Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Mute Swan family on Cholsey brook.

Details of the breeding female Mute Swan on the brook, from the Thames Swan Uppers. It was ringed as a cygnet in 2003 at Shillingford, and has since been breeding around Goring/Beale Park but last seen in 2014 with a ringed male. So she's got a new mate since then and has relocated about 10 km to Cholsey.

Chris Perrins of the EGI in Oxford (Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology) has asked for reports on the progress of the cygnets (any fledging), but they have not been seen since they swanned past the garden on Sunday 28th May, so if anyone bumps into them over the next few months then please let us know how they're doing and it will get reported back to Richard who will pass the information on to Chris. The female is ringed, left leg, white colour ring with black lettering: L2K.


Thank you to Richard Broughton for the information and the photo.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Back on the Hill

Mainly cloudy, 18°, breezy W.

Back on the hill today and very quiet out around Lollingdon.

A small flock of 10 House Martin flew NW over the hill and 2 Swift and a single Swallow over.

The Little Owl heard calling and at least 4 Corn Bunting and 3 Yellowhammer in song.

Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff also present.

A Hobby seen soaring over the village later being mobbed by Swallows and House Martins.

Butterflies: Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Moths: Cinnabar Moth.

 Now you see me, now you don't

Monday, 29 May 2017

Where have all the Kestrels gone?

So far this year one or two of us have noted an almost complete lack of Kestrels in the Cholsey area. The only one that has been seen recently is one out to the south of the village and that is just a lone individual as far as we can tell.

Normally there have been on average of 5 pairs in the parish. So what’s going on?

I’ve not even seen many whilst driving around locally, appear to be missing from usual places.

Is this a local observation or is it more widespread?

There has also been a suggestion of fewer Sparrowhawk sightings as well but I cannot bear this out.

Any thoughts, ideas etc. appreciated.

Replies: 29/05/17.........1 seen around Cholsey Meadows. NH. Thanks
                       Usual pair around Manor Farm/Bunk Line. RB. Thanks

Not seen any of these in my walks......must be going Kestrel blind!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Birds & Dragons

Cloudy and humid, a little light rain, 20°, light SE.

A visit to Cholsey Marsh this afternoon:

A Kingfisher seen along the river, birds on the marsh were Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly.

Butterflies: a few unidentified Whites.

East End Stuff

Info from Tony Rayner.

Yesterday in the meadow 2 or 3 Dingy Skipper, and again today.

Today our first Small Copper of the year - exceptionally late which
underlines the fact that last year was poor for this species.

A Netted Pug in the trap on Friday night - only the second time I
have caught one.

Cholsey Marsh: Insects

Cloudy and humid, a little light rain, 20°, light SE.

A visit to Cholsey Marsh this afternoon:

All photos courtesy © Loren Chaplin. We have not id’d many as yet but hopefully will do over time. If anyone has an id for any please let us know. Ta.

Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

Bits and pieces

The Mute Swan family at Church Rd Bridge (7 cygnets).

Also a pic of the last surviving duckling from Marymead (the black/white mother is one of the ducklings from last year).

The duck in question laid 14 eggs at Marymead, of these 11 hatched and the young made their way to the brook and at this point in time 1 duckling survives.

Little Egret over the garden yesterday, 26th May and a Peregrine over last Tuesday, 23rd May. Thanks Richard.

A Sparrowhawk over the garden Saturday evening 27th May.

Photos courtesy Richard Broughton.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Violet-backed Starling

Also known as Plum-coloured or Amethyst Starling (Cinnyrisinclus leucogaster). Seen in a garden along the Wallingford road on the 21st May at 17:00.

The bird had a lilac band on its right leg so we can assume this was an escapee from an aviary/cage, they are a commonly kept cage bird unfortunately.

This species has a very large range from forested areas across  sub-Saharan Africa and right across southern Africa from Tanzania to South Africa.

Photos courtesy Claire Holford

Friday, 26 May 2017

Final day out West

Another sunny day, 18°, breezy ESE.

Another touristy day with a visit to a now defunct Tin Mine and going underground………..interesting none the less.

A coast walk in the evening with another sighting of a flyby Chough, 3 Wheatear still around with 1 in song, several Stonechat and Common Whitethroat present as well.

A light movement on the sea with much of the same from this week.

Butterflies: good numbers around today, 20+ Large White, 40+ Common Blue, 20+ Painted Lady, 10+ Red Admiral and a few Speckled Wood.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Getting warm out West

Sunshine, 18°, breezy E.

A touristy visit to St Ives today, not too busy and enjoyed a pastie each and a dark chocolate sorbet and black cherry ice cream for me and a dark chocolate sorbet and strawberry vanilla for Loren 😋.

An evening walk along the coast produced a pair of flyover Chough and 3 Wheatear and of the coast a few Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Fulmar etc.

Butterflies: an influx of Red Admiral today with 10+ seen, also Common Blue and Speckled Wood.

And a beautiful sunset!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sunny out West

Sunny, 15°, light ESE.

A walk along the coastal path today and a brief (1.5 hr) seawatch.

The sea watch produced just over 400 Manx Shearwater in 1.5 hrs this evening, + 35 Gannet, 60+ Auks, virtually all if not all Guillemot, 8 Kittiwake and several Fulmar.

2 Red-billed Chough again in the distance also Raven, Buzzard, 9 Stonechat, several Meadow Pipit and Rock Pipit and 3 Wheatear.

Mammals: Grey Seal.

Reps: Common Lizard.

Butterflies: several unidentified Whites, Common Blue, Painted Lady and Speckled Wood.

Female Linnet
 Meadow Pipit
Grey Seal
 I couldn't resist the Stonechats

Loren out West

Some of Loren's photos from today.

 Very pale Buzzard
 Drinker Moth caterpillar
 Common Carder Bee ?
Painted Lady