Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The early bird gets the worm

Cloudy then very wet, 14°, light to breezy N.

As soon as I got to the hill today the rain started so a rather wet walk back.

Nothing unexpected there today and as soon as the rain started nearly everything stopped singing.

Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

2 Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden today, both females.

Monday, 30 May 2016

First Hobby

Richard Broughton just had a Hobby fly over Church road (approx 15:00), the first one of the year in Cholsey as far as we know. As usual I missed it.

Photo courtesy Richard Broughton

Sunday, 29 May 2016


Mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells, 20°, light NNE.

A day spent gardening today and a fair bit going on.

A pair of Grey Wagtail in the garden spending most of their time on the roof, fly catching and the male singing.

2 Nuthatch visiting frequently, several Blackbird families, 2 Song ThrushGreat-spotted Woodpecker, Mallard, Moorhen and Stock Dove to name a few.

Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Buzzard and Red Kite overhead.

“Molly's brood is down to 9. She still had 11 on Tuesday but lost one by Wed morning and then another on Weds afternoon - I strongly suspect a rather bold Carrion Crow, but a pair of Kites are also diving into the garden. The ducklings are coming to the door for food several times per day, preferring rehydrated mealworms” (RB).

A couple of neighbours popped round this afternoon with a bug they had found in their garden and we identified it as a Cockchafer (see pic below).

Molly & Co courtesy Richard Broughton.

Friday, 27 May 2016


Sunny with broken cloud, 21°, light E.

Much the same out at Lollingdon today with Corn Bunting, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer frequent, also Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

And 3 singing Lesser Whitethroat present in the area.

3 young Blackbird in the garden today and a female Great-spotted Woodpecker visiting the garden frequently this week and probably feeding young nearby.

Mammals: Muntjac Deer.

Butterflies: Brimstone, 1 Large White, Small White, 2 Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Marymead and The Lees

Sunny with scattered cloud, 17°, light ENE.

A Grey Wagtail singing on the roof this morning as I went out and 2 ad Song Thrush have been working the garden this week so probably have young in a nest nearby.

Also young of Chaffinch and Great Tit in the garden this week and a pair of House Martin nesting on Bill Campbell’s old house.

A walk out to the Lees found 2 Yellow Wagtail territories and a few singing Yellowhammer and Common Whitethroat.

The “reedy ditch” had several Sedge and Reed Warbler present and a couple of Reed Bunting and a Sparrowhawk overhead.

Butterflies: Small White, Holly BlueRed Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Cholsey Marsh

Overcast, light rain showers, 14°, light NNW.

The weather today was not conducive to a lot of activity on the marsh being dull and cooler than of late.

Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, Bullfinch, Goldcrest and a distant Cuckoo calling and a Water Rail creaking away somewhere.

A Chiffchaff noted feeding fledged young.

Swift, Swallow and House Martin feeding over the marsh and river.

An ad Black-headed Gull and a 2nd sum Lesser Blackback Gull overhead, a Grey Heron, 2 Kingfisher and 2 Great Crested Grebe.

The Harris Hawk seen distantly again being mobbed by a pair of Carrion Crow.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Nuthatch alarm call

Woken this morning by some tapping outside the bedroom window and on checking saw a Nuthatch pecking away at something in the guttering. Not sure what it was after but managed to get a few pics.

Cloudy with a few sunny periods, 18°, light NE.

A walk out to Lollingdon later in the morning and greeted by 3 Raven flying north over the hill.

Also present were a Green Woodpecker, several Corn Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting, several Yellowhammer, 2 Yellow Wagtail, several Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff and a Lesser Whitethroat.

A few Swift and Swallow feeding overhead.

The Fieldfare has not been seen since Fri 20th May.

Cetti’s Warbler still on Cholsey Marsh (Paul Rainsden & Tony Williams) and a Lesser Whitethroat. Also a Peregrine Falcon along Westfield rd. (TW).

Approx 22:30 tonight a flock of c30 Jackdaw flew in from the direction of the village and settled in the rookery, presumably to roost.

Mammals: Roe Deer, Muntjac Deer and a Brown Hare.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Small WhiteHolly Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

More on Molly

Ducklings still doing well, though she lost one a few days ago and is down to 11, but not bad going. They've found a regular food source.

Red Kite and Carrion Crow showing a keen interest in them, but I saw the mother chase off a Carrion Crow today, and the Rooks generally hassle the Kites. The family spend the day either on the brook or touring the gardens.

Two of the mother's siblings from last year are also paired up (female looks very similar but no limp, male is more wild-type but browner with white chest), suspect they may be laying somewhere nearby.

Also a Moorhen brood on the brook for the ducklings to play with.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Dawn Chorus

Cloudy, 8°, light NW (04:30).

A dawn chorus walk along the river at Cholsey Marsh this morning and Tony Rayner took another group from the village centre for a walk along the Bunk line.

Between the village and the Bunk line Tony’s group had 5 singing Goldcrest and Common Whitethroat and Yellowhammer adjacent to the line.

We had 2 Cuckoo this morning one on the marsh and another calling down river.

Plenty of Sedge Warbler, several Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff but we missed a few of the regulars on the marsh.

A Jay popped up briefly in the meadow yesterday and 14 House Martin feeding over the garden between rain showers.

A pair of Hedgehog in the garden recently.

Night shot of the Hedgehogs (Loren)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Molly & the crew

Molly and her brood made it to the brook.

Thanks to Richard Broughton for the photos

Friday, 20 May 2016

Bunk Line walk

Cloudy again, 16°, breezy WSW.

A walk along the Bunk Line to Winterbrook and back today and not a lot along there.

6 singing Common Whitethroat and 5 singing Yellowhammer and a couple of Chiffchaff.

Swallow, Swift and House Martin overhead feeing over the fields and 2 Green and 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker noted.

The duck (that has been named “Molly” by Loren) left with her brood early this morning and made her way to the brook. All 12 have been seen downstream by RB and all looking good.

Butterflies: Green-veined White & Orange Tip.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Cholsey Fieldfare

Cloudy, 17°, light WSW.

A steady walk out to Lollingdon Hill and back today, relatively quiet as would be expected with little change from earlier this week.

The Fieldfare still present, a singing Lesser Whitethroat and at least 2 Yellow Wagtail noted.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.


Over the last few months we have had a pair of “Mallard” almost resident in the garden. I put “Mallard” in quotes as the drake is certainly one but the female is a mix of “domestic call duck” and wild Mallard.

Anyway recently she decided to lay a clutch of eggs in a quiet part of the garden and 2 days ago they hatched out and she has 12 ducklings in her brood, they have been seen feeding in some leaf litter close to the nest site today.

Some of the neighbours are concerned that they may make a move to the brook sometime soon so they are keeping a watch in case we have to provide an escort for them.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Warblers & the rest.

Mainly cloudy, 16°, light SW.

Cholsey Marsh today: at least 8 singing Reed Warbler and up to twice that of Sedge Warbler, also several Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat and a Cetti’s Warbler.

Cuckoo heard downriver, 2 Bullfinch seen, 2 Kingfisher on the opposite bank, 2 Great Crested Grebe on the river and 2 Water Rail heard on the marsh.

A Jay, a Grey Heron and 3 Cormorant also noted.

The Harris Hawk seen high over the marsh and drifted off south.

The usual suspects seen in the garden, plus a House Sparrow today which is far from frequent.

The Starling flock was out in the meadow again today and has grown to around 50 birds and in the early evening they discovered the garden feeders.

Butterflies: Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell.

Dragonflies: 1 unidentified dragonfly seen briefly, fluttered up and went into cover, possibly recently emerged.

 Reed Warbler

 Common Whitethroat
 Harris Hawk