Thursday, 15 November 2018


Cloudy, 14°, light SSE.

A lot of Thrushes and Starling out at Lollingdon today quite probably around 800 birds. The majority being Fieldfare, a flock of c250 Starling, a lot of Redwing and several Song Thrush and Blackbird mixed in. The Thrushes are steadily stripping the Hawthorns of berries.

A few Fieldfare on the hill along with 2 Corn Bunting and a few Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.

Several more Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting in nearby fields along with a flock of 40+ Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit and a Treecreeper working an Oak tree nearby.

The Black-headed Gull from yesterday with a damaged wing still out there.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Peregrine bath time

Sunny intervals, 14°, light S.

2 Peregrine Falcon seen today. 1 flew south over the hill towards the downs and then another encountered north of the hill in a field.

On the walk out I noticed an injured Black-headed Gull in one of the fields (damaged wing). On the way back I scanned the field and noticed the same gull present and on the other side of the track I saw what I initially thought was another gull sitting in some water. Once I got my binoculars on it I realised it was a Peregrine bathing.

Fortunately I was in some cover about 100m away so I decided to stay where I was. As the gull was only about 30m from the Peregrine I thought the gull was possibly prey once the Peregrine finished bathing.

However, after around 10 minutes the Peregrine flew off initially towards me then veered off and settled on the top of a pylon around 500m away to preen.

The gull was safe for the time being.

As the pylon was on my route back I kept an eye on the Peregrine but it was partially hidden and it flew off east before I got close enough.

Very much the same out at Lollingdon otherwise, still lots of Fieldfare and Redwing around and the usual flocks of other passerines out in the fields.

Another Common Darter noted again today and closer to the village than the one yesterday.

The injured Black-headed Gull
 Skylark (above & below, courtesy Alan Dawson)

Long-tailed Tit

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A Merlin in the mix

Mainly sunny, 13°, light SW.

Highlight of today was a male Merlin that zipped through out at Lollingdon. Appeared not to be hunting but still panicked all the birds.

Quite a few Yellowhammer, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Linnet scattered around a couple of fields and good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing about and only 2 Starling noted.

2 Goldcrest and 6 Reed Bunting present on the north side of the hill and the south side was all but deserted.

2 Kestrel, a Sparrowhawk and a Raven seen and 3 Mistle Thrush in the garden trees early morning.

2 late insects seen with a single Common Darter dragonfly and a Peacock butterfly.

Reed Bunting
Fieldfare (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pipit

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Another Kingfisher

A showery weekend with sunny spells, 13°, light S.

A brief visit yesterday to the garden by 2 Brambling, by the time I got the camera something had spooked the birds in the garden and did not see them again unfortunately.

Meanwhile Alan Dawson managed a good photo of a Kingfisher along Cholsey Brook.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

After the rain

Early rain followed by intermittent sunshine, 13°, moderate southerly breeze.

Very quiet out there today with only a handful of Fieldfare and Redwing and Starling.

The south side of the hill was very breezy and subsequently nothing there.

2 Jay, 3 Mistle Thrush, 5 Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Bunting and 2 Goldcrest on the north side of the hill.

A small flock of c20 Pied Wagtail and several Meadow Pipit feeding in the open fields and a flock of c20 Yellowhammer nearby.

C150 Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill. Per Richard Broughton.

A Coal Tit and 2 Nuthatch regularly visiting the garden.

Mammals: A Stoat.

Dragonflies: A single Common Darter.


Mistle Thrush

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Golden Plover

A Golden Plover flock between 60-70 back on Cholsey Hill, also a flock of 100+ Lapwing.

Photos courtesy Alan Dawson

Monday, 5 November 2018


Hazy sunshine, 14°, light ESE.

Fairly quiet on the hill today, 8 Corn Bunting present and a few Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.

Lots of Fieldfare, Redwing and Starling scattered about the area and impossible to get a count.

30+ Pied Wagtail in a recently worked field and the flock of Yellowhammer more scattered now the stubble fields have been ploughed.

Little else of note seen.

Mammals: 2 Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: A Southern Hawker in the garden and a single Common Darter Lollingdon.

Butterflies: 3 Red Admiral.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Richard's Pipit revisited

Cloudy with some sunshine, 12°, light S.

A trip to the downs above Blewbury this morning to catch up with the Richard’s Pipit that was found by Roger Wyatt yesterday.

Some good views obtained, albeit fairly distant and interesting to get some comparison with a very close Meadow Pipit.

Lollingdon Hill was visible from where we were watching and it is approx. 1 mile away (as the crow flies).

Richard's Pipit (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Friday, 2 November 2018

Richard's Pipit

Sunny, 12°, light SSW.

A Richard’s Pipit found on the downs today just outside the Cholsey Parish boundary by Roger Wyatt. Only about 1 mile (as the Crow flies) from Lollingdon Hill (where a spring bird was found in 2017 that stayed for all of 15 minutes). This is the first twitchable one since the one in 2002, also found by Roger on the downs. This species is an Oxfordshire county rarity (4th or 5th county record?).

As for Lollingdon it was a reasonably quiet time out there today. The 2 Stonechat still present on the hill but very mobile.

A Raven disturbed whilst bathing in a trough and flew off rather quickly around the hill and appeared again flying south east.

4 Lapwing seen flying north, a single Goldcrest and Reed Bunting also on the hill. Little else noted.

A Merlin seen on Cholsey Hill yesterday. Per Brian Wyatt.

Dragonflies: 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies: a single Red Admiral.

Richard's Pipit (courtesy Roger Wyatt)
 Common Darter
 Goldfinch (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Thrushes dominant

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 12°, light SE.

Not a great deal of variety around today! Plenty of “Winter Thrushes” around with in excess of 200 Fieldfare and 50+ Redwing scattered around Lollingdon.

A single Kestrel on the hill, 2 Yellowhammer and a single Reed Bunting and the usual Skylark and Meadow Pipit out in the fields and a single Raven over.

A single Herring Gull mixed in with the Gull flock out on recently worked fields and a few more Pied Wagtail around.

22 Goldfinch on the garden feeders yesterday. The biggest count yet!

Butterflies: a single Large White and 2 Red Admiral seen that were flying quite strongly south west.

Fieldfare (above & below)


Monday, 29 October 2018

Chilly end to October

Sunny, 8°, light NNE.

A bit chillier than of late and the 2 Stonechat still present on the hill along with a Green Woodpecker.

Elsewhere plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing, c50 Starling and a single Siskin flew over.

Several Jay, Pied Wagtail and a single Grey Wagtail present out at Lollingdon.

Unfortunately not a lot else of note.

Redwing (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail