Monday, 9 December 2019

Hare coursers, Geese and an Owl

Sunny, 9°, breezy NW.

A bit of a mixed bag today.

Pretty quiet today and the birding somewhat overshadowed by hare coursers out at Lollingdon. Full details passed on to the Police.

The Police arrived but I am unaware of what ensued afterwards!

A small party of 5-7 Greenfinch seen out at Lollingdon. We get them regularly in the garden but a scarce bird out there for some reason.

Alan went to Little Wittenham where 3 Greater White-fronted Geese turned up and were associating with the Local Greylag Geese. A rare visitor to Oxfordshire and vary rare in Cholsey, the last record being in January 2011 for Cholsey. Photos follow.

And Gerry Sexton managed to get a great photo of a sleeping Barn Owl near Cholsey Marsh!

White-fronted Goose (all Geese photos courtesy Alan Dawson)

Barn Owl (courtesy Gerry Sexton)

Friday, 6 December 2019

A little quieter

Cloudy with some light rain showers, 12°, breezy WSW.

A little quieter than of late along the Bunk line area and a bit wet and windy.

A scattering of Fieldfare and Redwing, a Grey Wagtail and a couple of Bullfinch.

I could also hear some Teal calling but did not see them.

c200 Black-headed Gull feeding around CSW and then resting up in a nearby field.

c100 Golden Plover on Cholsey hill. Per Loren Chaplin. 

At least 3 wintering Blackcap present in Cholsey with 2 in gardens and another along Green Lane. Maybe more present?

Several Roe Deer.

Thursday, 5 December 2019


Some Gull action from Alan today.

 Herring Gull ↕

 Lesser Blackback Gull with Black-headed Gulls ↕

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Foggy start

Foggy at first then sunshine, 5°, light S.

Thrushes still dominating the aviscape with good numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing and Blackbird and several Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush and good numbers of Robin present.

The Thrushes on the hill this morning suddenly flew off in all directions giving alarm calls and approx. 10 seconds later a female Sparrowhawk appeared from out of the fog and settled on the hill. How did they see her coming?

The Little Egret accidentally flushed from Cholsey brook south of the railway and disappeared into the fog.

A couple of Bullfinch heard calling along a hedgerow but obscured by fog.

Sparrowhawk in the garden again.

 Carrion Crow ↕

Lollingdon Hill in fog and 10 minutes later........ ↕

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Garden visitors

A few of the garden visitors today.

 Long-tailed Tit
 Blue Tit
Great-spotted Woodpecker

Also Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Coal Tit amongst others.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Chilly start to December

Sunny, 5°, light WNW.

Another sunny day with good frost early on.

Lollingdon hill quite busy today with 100+ Fieldfare, several Redwing, Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. Several Meadow Pipit, Linnet and a small flock of Starling. A female Sparrowhawk flew south.

At least 3 Goldcrest on the north side of the hill.

A similar scene at Cholsey Church but fewer numbers and a male Sparrowhawk flew through.

Golden Plover heard calling after dark over Church road.

A Chiffchaff present on Cholsey Marsh, Water Rail heard and 3 Common Snipe over. Per Alan Dawson.

Mammals: Roe Deer, Muntjac Deer and Brown Hare.

Butterflies: a late Red Admiral flow south over the hill.

 Chiffchaff (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Fieldfare & Starling
Muntjac Deer

Sunday, 1 December 2019


Alan finally manged a photo of a Bullfinch. We have both been trying for a while to get one but they rarely sit up in the open.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Friday, 29 November 2019

Black Friday - Rather go Birding

Sunny, 6°, light NNE.

A sunny day at last but still very muddy underfoot and hard going out to Lollingdon.

Rather quiet all round today with Alan also reporting that it was quiet in other areas of Cholsey.

A couple of Kestrel noted and a pair of Bullfinch and a vocal flock of Linnet in the tree tops on the hill.

Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird and Song Thrush scattered around and all busy stripping what is left of the berry crop. The area at Cholsey Church for instance had at least 20 Blackbird present and a couple of Fieldfare and Redwing.

Most of the berries have now gone except for a Cotoneaster lacteus (native to China) in the Church yard that still has many berries (or pomes) present and unlike other Cotoneasters the birds do not eat these unless they are really hungry and have no other choice! Presumably they are less nutritious or less palatable?

The Harris Hawk was seen today by Gerry Sexton down at Cholsey Marsh. The first report this year of this bird. It has now been present for at least 6 years in the area.

Quite a few photos today 😀

Song Thrush (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Redwing & Fieldfare
 Part of the footpath to Lollingdon
Cotoneaster lacteus

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Gone quiet

Overcast with light rain (again), 9°, light to breezy W.

Cholsey birders out in force today as I met both Tony W and Alan D along the Bunk line today.

However it has gone quieter along there. Very few Thrushes around today with just a handful of Fieldfare and Redwing and a small flock of Starling.

2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Herring Gull, a flyover Raven and a female Sparrowhawk flew low over the fields.

Tony went “off piste”, with the farmers permission of course and added a couple of Goldcrest.

Little else of note though.


An interesting one today. Tony Williams was handed a bird ring yesterday and he has passed it on to me. (Pictured here).

I had a look at it using a magnifying glass and noticed the ring was from a ringing scheme at Heligoland in Germany.

The bird in question was a first winter male Blackbird that had unfortunately been killed by a cat! It has presumably flown approx. 700km to get here.

I have sent the relevant information to the ringing scheme and await their reply.

We are also waiting for a reply from a Norwegian ringing scheme as a winter plumaged Black-headed Gull photographed by Alan Dawson at Benson Lock the other week had a coloured leg ring on its right leg and a small metal ring on its left leg. According to Euring the code and colour is used in Norway. We await the results.