Sunday, 30 December 2018

Friday, 28 December 2018

Merlin, Stonechat & Green Sandpiper

Variable cloud with some sunshine, 9°, light W.

2 Stonechat still present on the hill today but quite elusive. A singing Corn Bunting, c20 Meadow Pipit a mobile flock of c200 Starling and c100 Fieldfare also around the hill area.

Scattered flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing elsewhere and a single Lapwing noted.

A Merlin flew overhead near Little Lollingdon and several Yellowhammer and a Kestrel around.

A dead Buzzard found in a ditch surrounded by a lot of white feathers (poss Little Egret). Can only speculate what happened there!

C60 Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill and 2 Herring Gull in the field opposite the Church.

2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit, a Treecreeper and a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the garden today along with several other visiting species. And several Black-headed Gull feeding in the meadow.

A Green Sandpiper heard flying over the garden at 17:00.

A Mistle Thrush singing regularly in the meadow mainly at dawn and dusk.

Remains of a Buzzard and a number of white feathers?

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmas day with Fungi etc

A walk around Wittenham Wood today produced some interesting Fungi, lichens etc, nothing outstanding but pretty good none the less.

Just a few pics of what we found. All photos courtesy Loren Chaplin.

Christmas leftovers for birds

Helpful advice on what we can feed birds with Christmas leftovers. Courtesy

We can feed
Christmas pudding, fruit cake or mince pies, which have a high fat content, fruits and fats supply birds with vital energy during the cold weather.

Cold roast potatoes are another great source of fat. To serve, simply chop into peck size pieces and add to your ground feeder or bird table.

Cooked or uncooked pastry is a superb way of adding extra fats to a birds diet.

Mild low-salt cheese that is grated or crumbled can also give your birds crucial energy, cheese is a favourite amongst robins, dunnocks, blackbirds and song thrushes.

Attract starlings by feeding chopped apples or pears. Soaked dried fruit is a delicious treat for bird, especially with blackbirds.

We can’t feed
Avoid feeding salted nuts; as birds are partially unable to process salt in high quantities and it will harm their nervous system.

Foods also to avoid are cured meats, crisps, cakes, bread and pigs in blankets, these generally tend to contain processed fatty foods which are harmful to birds. Cooked meats can also attract vermin, so best averted. Bread will bloat your bird’s stomach and doesn’t contain any important nutrients.

Christmas stuffing mixes will usually contains many artificial ingredients which may dehydrate your garden birds.

A good rule to follow; foods that are generally unhealthy to human are likely to be unhealthy to wild birds too.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone

From all at Cholsey Wildlife

Monday, 24 December 2018

Unseasonal Butterfly

An unseasonal Red Admiral in a garden on the Wallingford road today and 2 Raven flew over. per Tony Rayner.

Golden Plover heard on Cholsey Hill today but not seen so no idea of numbers.

A Mistle Thrush heard singing over the past few days near Whitehead Meadow.

Photo from earlier in the year

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Little Egrets & Stonechats

A sunny day. 9°, light SSW.

2 Stonechat feeding on the hill today and several Buntings around with Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting all present and several Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Skylark.

2 Little Egret flew from the Little Lollingdon area to Lollingdon and disappeared over the tree line.

Several Buzzard and Red Kite over the hill and a Kestrel hunting nearby.

A Goldcrest and 2 Bullfinch in the Millennium Wood and a Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher along Cholsey Brook.

Several Teal and Common Snipe out at Lollingdon. Per TW, and a Blackcap in TW’s garden recently.

Little Egret

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Busy Garden

Cloudy then rain, 8°, fresh SSE.

A windy and wet day and not particularly fond of birding in those conditions, so a watch kept on the garden and a busy garden it was!

A lot more Finches today, the usual Tit flocks with associated species including Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Great-spotted Woodpecker (2), Green Woodpecker and a few House Sparrow.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Game of Crows

Sunny with little cloud, 8°, light SSW.

There appears to be some kind of power struggle between 2 pair of Crows in the meadow with the resident pair being threatened by a takeover from a nearby pair.

Not the first time this has happened but it does not usually come to violence, it usually involves chases around the area.

Around 10:00 this morning the resident male was attacked by the potential usurper.

The fight appeared quite violent and a local Red Kite even joined in hoping for an easy take. Which actually broke up the fight as one or both may have been taken.

It was a short encounter with the usurper and his female companion flying off over Church road direction. The resident male had a few ruffled feathers but no apparent injuries except maybe pride. He soon regained his dignity and flew up to join his female and both flew off towards Church road.

No further sign of any Crows for the rest of the day!

Sunday, 16 December 2018


Chaffinch, Greenfinch & Linnet
courtesy Alan Dawson

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Black-headed Gulls

Mainly cloudy, 3°, light E.

There have been a lot of Black-headed Gull in the open areas close to the village recently. Small flocks of between roughly 6-50 frequently roaming the playing fields, Rec and Whitehead Meadow looking for food.

A few that turned up today.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Getting colder

Cloudy and dull, 7°, light SE.

Not much change from yesterday but fewer Thrushes around.

2 Lapwing out in the field where yesterday’s Snipe were and just a couple of Pied Wagtail present.

A Kestrel hunting over the south side of the hill and a Treecreeper and a couple of Greenfinch on the north side with the Finch flock.

Both the above are not seen often on the hill.

At least 6 Reed Bunting feeding in a corn crop along with a few Goldfinch.

Another Treecreeper seen in Whitehead (Brook) meadow along with 2 Nuthatch.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Sunny then clouding over, 8°, light SE.

Right from the off there were Fieldfare and Redwing around with the majority out at Lollingdon. Again Redwing were the majority outnumbering Fieldfare by around 3-1. Quite a few Blackbird noted with 50+ and c30 Song Thrush and a flock of c120 Starling.

Several Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer around the hill along with 20+ Meadow Pipit.

A least 6 Common Snipe feeding and preening in the middle of a field and around 20 Pied Wagtail in the same field.

A couple of Bullfinch in the Millennium Wood and a Grey Heron along Cholsey Brook.


 Bullfinch (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Corn Bunting
Male Great-spotted Woodpecker in garden

Saturday, 8 December 2018

More from the Garden

Sunny spells and rain showers, 11°, fresh SW.

A busy garden today with a couple of Tit flocks accompanied by 2 Treecreeper, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker (♂ & ♀), 2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit and several Long-tailed Tit.

Several transient Redwing in the garden trees on and off and a couple of Fieldfare over and a brief visit by a Grey Wagtail.

24 species noted in the garden today.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Grey Herons

A Grey Heron along the Thames at Cholsey today, courtesy Alan Dawson.

unfortunately another found dead along the Wallingford road this afternoon.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Another rainy day

A dull day with on/off rain showers, 12°, light SW.

Again some action in the garden with a Coal Tit and 2 Nuthatch amongst others.

Also a Little Egret seen again to the north of the village. Per AD.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Song Thrush & Little Egret

A wet day with almost continuous light to moderate rain, 13°, light SSW.

A day for not going out, however the Song Thrush visited the garden again and found a few worms amongst the leaf litter and then spent a few minutes having a bath. 

Later in the afternoon I was talking to Tony W on the phone who said he had seen 2 Little Egret out at Lollingdon this morning. And as if on cue a runner flushed a Little Egret from Cholsey Brook in Whitehead (brook) Meadow and it settled briefly in a tree before flying off south. Presumably towards Lollingdon again.

So there are at least 2 Little Egret around the village and maybe 3.