Sunday, 25 August 2019

Yesterdays Whinchat

An excellent photo of the Whinchat from yesterday by Alan Dawson, taken in better light later in the day.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Whinchat & Wheatear

Sunny, 27°, light SE.

A text from Alan this morning of a Wheatear and a Whinchat along the Bunk Line.

I arrived around 30 minutes later and the Whinchat was still present hawking insects from the fence line but could not find the Wheatear.

1 out of 2 ain’t bad!


a couple of Painted Lady butterfly and a nice Brimstone also seen.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Getting Warm

Mainly sunny, 24°, light S.

Just the 1 Redstart seen on the hill today, plus 2 Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat, a Wheatear and 2 Kestrel.

Nearby 4 Spotted Flycatcher around the paddocks and another on the north side of the hill. Another Common Whitethroat and several Blackcap and Chiffchaff. A single Lesser Whitethroat in a hedge in the cattle field.

A light passage of Swallow and House Martin and 2 Swift over Church road late evening,

Mammals: Brown Hare & Short-tailed Vole.

Reps: 1 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Red Admiral (3), Painted Lady (5), Small Tortoiseshell (7), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper (2) and Meadow Brown (1).

 Spotted Flycatcher

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

A Spotted Flycatcher Day

Sunny intervals, 21°, light SSW.

A Spotted Flycatcher day today with 15-18 out at Lollingdon (15 was the minimum count).

3 small groups of Flycatchers, one of 7, another of 5 all around the paddocks and another group of 3 at Amwell Spring.

On arriving on the hill there were 30 Raptors over the hill, 18 Red Kite, 10 Buzzard and 2 Kestrel. All dispersed after around 30 minutes but the Kestrels stayed.

2 Common Redstart on the hill and a Common Whitethroat, nearby up to 7 Blackcap, another 2 Common Whitethroat and several Chiffchaff.

A Yellow Wagtail flew over on the walk out and a Sparrowhawk seen near Amwell Spring and 3 Swift drifting south with a small Hirundine flock.

Both TW & AD present out at Lollingdon.

Mammals: Short-tailed Vole & Brown Hare.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker & Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (4), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper (2) and Meadow Brown (3).

 Common Darter (m)
Brown Hare (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Butterflies & Dragons

Sunny spells, 19°, breezy W.

An afternoon walk alongside the Bunk line to Winterbrook and back.

Not much birdwise, a few Chiffchaff and singles of Blackcap and Common Whitethroat.

2 Raven heard “cronking” towards Cholsey Hill, a couple of Yellowhammer and around 50 Swallow over the water works.

A single Swift south over Church road mid-afternoon, and another 8 Swift flew over the garden drifting south with several Swallow and House Martin early evening.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Green-veined White (1), Common Blue, Red Admiral (2), Painted Lady (7), Small Tortoiseshell (3), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper (2), Meadow Brown (3).

 Common Blue (above & below)

 Common Darter
 Small White (?)
 Common Darter
Small Tortoiseshell

Monday, 19 August 2019

A good day

Sunny spells with a few light showers. 20°, blustery WSW.

A 5 hour stint out today between Lollingdon and Cholsey village, with warblers and butterflies in fair numbers.

A light but steady passage of Swallow and House Martin passing south and 6 Swift.

Searching sheltered hedgerows produced: 2 Common Redstart, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 1 Willow Warbler, and 7 Chiffchaff.

A small flock of 8 Mistle Thrush, 3 Starling, 2 Raven over the Bullshole and 2 over Lollingdon Hill.

1 Hobby, per Dave,

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

Reps: 2 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: 2 Southern Hawker, 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: low numbers but good variety, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White (1), Small Copper (1), Brown Argus (1), Common Blue (2), Red Admiral (3), Painted Lady (4), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Peacock (1), Comma (2), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper (1), Meadow Brown (2) and Small Heath (1).

Insects: 2 Hornet Robber Fly. Per Alan.

 Raven (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Spotted Flycatcher
Painted Lady

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker dragonfly at Cholsey Marsh.
Photo courtesy Alan Dawson.

5 Swift feeding over the north of the village yesterday and gradually drifted off south.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Wet 'n Windy

Rain and a blustery wind, 17°, moderate SSW.

2 Common Redstart and a single Lesser Whitethroat on the hill today. All appeared during a brief respite in the rain and feeding in the open.

3 Kestrel also active on the hill.

A flock of 50-60 Swallow and House Martin feeding over a field in the lee of the hill. A flock of sheep had only just been put in the field and their movement through the long grass was disturbing insects the Hirundine flock was feeding on.

A Common Whitethroat and 2+ Spotted Flycatcher nearby. A few Chiffchaff around including 1 in the garden this afternoon.

Little else of note in the wet and windy conditions.

Redstarts and a Lesser Whitethroat snuck into the 4th pic.

This one courtesy of Alan Dawson from yesterday.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Spot Flys

3+ Spotted Flycatcher and a Common Redstart out at Lollingdon today. Per Alan Dawson.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

A couple from yesterday

Rain stopped play today!

A couple of photos from yesterday. A Buzzard over the village closely resembles an individual seen out at Lollingdon regularly, maybe the same one.

Photo courtesy Alan Dawson.

And one of the Nuthatch that visits the garden regularly.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Monday, 12 August 2019

A bit quiet!

Mainly cloudy, 17°, light WNW.

2 Raven briefly on the hill before continuing westwards, the Common Redstart still present and a Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Mistle Thrush, Green Woodpecker and 2 Kestrel.

Another Willow Warbler heard in partial song near the village and a couple of Blackcap and Chiffchaff noted.

Several small flocks of Swallow and House Martin moving south.

Mammals: Brown Hare and Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone (1), Large White, Small White, Green-veined White (2), Small Blue (1), Painted Lady (3), Red Admiral (2), Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
Painted Lady

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Great White Egret:

A first for Cholsey: A Great White Egret flew south over Church road at dusk on the 8th Aug. Per Richard Broughton.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Sun, Wind & Rain

Sunny and blustery with several light rain showers, 22°, fresh SW.

3 (poss 1-2 others) Spotted Flycatcher around the paddocks (1 ad & 2 juv).

The Common Redstart still present on the hill, heard calling initially and appeared for approx. 10 mins.

5 Kestrel hunting on the hill and a single Chiffchaff in the Hawthorns.

A Willow Warbler, 3+ Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and a Common Whitethroat nearby, 10 Mistle Thrush and a small flock of 24 Starling feeding in the cattle field.

A flock of 40-50 Swallow out at Lollingdon feeding in the lee of the hill and a small flock of House Martin flew through with 5 Swift. A few Swift seen by AD earlier over the hill.

Some of the Swallow were landing on the top of the hedge, presumably gleaning insects from the foliage (lack of airborne insects due to windy conditions) and some were landing on the track along with some Linnet and Goldfinch. Not sure of that reason? Maybe dust bath? Resting out of the wind? Feeding?

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Dragonflies: A Migrant Hawker seen yesterday by Alan near Bow Bridge and several Brown Hawker. Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker and Common Darter, Cholsey Marsh today.Per Alan.

Butterflies: few seen: Large White, Small White, Painted Lady (3), Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Crustaceans: a Signal Crayfish seen by Alan in the brook at Bow Bridge. This is an invasive species! Signal Crayfish info

Painted Lady
Kingfisher near the 4 Arches (courtesy Alan Dawson)