Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Harris Hawk

A Harris Hawk turned up in a garden along the Wallingford road today, still in the vicinity this evening.
Presumably an escapee from somewhere and not the same bird that has been present along the Thames area for the last few years.

photos courtesy John Wheeler

Monday, 30 October 2017


Hazy sunshine, warming up, 10°+, light W.

A walk out to the hill this morning with a ground frost still on the grass but slowly warming up.

2 Jay in the Millennium Wood, 2 Grey Wagtail on the brook near the railway and several Yellowhammer half way out.

Roughly 500 Fieldfare around the hill today feeding on Hawthorn berries, a handful of Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, c80 Starling and a definite increase in Blackbird numbers with 50+ noted and 3 Song Thrush.

A Corn Bunting, several Yellowhammer, 6 Goldcrest and 2 Bullfinch also on the hill.

2 Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a flock of approx. 100 Linnet.

A walk out by the Lees did not produce a lot other than 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Jay, and several Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

Amphibians: Common Frog (on the allotments yesterday).

Dragonflies; 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 5 Red Admiral.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


A Merlin, late a.m. on Thursday 26th Oct flying from fields near Caps Lane towards Cross roads. The first record this autumn. Thanks, Chris Brown.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Quiet day

A sunny day, 12°, light WNW.

A later than usual visit to the hill today and just a Green Woodpecker present and a Sparrowhawk hunting Linnets (unsuccessfully).

Nearby, 14 Fieldfare, 23 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, 2+ Bullfinch and several Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.

Female Stonechat near Silly bridge.

Dragonflies: 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 4 Red Admiral.

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Female Stonechat perched on fence post c50m south of Silly bridge. per MA.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Thrushes arriving

Overcast with some light rain showers, 15°, light SW.

Fairly quiet on the hill today with little movement, 17 Starling, 2 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare overhead and 6 Mistle Thrush on the hill.

Nearby a further 30+ Redwing and 7 Fieldfare.

A slight increase in the number of Blackbird and Song Thrush noted recently.

Quite a few Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail in the area, plus 2 Corn Bunting and 3 Yellowhammer, also a Kingfisher.

A Chiffchaff and 6 Grey Wagtail near Church road bridge yesterday. per RB.

Mammals: Brown Hare.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

A Brambling but no YBW

Overcast, Rain, 13°, Fresh to strong SW.

A Brambling 1stw/F with a Chaffinch flock this morning SU5985, per MA.

No sign of Yellow-browed Warbler today. Whitehead Meadow/Rec/Millennium Wood and Bullshole all checked.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Yellow-browed and 2 late Swallow

Cloudy with a fair bit of sunshine, 14°, fresh WSW.

A breezy and bright day on Lollingdon hill but little moving. Before that:

I was out in the garden clearing some twigs etc. after last night’s blow when I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling close to the garden in Whitehead (Brook) meadow, along the hedgerow leading to the Rec at around 17:00. Rushed in to get the bins and camera but could not relocate the bird. Searched until nearly 18:00 and all I managed to find was a flock of Long-tailed Tit and 2 Goldcrest, it may still be somewhere in the area so will look again tomorrow.

Earlier in the day: 15 Mistle Thrush and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker on the southern side of the hill and 2 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest on the northern side.

Nearby 2 Kestrel, c50 Pied Wagtail scattered around, 30+ Meadow Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, 3 Bullfinch, a Little Owl, a couple of Siskin and c20 Redwing.

2 Swallow flew south west over the hill just after 13:00.

Stonechat along the dyke near the Lees and a Peregrine. TW.

Dragonflies: 6 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 8 Red Admiral and 1 Comma.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Overcast and murky with some light rain, 13°, light SE.

2 Corn Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting and a Green Woodpecker on the hill today.

Nearby 3 Bullfinch, 4 Chiffchaff, 50+ Redwing, 30 Meadow Pipit, 10 Pied Wagtail, 10 Mistle Thrush and several Siskin buzzing around.

Also 2 Raven in the vicinity (2 yesterday per TW).

A couple of Chiffchaff and a Cetti’s Warbler on Cholsey Marsh yesterday towards the 4 Arches, TW.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Tony's Garden

Cloudy, 14°, light SW.

A photo from Tony Rayner with a Raven in his garden yesterday.

10 Mistle Thrush on Cholsey Marsh today but little else.

Monday, 16 October 2017


Cloudy and wind strengthening, 19°, fresh S.

An early movement of birds over Lollingdon hill this morning that fizzled out around 10:00 as the wind started to strengthen.

c120 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 70+ Starling, 60+ Chaffinch, at least 1 Brambling and 2 Redpoll.

30+ Skylark and several Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail over the hill were more likely a local movement.

The more sheltered side of the hill had 1 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest with a Tit flock.

3 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk in the area.

c100 Lapwing on Cholsey hill this afternoon with both Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull.

“Pretty sure I had 3 Wheatear on Cholsey hill on Saturday - but I was driving and they were flying across the road together, so didn't get more than silhouettes. Redwing piling in since Saturday night (4 in garden on Sunday), and at least 4 Coal Tit in the flock that's going round the gardens”. (RB).

Dragonflies: 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 2 Large White and 3 Red Admiral.

Some interesting weather today with the sky appearing various hues of dark grey to almost an orange. The sun poking through at times and looking very red. Apparently this is due to dust from the Sahara region and smoke and particulates from the Iberian wildfires being whipped up in the atmosphere by Ophelia?

The following photos were of the only things that stated still for any length of time 😄.

Sunday, 15 October 2017


Sunny, 18°, light S.

An afternoon walk out the Lees with a couple of Chiffchaff en route, 17 Starling flew south and a Wheatear (poss 2?) feeding around Farm buildings near the Lees.

Around 60 Lesser Blackback Gull loafing in fields nearby but little else of interest.

Earlier in the day 2 Raven and several Siskin flew over the garden.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: several unidentified “Whites”, 3 Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood.

 Any ideas?
Harlequin (probably)
Last 2 photos courtesy Loren.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Hope October livens up!

Overcast and breezy. 16°, fresh SW.

Another quiet day on the hill with little of note around.

Nearby were 16 Redwing, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellowhammer and a Goldcrest.

A Sparrowhawk and 3 Kestrel also around.

A roaming Tit flock passed through the garden this afternoon with 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, several Blue and Great Tit and 2 Nuthatch.

14 Goldfinch also feeding in the garden this afternoon.

Mammals: Pipistrelle Bat and Hedgehog active in the garden after dark this week.

Butterflies: 4 Red Admiral.

 This local Buzzard was the only bird on the hill
 Nuthatch, photo taken through foliage.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Red Admirals & Wind

A windy day with rain showers and some late sunny spells, 16°, fresh SW.

The weather was not conducive to any meaningful birding around the hill today with driving rain blowing on to the hill.

5 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a single Siskin noted.

Stonechat possibly still present. Got a distant, brief view of a bird that fitted the size and shape but not seen again.

One nearby field had a flock of c40 Lesser Blackback Gull and 10 Black-headed Gull present.

A Treecreeper with a flock of Long-tailed Tit in the Millennium Wood.

Butterflies: around a dozen Red Admiral with 8 in the meadow adjacent to the garden. Apparently it has been a bumper year for this butterfly in the UK.

Monday, 9 October 2017


Cloudy with some light rain showers and sunshine, light W.

2 Stonechat still present on the hill but sticking to the top corner in the lee of the wind.

2 Raven flew over heading towards the downs and 2 Mistle Thrush and a Chiffchaff present.

Nearby a flock of 60+ Redwing feeding on Yew berries, a Little Owl, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Kestrel.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 2 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Redpoll & Peregrine

A couple of Redpoll today and a pair of Peregrine over Manor Farm. Thanks Richard.

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Mainly cloudy, 15°, breezy WNW.

Several Moorhens have been visiting the garden regularly with their young over the last couple of months.

The first photo is of one of the young dated 23rd August and the second one today.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Stonechat & Wheatear

Cloudy with sunny spells, 15°, light NW.

A busy time of the hill today, 2 Stonechat and Wheatear, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Bullfinch and a good flock of birds in the fields below the hill.

I started to count and was partially through counting and identifying when a Sparrowhawk flew through and scattered the flock. However these are approx. counts. 58 Skylark, 80+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer, 1 Corn Bunting, 3 Pied Wagtail and c100 Linnet.

Nearby a few more Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Grey Heron, another Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, a mixed flock of Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull and 3 Swallow flew south.

Went out to the car at 19:10 and a skein of around 70 Geese flew over calling noisily. Mainly Canada Geese with a few Greylag and at least 1 Egyptian Goose!

2 Tawny Owl have been regular around the garden for the last couple of weeks and very vocal.

Mammals: 2 Hedgehog active in the garden after dark.

Reptiles: a couple of Common Lizard basking in the sun.

Dragonflies: 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Large White, 1 Small White, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 1 Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Slow October

Cloudy with brief sunny spells, 13°, breezy WSW.

Another breezy day on the hill with little of note: 8 Mistle Thrush, 2 Sparrowhawk flew over one hour apart both flying south and 2 Swallow flying south west.

Nearby were a total of 7 Chiffchaff with some roaming Tit flocks and 2 Siskin flew over.

Several Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail in the area.

3 Swallow south along the Thames yesterday, per TW.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Large White, 1 Small White, 5 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood.