Friday, 15 December 2017

Water World

Variable cloud, 4°, light NNW.

The water features in the garden proved to be the main attraction today with birds almost queuing up to bathe and drink.

A Fieldfare spent a few hours feeding on some apples.

Late in the afternoon, a commotion in the garden when a Sparrowhawk swooped in and managed to grab a Blackbird. However, the Blackbird had managed to get through the fence and the hawk only had a tentative hold on the Blackbird through the fence. After around a minute of struggle with the Blackbird shrieking the hawk gave up and settled on a nearby post and left the Blackbird inert on the other side of the fence.

Assuming the Blackbird was deceased I went out to the garden to remove the corpse but on approaching the Blackbird it squawked and flew off!

As it was getting dark we could not get any decent photos as the light level was very poor. I did manage a very poor shot of the Sparrowhawk hanging upside down holding the Blackbird in its talons.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

After the Snow

A sunny day, 4°, light SW.

Most of the snow has disappeared, still some lying on north facing slopes. With the snow melt and some recent rain it is very muddy underfoot and a lot of partial flooding in local fields.

A flock of 238 Lapwing commuting between several fields out at Lollingdon and good numbers of Fieldfare scattered around, up to approx. 500 birds, also good numbers of Starling, Redwing, Blackbird and Song Thrush.

A few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail feeding around livestock and a couple of Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer on the Hill.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Wintry Garden

Cloudy, 2°, light SSW.

Garden mainly clear of snow but still a fair bit of frozen snow around after a rather cold (-6) night.

A few Fieldfare and Redwing in the garden today and up to 5 Song Thrush and 16 Blackbird and all the regulars.

A Woodcock seen today flying from a hedge across a field out at Lollingdon. Per AK.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

First Snow

Snow, 1°, light ENE.

Snow started falling around 06:00 this morning and begun to settle. However not quite freezing and soggy underfoot.

A walk out to the Lees proved somewhat fruitless as very little seen. A few Gulls in the air and a few Corvids around and 2 Mistle Thrush in the Church grounds.

Most of the action today was in the garden as there was some readily available food.

Species in the garden today: Mallard (5), Moorhen (4), Wood Pigeon (6), Stock Dove (2), Collared Dove (2), Great-spotted Woodpecker, Pied WagtailDunnock (3), Robin (2), Song Thrush (2), Blackbird (8), Wren, several Great Tit and Blue Tit, Coal Tit (3), Long-tailed Tit (9), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Carrion Crow (2), House Sparrow (2), Chaffinch (20+), Goldfinch (14), Greenfinch (8).

Species over the garden: Red Kite, Grey Heron (flew from the brook), Fieldfare, Redwing, Rook, Jackdaw.

A small flock of Lapwing seen by Giuseppe Morlando out at Lollingdon today with approx 30 flying towards Didcot direction and a singleton flying towards Cholsey. Quite probably a cold weather movement as they will not be able to feed on snow covered ground and will be looking for clear ground.

Apart from the Fox last night there has been a Grey Squirrel in the garden today and a Hedgehog last night. Not overly concerned about the Hedgehog being out this time of year as it overwinters in a spot close to the bird feeders and will pop out sometimes to feed up and then retire again.

Midnight Visitor

This beauty visited the garden last night.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Mistle & Song

Rain, clearing early PM, 9°, light to breezy NW.

Both Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush feeding in the garden today in addition to all the regulars.

A Grey Heron dropped in the meadow alongside the brook this afternoon.

 Mistle Thrush ↕

 Song Thrush feeding on one of Loren's homemade energy balls.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Quiet Days

Cloudy, 8°, light WNW.

A quiet time out at Lollingdon today.

On clearing the long tunnel on the way out a small Goose flew over heading east, quite distant but managed to get on to it and am pretty confident it was a Pink-footed Goose. However, I did not get enough on it to be 100% so it’s going down as a probable!

A Raven also flew over on the way back moving south.

The hill hosted the usual Thrushes and Finches and 14 Corn Bunting.

A Sparrowhawk over the allotments this afternoon.

A Merlin seen on Saturday from the railway station, flew across the railway and headed towards Lollingdon and the downs.

Another pic of the Harris Hawk that was present in a garden along the Wallingford road.............has now moved on. Photo courtesy John Wheeler. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Thrushes & Finches

Sunny, 4°, light NNW.

Another chilly day out on the hill although the south side was basking in sunshine and sheltered from the wind and felt quite pleasant.

A very similar mix on the hill to Wednesday but with lesser numbers, mainly Thrushes and Finches.

In addition, a couple of Mistle Thrush and 2 Meadow Pipit on the hill and a Sparrowhawk and Raven flyovers.

A couple of Bullfinch near the Bullshole.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Garden stuff

Cloudy, 3°, light NW.

Another cold day and the morning spent clearing leaves in the garden.

Quite a few Redwing passing over the garden again with birds frequently settling briefly in the tops of the garden trees before moving on. Also several Fieldfare passing through.

The usual Tit flock visiting several times in the day, mainly Long-tailed Tit, with 2 Coal Tit, several Blue Tit and Great Tit, at least 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

Several Blackbird and a Song Thrush frequenting the garden.

Also a rare garden visit from a Magpie and 2 Buzzard overhead.

 Before & After

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Winter is Coming!

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 4° and a cold wind from NNW.

A chilly day with a northerly breeze blowing through.

The Hill was quite busy today with a Green Woodpecker, 100+ Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing, several Blackbird and Song Thrush, 40+ Chaffinch, 30+ Goldfinch, c50 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, and 6 of each Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting.

A Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrel hunting in the area.

2 Goldcrest nearby and another flock of approx. 40 Goldfinch and another Fieldfare flock (c50) on the way back. Still a lot of Black-headed Gull around with approx. 200 noted in fields around Lollingdon.

A Song Thrush in the garden most of today and approx 100 Redwing alighting in the tops of the garden trees before moving on over a period of 30 minutes.

Low numbers of Corn Bunting coming to the roost at Cholsey Marsh recently with less than 50 birds arriving. per TW.