Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Cholsey Wildlife 2019

Wildlife recorded in Cholsey Parish 2019. 

115 Bird species:

An average year with a few surprises. The first Great Egret seen by Richard Broughton flying south over Church road on 8th August was an expected addition to the Cholsey list. The next surprise was a White-tailed Eagle seen flying over Cholsey Church on the 15th September and the subsequently over the Millennium field football pitch and seen by many who were watching a match at the time. A few days later 15 White Stork were seen flying north over the River Thames by Gerry Sexton.

The 2 latter species were all from release schemes in the south of England and represent wandering birds.

15 Mammal species:

Another average showing. Surely there must be a few more Mammal species around Cholsey?

4 Reptile & Amphibian Species:

Cholsey seems poor for the above with only 6 species recorded. Both Common Newt and Slow Worm info added!

17 Dragonfly Species:

A good year for Dragonflies but nothing unexpected.

30 Butterfly Species:

Slightly up on last year in species but some species, in particular Small Tortoiseshell down in numbers. Whereas Painted Lady was seen in good numbers and ranked as one of the invasion years for this migrant Butterfly.

2 other were noted, Marsh Fritillary and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary but these are assumed to be either escapes or deliberate release by a local breeder.

Moth Species:

No figures on the number of Moth species. However some new additions to the Cholsey list all thanks to Tony Rayner.

Other Insects:

No figures for Insect species this year but a few local rarities noted. Black Oil Beetle, Rousel’s Bush Cricket and Hornet Robber Fly.

Non-native species:

A Black Swan graced the Thames for a short time and the Harris Hawk was seen on 2 occasions this year and the first record of the invasive Signal Crayfish seen.

A big thank you to all the observers and photographers who passed on their sightings. In particular Alan Dawson who has supplied many good photos and records. Tony Williams, Tony Rayner, Richard Broughton, Gerry Sexton and many others. Thanks.

Below is a list of species noted in 2019 and I hope we can continue on your support and information in 2020.

Wildlife species recorded in Cholsey as at 31st December 2019.

If anyone can add to this annual list, please let me know at cholseywildlife@gmail.com or cholseywildlife@hotmail.co.uk


1. Mute Swan

2. Greylag Goose

3. Canada Goose

4. Shelduck

5. Mallard

6. Shovelor

7. Tufted Duck

8. Wigeon

9. Teal

10. Red-legged Partridge

11. Grey Partridge

12. Pheasant

13. Little Grebe

14. Great-crested Grebe

15. Cormorant

16. Little Egret

17. White Stork

18. Grey Heron

19. Great White Egret

20. White-tailed Eagle

21. Red Kite

22. Buzzard

23. Sparrowhawk

24. Kestrel

25. Hobby

26. Peregrine Falcon

27. Merlin

28. Water Rail

29. Moorhen

30. Coot

31. Oystercatcher

32. Ringed Plover

33. Golden Plover

34. Lapwing

35. Dunlin

36. Curlew

37. Whimbrel

38. Common Snipe

39. Ruff

40. Black-headed Gull

41. Common Gull

42. Great Blackback Gull

43. Lesser Blackback Gull

44. Yellow-legged Gull

45. Herring Gull

46. Common Tern

47. Wood Pigeon

48. Stock Dove

49. Collared Dove

50. Cuckoo

51. Barn Owl

52. Tawny Owl

53. Little Owl

54. Swift

55. Kingfisher

56. Green Woodpecker

57. Great-spotted Woodpecker

58. Skylark

59. Swallow

60. Sand Martin

61. House Martin

62. Meadow Pipit

63. Pied Wagtail

64. Grey Wagtail

65. Yellow Wagtail

66. Dunnock

67. Robin

68. Stonechat

69. Whinchat

70. Common Redstart

71. Wheatear

72. Song Thrush

73. Redwing

74. Mistle Thrush

75. Fieldfare

76. Blackbird

77. Ring Ouzel

78. Cetti’s Warbler

79. Grasshopper Warbler

80. Blackcap

81. Garden Warbler

82. Common Whitethroat

83. Lesser Whitethroat

84. Sedge Warbler

85. Reed Warbler

86. Willow Warbler

87. Chiffchaff

88. Goldcrest

89. Firecrest

90. Spotted Flycatcher

91. Wren

92. Great Tit

93. Blue Tit

94. Coal Tit

95. Long-tailed Tit

96. Nuthatch

97. Treecreeper

98. Magpie

99. Jay

100. Jackdaw

101. Rook

102. Carrion Crow

103. Raven

104. Starling

105. House Sparrow

106. Chaffinch

107. Brambling

108. Linnet

109. Goldfinch

110. Greenfinch

111. Siskin

112. Bullfinch

113. Reed Bunting

114. Yellowhammer

115. Corn Bunting


1. Hedgehog

2. Mole

3. Short-tailed Vole

4. Wood Mouse

5. Pygmy Shrew

6. Common Shrew

7. Grey Squirrel

8. Rabbit

9. Brown Hare

10. Stoat

11. Weasel

12. Otter

13. Red Fox

14. Roe Deer

15. Muntjac Deer

Reptiles & Amphibians:

1. Common Frog

2. Common Toad

3. Common Lizard

4. Grass Snake


1. Banded Demoiselle

2. White-legged Damselfly

3. Large Red Damselfly

4. Red-eyed Damselfly

5. Azure Damselfly

6. Common Blue Damselfly

7. Blue-tailed Damselfly

8. Brown Hawker

9. Common Clubtail

10. Hairy Dragonfly

11. Southern Hawker

12. Migrant Hawker

13. Emperor

14. Four-spot Chaser

15. Broad-bodied Chaser

16. Black-tailed Skimmer

17. Common Darter


1. Dingy Skipper

2. Large Skipper

3. Small Skipper

4. Essex Skipper

5. Clouded Yellow

6. Brimstone

7. Small White

8. Large White

9. Green-veined White

10. Orange Tip

11. Green Hairstreak

12. Common Blue

13. Brown Argus

14. Holly Blue

15. Small Blue

16. Small Copper

17. Painted Lady

18. Red Admiral

19. Small Tortoiseshell

20. Peacock

21. Comma

22. Silver-washed Fritillary

23. Marsh Fritillary (probable release)

24. Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (probable release)

25. Speckled Wood

26. Marbled White

27. Gatekeeper

28. Ringlet

29. Meadow Brown

30. Small Heath

Notable Moths: 

1. Lime Hawk Moth

2. Cinnabar Moth

3. Scarlet Tiger

4. Lichen Tree Beauty

5. Jersey Tiger

6. Clifden Nonpareil

Insects of note:

1. Black Oil Beetle

2. Dark-edged Bee-fly

3. Dotted Bee-fly

4. Cockchafer

5. Stag Beetle

6. Red & Black Froghopper

7. Swollen-thighed Beetle

8. Rousel’s Bush Cricket

9. Hornet Mimic Hoverfly

10. Hummingbird Hawkmoth

11. Hornet Robber Fly

Non-native species: 

1. Black Swan

2. Harris Hawk

3. Signal Crayfish

 Painted Lady
 Rousel's Bush Cricket
 Roe Deer
 Southern Hawker
Jersey Tiger

Happy 2020 from Cholsey Wildlife.

Monday, 30 December 2019


Sunny, 10°, light SSW.

A productive walk out to Lollingdon and back today. A Merlin (male) flew east towards Moulsford scattering a Thrush flock in the process.

c200 Fieldfare and several Redwing, a couple of Mistle Thrush and 50 odd Starling present on Lollingdon Hill and a few mobile flocks elsewhere.

23 Pied Wagtail and several Meadow Pipit feeding in a field on the lower slopes of the hill.

A small flock of approx. c20 Golden Plover seen flying out towards Aston Tirrold along with a couple of Lapwing.

2 Goldcrest feeding with a Tit flock on the north side of the hill.

A Raven seen and heard flying towards Cholsey Hill and a Little Egret seen to drop down into Cholsey brook near Little Lollingdon.

And 2+ Brambling with a small Chaffinch flock associating with Fieldfare. Would have likely missed them if I had not heard one call!

A flock of around 20 Long-tailed Tit roaming the church area and Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Coal Tit among the garden visitors today.

Thames & Green Lane

Sightings today from Alan:

Cormorant, Bullfinch, Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler, Mistle Thrush etc

Mistle Thrush
 Bullfinch (male)
 Bullfinch (female)

Sunday, 29 December 2019

All quiet

Sunny spells, 8°, light S.

The flooding out along the Bunk line/Green lane area has receded quite a bit and reflects the lack of birds now out in the fields.

The only Gull seen was an adult Herring Gull near CSW. A few flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing around but little else of note.

Lesser Blackback Gull (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Ducks & Plovers

Overcast, 10°, light SSE.

Alan has managed to add 2 more species to the Cholsey bird list for this year with 6 Shelduck flyover and 2 Wigeon on a flooded field near Green Lane.

Also 200+ Lapwing over, probably the same flock that has been seen over Cholsey Hill and on the floods between Cholsey and the Moreton’s.

Thanks to Alan Dawson for the photos.



Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Xmas day walk

Sunshine and a clear sky, 6°, no wind!

A nice late afternoon walk out to the Lees.

Again not a lot going on, however a Peregrine Falcon sitting on one of the pylons out towards Aston Tirrold.

A flock of 40 Skylark feeding in one of the fields and around 400 Gulls distantly on the flooded area.

 Great-spotted Woodpecker (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Merry Christmas

Have a great Christmas everyone.

From Cholsey Wildlife

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Ruff & Stonechat

Just driving back from Wallingford when I noticed a Wader on the floods along Hithercroft.

A quick stop (fortunately I carry a pair of binoculars in the car) and identified it as a Ruff, a rare bird in Cholsey, the last record being Jan 2013.

There are quite extensive floods between Cholsey, Brightwell and the Moretons and there were a lot of Gulls present.

The last time it flooded like this there were several species of Wader present so worth looking out for.

A Stonechat found by Michael Pocock at Cholsey Meadows today.

I did not get a photo of the Ruff so I have uploaded an image courtesy of the BTO (Tom Wallis).

Monday, 23 December 2019

Much of the same

Sunny spells, 10°, light WSW.

No rain today but the ground is very sodden with some parts of footpaths under water out towards Lollingdon!

Somewhat quiet still but Thrushes abundant with Fieldfare and Redwing flocks roaming and a good number of Starling mixed in.

5 Kestrel noted "en route" and a Sparrowhawk over Lollingdon Hill.

3 Mistle Thrush in the garden late afternoon.


Saturday, 21 December 2019

Bunk Line

A couple of pics by Alan from along the Bunk line today.

Great Blackback Gull
Meadow Pipit

Friday, 20 December 2019

Still raining ☔

Rain & more rain, 8°, breezy SW.

A brief respite from the rain around midday so decided to chance a walk along the Bunk line. Still got caught in a few showers though.

Lots of Corvids feeding out in the flooded fields, including a flock of 21 Magpie but only a single Gull present.

Around 20 Mallard/Hybrids on the floods but keeping close to the brook.

Good numbers of Redwing, Fieldfare and Starling scattered all over and a single Yellowhammer noted.

A Grey Wagtail and several Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit dotted about.

1st winter Herring Gull

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Still raining!

Cloudy then heavy rain, 11°, moderate SSE.

A grey and soggy day today. Fortunately got out before most of the rain came and bumped into Alan who was also out birding this morning.

Not a lot see though. Alan had a Peregrine Falcon fly over out at Little Lollingdon and I saw a female Sparrowhawk over Lollingdon Hill.

Several mobile flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing but little else to report.

Grey Partridge (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

A wet one!

Rain, 6°, light SW.

A bit of a wash out today with almost constant light to moderate rain.

And not a lot going on along the Bunk line. A Grey Heron out in the fields with 20+ Black-headed Gull and a Bullfinch, Grey Wagtail and a couple of Pied Wagtail.

A thin scattering of Redwing and Fieldfare and a flock of c50 Starling around.

5 Roe Deer seen.

No local photos today so I decided to post a pic of a Cook's Petrel I took off Kaikoura, New Zealand. A contrast to what you would see around Cholsey.

Norwegian Gull In Benson

The Black-headed Gull photographed by Alan Dawson at Benson Lock in November and December was ringed as a chick in the Oslo area of Norway in 2011.

It appears to spend the summer months in the Oslo area (presumably breeding) and is not recorded in Norway during the winter months.

The first record outside of the breeding season was in March this year at Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Then seen again in Oslo in April.

It has returned to the UK and is now wintering in the Benson area.

Thank you to Håvard Husebø from Stavanger museum for the information. And to Alan Dawson for the photo.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Still a little quiet

Cloudy with the odd sunny bits, 8°, light ESE.

Another quiet day out at Lollingdon.

A Chiffchaff present on the north side of the hill and 2 Reed Bunting and several Yellowhammer with the Chaffinch/Linnet flock.

A Buzzard seen chasing a Sparrowhawk flying directly towards me and as they became aware of me in their path the Sparrowhawk broke right and the Buzzard left and both disappeared off over adjacent fields.

A male Blackcap visiting a garden at Lollingdon regularly. Per Dave M.

Sparrowhawk in the garden again but didn’t catch anything.

A Weasel seen and it looked as though it was chasing a Grey Squirrel. Several Roe Deer also seen.

 Song Thrush doing its best to avoid the camera.
Sparrowhawk wondering where all the birds have gone.
The track I was heading up when the Buzzard and Sparrowhawk came hurtling towards me. The Sparrowhawk went thru the gap on the right and the Buzzard left.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Cholsey Marsh

Cholsey Marsh today.

2 Egyptian Geese, a Barn Owl, a flock of 12 Long-tailed Tit, a Treecreeper, a Water Rail heard calling, 5 Greenfinch, several Linnet and 4-5 Common Snipe.

Photos of Barn Owl & Egyptian Geese courtesy Alan Dawson.

A Robin's Tail

Sunny spells, 8°, breezy WSW.

Not a lot going on today! 2 Bullfinch in the Millennium Wood and a Raven east over Lollingdon Hill and 2 Little Egret distantly in flooded fields between Lollingdon and Aston Tirrold.

The Robin pictured below was seen early last week and had its tail missing. Have seen it every time I have walked past the hedge where it resides and it does not seem to be adversely affected by the lack of a tail. Hopefully will grow back soon.

Forgot to mention on Wednesday. A Little Owl out at Lollingdon, flushed by 2 horse riders eventually relocated by TW in a nearby garden.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019


Bright at first then clouding up, 6°, light SW.

A bit of a Raptor theme today during a walk out to Lollingdon and back.

26 Red Kite, 14 Buzzard, 3 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, 3 Peregrine Falcon and a single Merlin.

The Peregrines flew west over Cholsey Church, a large female and a much smaller male and what looked to be a young bird and a male Merlin that zipped thru out at Lollingdon.

Other than that there were reasonable numbers of Thrushes around as usual, 4 Great-spotted Woodpecker and 3 Green Woodpecker.

Muntjac Deer, Roe Deer and Brown Hare also seen.

The usual suspects in the garden again today plus Treecreeper, Nuthatch and Coal Tit. TW has both male and female Blackcap visiting his garden.

 2 of the 3 Peregrines ↕

 Green Woodpecker soaking up some sun.
Long-tailed Tit (1 of around 20 in the Church yard)
Treecreeper in the garden (courtesy Loren)