Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Overcast, 13°, light NW.

A cooler day than of late and fortunately we missed most of the rain.

A surprise on the hill today: a bird alighted on a fence post on the top of the hill and looked interesting. I got the bins on it and realised it was a young Cuckoo. As soon as I raised the camera it took off, gained height and headed off south. I continued watching it as it carried on and was lost from view heading high over the downs.

A single Common Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, several Chiffchaff and 6+ Mistle Thrush present.

Approx. 50 Swallow flew over while I was present and a Kestrel by the paddocks that had just eaten a small rodent.

Mammals: Muntjac Deer.

Butterflies: singles of Large White and Speckled Wood.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Birding & Foraging

Sunny, 26°, light NE.

A twin mission on the hill today with Loren foraging along the hedgerows and me doing what I usually do.

4 Common Redstart on the hill, 8 Mistle Thrush, 2 Common Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker and a Hobby overhead.

Another Common Redstart near the paddocks, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Blackcap, several Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch and a Jay.

A Sparrowhawk over the garden and it appears most of our local Swallow and House Martin have departed.

Reptiles: several Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

Common Darter
Spotted Flycatcher
Common Darter
 Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Green Shield Bug (garden)

Friday, 25 August 2017

Sunshine & Wildlife

Sunny, 22°, light SSW.

A sunny day and enjoyable to spend approx. 4 hours up on the hill today.

A few BOP’s around today with 20+ Red Kite, 14 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, a female Sparrowhawk sparring with a male Peregrine and a Hobby thermalling.

3 Common Redstart present on the hill, plus a Sedge Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and several Chiffchaff and 2 Yellow Wagtail flew over.

A Jay, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker and 20+ Swallow.

On the way back a covey of Grey Partridge exploded in front of me going off in all directions ahead. 1 adult and 6+ young.

1 Swift seen over the village this afternoon.

Mammals: Stoat and Bank Vole, the latter in the mouth of the former.

Reptiles: several Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: several Common Darter and 1 Southern Hawker.

Butterflies: 2 Brimstone, Large White, Small White, 5 Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Moths: a few found in the garden this week: Orange Swift, Oak Eggar, Vapourer, and Brimstone.

Any water will do 👍

Thursday, 24 August 2017

A few bits

A few sunny spells, 20°, light WSW.

3 Swift, a Sparrowhawk and Hobby over the garden today and the previously scarce House Sparrow had 8 individuals in the garden on the feeders.

36 Lapwing in a field by The Bunk Line/Church road and a Little Egret on Cholsey brook. Thanks, Richard Broughton.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Lollingdon with Abingdon Nat Soc

Overcast and humid, 20°, light W.

A walk out to Lollingdon with a group from the Abingdon Naturalist Society, Tony Rayner accompanied us part of the way. Not a great deal seen today but 3 Common Redstart on the hill that showed reasonably well and another calling from a hedge to the west of the hill.

Just 1 Chiffchaff noted, 2 Kestrel and a small passage of mainly Swallow and a Few House Martin and Swift.

A Kingfisher seen by a few along Cholsey brook.

I hope everyone enjoyed the walk and the Redstarts.

2 Green Sandpiper on the pond out at Lollingdon @ 10:00 (per Tony Williams).

The Moorhen visited the garden with its young this afternoon.

Dragonflies: 2 Common Darter this morning and a Southern Hawker in the garden this afternoon.

Butterflies: few noted in the overcast conditions: Large and Small White, a tatty looking Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and a Meadow Brown. Later in the garden as it brightened up there was, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper, a Holly Blue seen by Loren on the allotments.

I was too busy talking today and only took a photo of a Kestrel, so some from the garden later.

Tony's 400th Moth sp

From Tony Rayner.

“You might be interested to know that today I caught the 400th macro
moth recorded here - a Sharp-angled Peacock. It's rare now to get a
new species - but there's plenty of scope with micros!

A Maple Prominent was another unexpected catch today.”

Sharp-angled Peacock
Maple Prominent

photos courtesy Tony Rayner

Monday, 21 August 2017

Spot Flys & Redstarts

Overcast with some light rain, 19°, very light SW.

A reasonable tally out at Lollingdon today with 1 pos 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, a Little Owl, 5 Common Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 5 Blackcap, 3 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 10+ Chiffchaff, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Jay, 5 Bullfinch, c150 Linnet and 2 Reed Bunting.

Lesser Blackback Gull numbers building up in surrounding fields and possibly a few other Gull species present but too distant to id, a Grey Heron, 2 Green Woodpecker and several Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Butterflies: very few around today: several Large and Small White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Gatekeeper and 1 Meadow Brown.

Flesh Fly

A common fly and these flies differ from most other flies in that they are ovoviviparous, opportunistically depositing hatched or hatching maggots instead of eggs on carrion, dung, decaying material or open wounds of mammals.

Adults feed on fluids from animal bodies, nectar, sweet foods, fluid from animal waste or other organic substances.

Photo Loren: found on the allotments.

Thanks to wikipedia for the above info.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

At last!

Sunny, 18°, breezy W.

At last, 4-5 Spotted Flycatcher out at Lollingdon seen by Tony Williams today, also a Willow Warbler, several Common Redstart and Common Whitethroat.

A Willow Warbler on Thursday near Church road and a probable Marsh Tit heard calling. (per RB).

Forgot to mention, a Stoat seen on Wednesday. (per DM).

A Southern Hawker in the garden today and several Bank Vole.

Spotted Flycatcher (2016)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Lizards & the rest.

Cloudy but bright, 22°, light SE veering to SSW.

2 Raven on the walk out to Lollingdon today, both perched up in a large tree.

4 Common Redstart present on the hill, 2 Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat, a Green Woodpecker and a Jay.

Several Bullfinch seen, 4-5 birds.

A Yellow Wagtail flew over and 2 Kestrel around, a Hobby flew over and 18 Mistle Thrush still in the area.

A Little Owl heard calling and 2 Grey Heron seen.

100+ Swift over Cholsey Hill this afternoon with c50 Swallow and House Martin.

2 Peregrine and a Barn Owl recently (per D & H. M).

Mammals: Bank Vole and Roe Deer.

Reptiles: double figures of Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Moths: Hummingbird Hawk-moth (garden).

Monday, 14 August 2017

Signs of movement

Mainly cloudy with some light rain, 18°, light WSW.

A minor movement in Autumn migration today and another birder on the Hill, Gerry Quinn.

3 possibly 4 Common Redstart on the hill today (2m, 1f and pos 1 juv), also a Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, a Common Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap.

A light movement of 10 Swift, c20 Swallow, c30 House Martin and at least 1 Sand Martin overhead.

A Mistle Thrush and Kestrel also present.

The Little Egret seen from the garden yesterday.

Reptiles: 4 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: a Clouded Yellow flew through, 1 Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, 2 Brown ArgusRed Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper.

Other: Oak Bush Cricket and Hornet Robberfly (a rare species in the UK).

 Common Redstart
Common Redstart & Robin
Common Redstart
 Oak Bush Cricket
 Common Blue
Hornet Robberfly Asilus crabroniformis
Hornet Robberfly Asilus crabroniformis
Harvesting the Pea field, initially for human consumption but the rain has spoiled the crop and will now be used as fodder.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Chocolate & Strawberry cake.......... & Beer

Sunny spells, 22°, light WNW.

The Cholsey Show in the meadow behind the garden today and a birthday tea in the garden with a few beers and a chocolate/strawberry birthday cake made by Loren combined to make a pleasant afternoon and evening.

One thing about birding and wildlife watching in general is that you can do it virtually anywhere.

1 maybe 2 Hobby around for most of the afternoon hawking insects and at one time settled in one of the trees in the garden, a Little Egret flew at treetop level following the brook.

40+ Swift moving through and quite a few Swallow and House Martin mixing with some of the local breeding birds still here.

A couple of Southern Hawker seen and several butterflies: Large White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Peacock.

All the bird pics were fairly distant and reflective of my beer consumption!