Friday, 29 December 2017

Years End

Sunny spells and rain showers, 6°, breezy W.

The frost and ice had all but disappeared by this morning, a little more flooding in local fields and very soggy underfoot.

A lot going on today out there with a couple of partially flooded fields holding quite a few birds………………c250 Lapwing, 80’ish Black-headed Gull, 44 Lesser Blackback Gull, 280+ Fieldfare, 40+ Redwing, c100 Starling, 14 Yellowhammer, 7 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail and around the field periphery, 8 Song Thrush and 20+ Blackbird.

There were Fieldfare just about everywhere today with a scattering of Redwing, Blackbird, Song Thrush and 3 Mistle Thrush.

Several birds of prey around with a female Merlin flying through fast and low, a male Peregrine hunting over Lollingdon, 3 Kestrel, a female Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzard and the usual 6+ Red Kite.

3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Green Woodpecker, a Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail and 3 Siskin over.

A couple of Goldcrest with a Tit flock in the millennium wood and a couple of Bullfinch present also.

(53 species in total today).

The garden had 10 House Sparrow present today, word must have gotten around! Also, Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Treecreeper and 2 Tawny Owl last night.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Grey Days

Snow, sleet and rain, some lying snow initially but gone by midday, 3°, light to breezy NW.

A grey day and not a particularly good day to venture out……………….so we didn’t!

Just a few shots from the garden.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

All quiet here!

Weather this past week has been cloudy, damp and mild.

Not a lot happening at this time. 50+ Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill in recent days and at least 1 Blackcap on the allotments along Station road.

Garden fairly busy but no surprises.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Golden Plovers

Overcast, 10°, light W.

20+ Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill this afternoon and 2 Jay in a garden along Church road.

A Fox still visiting the garden after dark.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Thrushes still prominent

Sunny, 4°, light NW.

A sunny day and feeling warm in the sun.

Again rather quiet out at Lollingdon today, Fieldfare and Redwing feeding in most of the fields and plenty of Blackbird and Song Thrush.

2 Bullfinch near the Bullshole and 3 out at Lollingdon.

2 Blackcap regular in the garden of TW recently and a Raven and Peregrine confrontation out at Lollingdon at the week end with the Raven chasing off the Peregrine, per D&HM.

Mammals: Brown Hare, Red Fox, Hedgehog & Roe Deer.

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.