 Blackcap (m&f) in the garden, a couple of Swallow overhead, also young Robin and Blackbird both being fed by their respective parents.

Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush and a Willow Warbler in the meadow.

Moorhen & Stock Dove in the garden (courtesy Loren)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

If found please return Spring!

Sunny spells, 8°, light WNW.

Another day of contrasting weather, warm in sheltered spots and a lot cooler in exposed areas.

Lollingdon was fairly quiet and basically no change, at least 1 Fieldfare still present.

Cholsey Marsh however was sheltered and quite pleasant to walk around.

Sedge Warbler and Common Whitethroat frequent, a few Blackcap and Chiffchaff and 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Reed Warbler and a  Cetti’s Warbler present.

At least 2 Kingfisher along the river, a Grey Heron on the river bank, a Cormorant flew upstream and a pair of Great Crested Grebe on the river.

Several Swallow feeding over the river and 6 House Martin feeding over the marsh before flying off north.

Butterflies: a few hardy souls about today, 1 Orange Tip, several Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock and a Green-veined White.

 Common Whitethroat (above & below)

Green-veined White (distant)

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Feels like winter!

Sunshine & showers (frozen rain, snow, hail), 8°, light to breezy NW.

A barmy day weather wise, warm in sheltered sunny areas and quite cold when exposed to the wind and precipitation in whatever form it took.

A few winter visitors lingering on with a Redwing seen by Tony Williams at Cholsey marsh yesterday and 3 Fieldfare still present out at Lollingdon today.

Not quite sure if the 2 Blackcap (m&f) in the garden are some of the over wintering ones or summer visitors and Tony W still has a couple of Blackcap visiting his garden.

A Common Sandpiper seen along the river recently. (Tony Williams).

Birdsong appears rather supressed at the moment, maybe down to the weather. A few Chiffchaff seen and a couple of Common Whitethroat and 1 Blackcap, also a couple of Swallow.

The hill just had a few Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting and 2 Corn Bunting present.

A Peregrine flew over and headed off south.

Surprisingly 2 Butterfly species noted today: a single Orange Tip in the garden and 2 Small Tortoiseshell out at Lollingdon.

 Fieldfare (above & below)

Song Thrush

Monday, 25 April 2016

Rubbish weather for the time of year

Overcast, light rain showers, 11°, light NW.

This northerly weather seems to have slowed down migration as Lollingdon was still rather quiet, several Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat around and a single Fieldfare still present.

The hill just hosted a small flock of Linnet and a few Goldfinch.

Cholsey Marsh fared a bit better, at least 6 Common Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 10+ Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and a Cetti’s Warbler, 6 Reed Bunting.

At least 2 Water Rail on the marsh, a Kingfisher along the river, 2 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Mute Swan, also 8 Swallow feeding over the marsh.

A few Loddon Lily now in flower.

Reed Warbler
Blackcap (f)
Common Whitethroat (above & below)

Reed Bunting
Loddon Lily

Wildlife Crime

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after two birds of prey were found injured in Oakley Wood, near Crowmarsh Gifford.

On 29 March an injured Red Kite was found, and another was found on 5 April, both in Oakley Wood. The Red Kites are being cared for by TiggyWinkles, and X-rays have shown that both birds contain shotgun pellets.

Enquiries have revealed that on 22 March a dead Red Kite was found in Oakley Wood but the cause of death is not known.

The Red Kite is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under the Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is an offence to take, injure or kill a Red Kite or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds close to their nest during the breeding season. Violation of the law can attract fines up to £5,000 per offence and/or a prison sentence of up to six months

Enquiries are ongoing, and officers would like to hear from anyone with information about the shooting of Red Kites in Oakley Wood.

PC Robert Searle, Wildlife Officer, said:

“Fortunately incidents of this nature are very rare in the Thames Valley and a thorough investigation is underway.

“The two birds were lucky to survive and I would like to thank Tiggywinkles for caring for the birds so well.

“I’m appealing to anyone who might have information that could assist us with our investigation.”

If you have any information about the incidents please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting URN ‘372 06/04/16’.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

100 up

Sunny spells, 11°, light N.

100 bird species seen in Cholsey so far this year with a ♂ Whinchat out near the “long dyke” this morning, also a couple of Sedge Warbler and a Yellow Wagtail. (Tony Williams).

Lollingdon fared poorly today the south side was out of the wind and comfortably warm in the sunshine but nothing there other than 14 Swallow that flew north.

The other side of the hill was in the wind and rather chilly and not a lot there either, 2 Common Whitethroat, a few Chiffchaff and a Green Woodpecker was about it.

Butterflies: a single ♀ Orange Tip and 2 Small Tortoiseshell.

Nuthatch on the bird table this morning.

Friday, 22 April 2016

A close encounter and the first Cuckoo

A rainy day, 10°, light ENE.

Rather wet and cooler than of late but a walk out to Lollingdon today.

A Sedge Warbler singing along the brook by the millennium wood and 2 Mistle Thrush on the playing fields and a Goldcrest and Grey Wagtail near Church rd bridge.

Still 3 Fieldfare out at Lollingdon, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Jay and a Yellow Wagtail flew over and both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker present.

At least 3 Corn Bunting on the hill, 4 Reed Bunting and up to a dozen Yellowhammer.

Cholsey Marsh: Brian Wyatt had our first Cuckoo today plus a Lesser Whitethroat.

2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit, Song Thrush and a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a baby Robin being fed by the parent birds in the garden today.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Another day

Cloudy, 13°, light to breezy ENE.

Lollingdon a little better than of late, the south side was quiet but the north side had a Lesser Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler both moved off the hill pretty quickly.

Further down were 2 Jay and a Common Whitethroat and 3 Fieldfare present today.

Cholsey Marsh: little change from yesterday.

It looks as though the wintering Blackcaps may have left as there has been no sign of them today, however there is a Blackcap singing nearby which I am assuming is a recently arrived summer visitor.

And a single Lesser Blackback Gull flew west over the garden.

Butterflies: Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock.

Mating Grass Snakes (courtesy The Eastender)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Harris Hawk

Another sunny day, 14°, light ENE.

A morning visit to Cholsey Marsh where I bumped in to an old friend, Brian Wyatt. I had already been along the marsh earlier and decided to walk it again.

When Brian arrived I had just seen a BOP being mobbed by another, the bird doing the mobbing was obviously a Red Kite and I initially thought the other was a Buzzard but it did not look quite right.

As the birds got closer I could see it was a Harris Hawk and it settled in a nearby tree and stayed for a few minutes.

Good to see it is still around and has been for at least 5 years now.

Other species on the marsh were: 6+ Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, 10+ Sedge Warbler, 1 pos 2 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler and 6+ Chiffchaff, 6 Reed Bunting and 2 Jay,

2 Water Rail, a Siskin flew over, several Swallow, 2 Great Crested Grebe on the river also 2 Mute Swan and at least 1 Kingfisher evident.

Lollingdon: quiet again, 3 Bunting species present, 1 Willow Warbler, several Blackcap and Chiffchaff and the lone Fieldfare.

A late report of at least 1 Sand Martin with other Hirundines over Cholsey SF last week. Brian Wyatt.

Butterflies: a good day with 7 species: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Not a lot going on

Sunny, 13°, light NE.

Very little change from yesterday on the hill and little of note.

A single Willow Warbler singing, a Fieldfare still present and a couple of Swallow over.

Monday, 18 April 2016

A few migrants

Cloudy, 11°, light to breezy W.

Quiet on the hill again today, several Corn Bunting in song, several Yellowhammer and 2 ♂ Reed Bunting.

4 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff and 5 Blackcap out at Lollingdon and a single Fieldfare.

5 Swallow flew over heading west.

Garden/Meadow: Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, 3 Blackcap and 2 House Martin and a Swallow over.

Grey Wagtail holding territory at the bridge over the brook again (Church Rd). Can be heard singing in the garden next to the bridge, Goldcrest also holding territory there. Richard Broughton.

Willow Warbler (courtesy The Eastender)
Corn Bunting.
A few garden pics below

Sunday, 17 April 2016

First Swifts

Just had a call regarding at least 7 Swift flying around the Eastenders garden a short time ago..............a little early for them but good to hear they are here.

Nuthatch, Song Thrush and 3 Blackcap in the garden today.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

A bit of everything

Sunshine eventually after rain, 9°, light NNW.

At approx. 17:00 this evening I was out in the garden when I heard a Redstart calling. I looked over to the corner of the meadow and there was a male Redstart in the hedgerow about 10 metres from the garden.

I rushed upstairs to get the camera and back out to the garden and at that moment some people entered the meadow and the bird disappeared into a large garden nearby and never reappeared.

Info from The EastEnder.

Not a great deal to report, but we have had a Willow Warbler here since April 8th.
They usually only stay for one or two days with us - so a relative long-stayer!

Also our first Orange Tip was on April 14th - but only one so far.

Slow-Worm numbers mounting now - 98 counted two days ago.

Ran my first and only moth trap yesterday - a very slow start this year. 8 species including a Herald and an Engrailed and an early Mottled Pug (not supposed to be seen until May.)

Library photo

Friday, 15 April 2016

Rainy Days

Rain again, 10°, light ESE.

A brisk walk around the hill today added little to yesterday’s tally other than a Lesser Whitethroat that was singing along a hedgerow to the north of the hill.

Several Fieldfare and at least 1 Redwing still present, 3 Blackcap and 5 Chiffchaff.

A Sparrowhawk over the garden this morning and 3 Blackcap (2m & 1f) present in the garden.

A few garden visitors

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Dem Bones

Sunny spells and a few light rain showers, 13°, light SSE.

Again very quiet on the hill, 4 Corn Bunting singing, 8 Yellowhammer and 3 Reed Bunting present.

A Yellow Wagtail heard calling but not seen and 2 Blackcap on the north side and 2 more Blackcap nearby.

21 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing and 4 Starling in fields to the north and a Goldcrest.

Apart from 5 Chiffchaff very little else of note.

Butterflies: Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.

4 Blackcap (3m, 1f) still in the garden.

The Barn Owl pellet was soaked overnight and as usual consisted of fur and bones (indigestible parts) and the pic below is the original pellet and the bones therein. What is was …………. is any ones guess.

 After (with the fur removed)

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A few more arrivals

Sunny, 15°, light SSW.

Quiet on the hill today with little around other than a single Fieldfare.

A walk out to the hill and back and later along the Bunk line produced a few migrants.

15 Chiffchaff in total, 5 Blackcap (not counting the 4 in the garden) and 5 Willow Warbler.

5 Common Whitethroat along the Bunk line this morning (Tony Williams) and at least 3 this afternoon and a Yellow Wagtail present.

A Mistle Thrush in the Churchyard and 2 Jay nearby, also a couple of Swallow and House Martin over the village.

A 3rd Wheatear was out at Lollingdon yesterday and a pair of Peregrine noted (Tony Williams).

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock.

Mistle Thrush
Barn Owl Pellet (will take it apart to see what it consists of).

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

More Wheatear

Hazy sunshine, a mini thunderstorm, 14°, light SSW.

2 Wheatear on the hill today along with the usual Buntings and quite a few Raptors in the air today with 8 Red Kite, 4 Buzzard, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

A single Swallow flew over heading north, 2 Blackcap and 4 Chiffchaff around.

Garden: 3 Blackcap, 2 Grey Wagtail, Coal Tit, Song Thrush, a Swallow overhead, 12 Red Kite and 4 Buzzard in the air and a Willow Warbler singing in the meadow.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Comma.

Insects: Bee Fly and Oil Beetle noted.

Thunderstorm passing over Cholsey