Friday, 30 June 2017

Insects & Birds

Cloudy, 20°, light NW.

A walk out to Lollingdon today, little change noted.

One field contained 17 Red Kite and 3 Buzzard and I noticed a couple of Rabbit carcasses present so these presumably attracted the birds to the field.

The hill was relatively quiet, at least 2 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Corn Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer, 2 Blackcap and 4 Common Whitethroat and a small flock of 14 Linnet. Also at least 3 House Sparrow on the hill.

Nearby were several Chiffchaff and a Kingfisher (per Tony Williams).

A Reed Bunting still in song on the walk out and several Great-spotted Woodpecker. The Little Owl also heard.

A pair of Barn Owl have 3 young in the parish so good news there. (per TW).

Butterflies: not so many around today but still good numbers of Meadow Brown and one seen being taken by a Wasp.

Others noted were: Large SkipperLarge White, Small White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, first Gatekeeper of the year and Ringlet.

Moths: TW has been running a Moth trap recently and a few interesting moths have turned up: Waved Black, Pine Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, Privet Hawkmoth and Poplar Hawkmoth.

Tony Rayner: Meadow full of Ladies Bedstraw, Birdsfoot Trefiol, Betony & Knapweed.

Marbled White everywhere, caught 10 skippers today - 6 Essex 4 Small. Also had first Gatekeeper.

Pyramidal Orchids have increased from 70 last year to 200 this year.
Mothing here this morning with Treehouse School - had 4 Elephant Hawks which were the obvious favourites.

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly
 Whitethroat collecting food for young
 A tussle between a Small Tortoiseshell & Meadow Brown
 Wasp taking a Meadow Brown
 Moorhen and young
Small Tortoiseshell

Monday, 26 June 2017

Little change

Sunny with high cloud, 23°, light ESE.

Little change out at Lollingdon with all the expected species around and 2 Yellow Wagtail collecting food on the hill.

Little else of note Birdwise.

3 Treecreeper in the garden late afternoon, probably a family group.

Dragonflies: Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Southern Hawker, Emperor and Black-tailed Skimmer.

Butterflies: Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Holly Blue (yesterday), Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

Sunday, 25 June 2017


This Buzzard dropped in to the meadow this evening and was chasing insects.

Managed a couple of shots through the window before it flew off.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Garden Wildlife

Cloudy, 19°, breezy W.

A day spent with Loren in the garden today catching up on some chores.

A fair bit of activity in and around the garden with Chiffchaff and Blackcap still singing frequently in the meadow.

The pair of Song Thrush introduced us to at least one of their young as did the pair of Robin.

Young and adult Great and Blue Tit still foraging in the garden along with a Wren family and a couple of Long-tailed Tit.

Nuthatch and Great-spotted Woodpecker heard nearby.

The Mallard Mafia arrived in the garden this afternoon wondering around as if they owned it.

A couple of House Sparrow visiting and 3 finch species regular and at least another 6 species visiting.

Overhead there were approx. 20 House Martin, several Swallow and Swift feeding. Sparrowhawk, Red Kite and Buzzard also seen.

A Hobby seen today hassling House Martins over Honey Lane. Per Mitch.

Mammals: Grey Squirrel, Short-tailed Vole and Wood Mouse and Hedgehog and (common) Pipistrelle Bat at dusk.

Butterflies: Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Meadow Brown.

Moths: Large Yellow Underwing?

Blue Tit
 Young Robin
 Carrion Crow
 Stock Dove
 Young Robin
 Song Thrush
Large Yellow Underwing (courtesy Loren)
 Meadow Brown

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


Another warm and sunny day, 30°, light SE.

A walk along the bunk line as far as Winterbrook and back primarily for Butterflies today.

Some fields being cut for silage between the bunk line and Wallingford road and up to 12 Red Kite and 7 Buzzard in attendance.

30-40 Swallow and 20+ House Martin feeding over Cholsey SF. Sparrowhawk, Hobby and Kestrel noted plus Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat, also Linnet and Yellowhammer and a family of Treecreeper.

Today in the garden: Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Treecreeper.

Butterflies: by far the most abundant were Meadow Brown, followed by Marbled White and Small Tortoiseshell. Also seen, several Small Skipper and Large Skipper, 1 Brimstone, several Large White and Small White, a couple of Common Blue, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood, and 6 Ringlet.

A Silver-Y moth also seen.

I may have got some of the plants wrong below. If so please feel free to correct me 😊.

 Marbled White
 Large Skipper on Clover
 Marbled White on Greater Knapweed
Common Blue (worn individual) on Bird's Foot Trefoil
Marbled White and Thick-legged Flower Beetle on Scabious.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


Found this moth on a window this afternoon. We think it is a female Yellow-tail Moth (Euproctis simillis).

Photos courtesy Loren.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mainly Insects

Sunny, 25°, light SE.

A late post due to a prolonged power cut in Cholsey today.

Another warm and muggy day with most birds seeking cover in the bright sunshine or being less active in the heat. Therefore mainly about the insects noted today.

Dragonflies: Azure Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer, Southern Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Large White, Small White, Small Blue, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Meadow Brown and Ringlet.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Settled times

Partly cloudy with sunny spells, 20°, light W.

A walk out to Lollingdon again today with mostly the expected species seen and heard.

A few Swallow and Swift feeding over the hill and Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting all present and 2 Yellow Wagtail.

A pair of Bullfinch and a couple of Mistle Thrush on the way back.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: 2 Emperor with one egg laying.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady (garden), Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Ringlet and Small Heath yesterday (per TR).

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Garden visitors

Sunny, 20°, breezy WSW.

Some visitors arrived in the garden today in the shape of a Mallard family, 2 adults and 6 Ducklings.

The spent over an hour in the garden feeding and resting up and then wondered back to the brook.

Also the Mute Swan family was on Cholsey Brook along the brook meadow today.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


Moth trap last night was very good, and caught Blue-bordered Carpet; Barred Straw; Small Yellow Wave; Small Elephant Hawk;
Small Bloodvein; Beautiful Hook-tip; Purple Clay; Festoon and
Clouded Brindle - all the first ones for the year.

I am noticing that most moths I am catching are earlier than in
all previous years, so much so that flight periods quoted in the
guide books need to be revised. Per Tony Rayner.

The annual emergence of Scarlet Tiger Moths has started in our garden (actually it started about a week ago). They clearly pupate in the Lawson's Cypress we have in the corner of the garden, and at this time of year we get dozens every day. Quite a sight! Per Phil Dyson.

Scarlet Tiger Moth (library photo taken a few years ago).

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Birds & Butterflies

Sunny, 20°, light NW.

A drive out to Lollingdon and a walk around the hill today. The local farm was cutting fields for silage today and subsequently around a dozen Red Kite and 8 Buzzard in attendance in and over the fields.

2 Grey Heron in the horse paddock.

The usual Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Linnet, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting present.

Dragonflies: an unidentified (blue) Damselfly and an unidentified female Hawker on the hill.

Butterflies: Large Skipper, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

 Grey Heron
 Corn Bunting
 Large Skipper
 Meadow Brown
Red Admiral

Loren's Insects

Sunny, 20°, light NW.

a nice warm day with lots of insects around.

Just a few of Loren's pics.