Thursday, 31 January 2019

Will it or won't it............snow!

Bright at first then clouding over, 3°, light ESE.

Apparently snow is on the way.......but don't hold your breath!

Little change from Wednesday bird wise. The 2 Stonechat still present and quite a few Fieldfare, a few Redwing, at least 4 Song Thrush and several Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit on the hill.

A Little Egret, 2 Jay, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker (both drumming), a few Yellowhammer and 2 Reed Bunting.

3 Teal also present out at Lollingdon. Per Tony Williams and a female Blackcap in his garden regularly.

10+ Red Kite over the allotments along Station road today and a Little Egret seen out at Lollingdon. Per Bill Nichols.

A male Blackcap in Phil Dysons garden feeding on Callicarpa berries recently.

100+ Corn Bunting at the roost on Cholsey Marsh and a Sparrowhawk present early this week. Per Ed Munday.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

 Male Blackcap (courtesy Phil Dyson)
 Callicarpa berries (courtesy Phil Dyson)

 Meadow Pipit
Little Egret (courtesy Bill Nichols, taken with a compact camera)

Wednesday, 30 January 2019


A sunny day clouding up later, 4°, light W.

After yesterday’s snow that did not materialise there was quite a hefty frost overnight and stayed cold all day.

Did not venture out, things to do but an eye kept on the garden.

A Merlin flew across Cholsey Marsh this afternoon. Per Bill Lester.

A Raven flew over the garden late afternoon heading north.

The usual stuff in the garden today with 2 Nuthatch, a Treecreeper, a Coal Tit, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Song Thrush, 4 Moorhen, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Stock Dove with the male frequently displaying to the female.

Several Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Both Blue and Great Tit, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Robin and Wren.

Several Redwing in the meadow and 2 Mistle Thrush and a few Fieldfare overhead.

after 50+ years of living in Cholsey Tony Rayner has seen his first Nuthatch and Treecreeper in his garden recently!

A great photo of a Treecreeper by Alan Dawson.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Before the rain & snow

Cloudy, 3°, light S.

2 Stonechat still present on the hill and 2 Raven flew south and approx. an hour later 2 flew north (possibly same 2).

A Yellow-legged Gull in field out at Lollingdon with 6 Lesser Blackback Gull.

Quite a few Fieldfare and Redwing around and several Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit.

2 Kestrel flew west over the hill and being harried by a Red Kite.

A Little Egret also seen out at Lollingdon.

Have noticed a lot of Jackdaw activity around our end of the village with several groups exploring chimney stacks on houses.

A Muntjac Deer feeding next to the garden this afternoon.


 Little Egret
Muntjac Deer

Friday, 25 January 2019

Little Egrets..........again

Cloudy, 11°, light W.

A milder day today and somewhat quiet out.

2 Little Egret seen today, with one close to the village and another approx. 1km away towards Lollingdon.

Apart from those it was just the usual Redwing, Fieldfare, a couple of Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Grey Wagtail and Little Egret

Overcast with some light rain, 4°, light W.

The Little Egret seen again in the Brook Meadow. Seeing at least 1 Egret every day at the moment in Cholsey.

Back in 1987 I travelled down to Cuckmere Haven in Sussex to see my first Little Egret in the UK. At that time they were quite a scarce bird in the UK.

Since then they have gradually moved north and west into the UK and I am now seeing them almost daily in Cholsey and even from the office window in the Brook Meadow and Cholsey Brook.

There appears to be 3 wintering in the Cholsey area. They have recently bred in Oxfordshire but will they breed here eventually?

Maybe one of the positives of global warming?

20+ Redwing in the meadow this morning and a Grey Heron this afternoon.

A great picture of a Grey Wagtail courtesy Alan Dawson.

 A record shot of the Egret and Heron in the meadow

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Winter Thrushes

Sunny with variable cloud, 2°, light NNW.

A pair of Bullfinch feeding on berries in the Millennium Wood and then not much else until Lollingdon.

A single bird heard calling several times but not seen flying over. My gut instinct said Grey Plover but as I did not see the bird enough said.

A Raven flew over the hill heading towards the village and a Little Egret seen.

Still plenty of “winter thrushes” around but widely distributed, 20+ Skylark, good numbers of Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail feeding alongside the sheep and 2 Mistle Thrush.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

"Winter Thrushes". Fieldfare & Redwing

A different view of a Kestrel

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Getting Colder

Light Rain and Snow, 3°, light SW.

A Little Egret spent some time in the meadow and Cholsey Brook today.

The “Tailless” Red Kite still present around the village.

Little Egret
Red Kite (courtesy Alan Dawson)

And a the following photos courtesy Bill Nicholls.

Monday, 21 January 2019

A few from the weekend

A few bits and pieces from the weekend.

A couple of Little Grebe photographed on the river at Cholsey by Alan Dawson.

3 Raven seen over Church road on Sunday by Richard Broughton. A single and a pair displaying.

A Little Egret dropped into the brook in Whitehead Meadow on Saturday afternoon and a Red Fox in the garden on Saturday night.

Friday, 18 January 2019

No two days the same

Mainly cloudy, 4°, light SSE.

A completely different day today with lots of birds around.

First off was a roosting Tawny Owl near the Bullshole being mobbed by 2 Jay and several Blackbird and Chaffinch but the Owl just ignored the ruckus and stayed put.

3 Little Egret seen by a couple of local walkers in field NW of the village.

A Raven flew north over Lollingdon hill and the 2 Stonechat still present but quite distant.

A flock of approx. 250 birds on the hill comprising mainly Fieldfare and Starling and with several Redwing and a couple of Song Thrush and a flock of 47 Corn Bunting in the vicinity.

Quite a few more Fieldfare and Redwing seen elsewhere, 5-6 Mistle Thrush and several Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.

200+ Gulls around the pig fields, the majority too distant to ID but most if not all were Black-headed and Lesser Blackback Gull.

c120 Golden Plover seen in the air over Cholsey Hill and a flock of c50 Lapwing flew in from the west.

Both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel seen.

Whilst waiting on the hill for some of the Fieldfare to get closer the whole lot took off in a panic. The Fieldfare scattered and the Starling flew off and formed a tight ball in the sky. Then around 10 seconds later I caught sight of the reason: A Peregrine Falcon had just appeared over the hill, did a few high circuits and then flew off towards the Downs. The birds were far more aware than I was that a Peregrine was nearby heading their way.

2 ( ♂ & ♀ ) Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch and 1-2 Coal Tit in garden.

 This little Wren was scolding me as I was in its way.

Long-tailed Tit

A few record shots. 1. Fieldfare and Song Thrush. 2. some of the Corn Bunting and 3. Peregrine.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Little Egret

Some more photos of one of the Little Egret wintering in the Cholsey area.

Courtesy of Alan Dawson.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Blackcap & Little Egret

Cloudy and wet, clearing later. 9°, light SW.

A female Blackcap in the garden early morning (ringed on right leg).

A walk out to the hill today was a rather damp affair. The hill was very quiet with just a few Meadow Pipit and Linnet buzzing around and 2 Jay.

Elsewhere: a Little Egret seen distantly downstream of Amwell Spring, lots of Redwing, a few small flocks of Fieldfare and Starling. A Goldcrest in song and with a Tit flock along Cholsey Brook.

3 Mistle Thrush in song between the village and Lollingdon and a Song Thrush singing close to the garden and another in the garden.

A Blue Tit seen this afternoon feeding on Mahonia flowers (Mahonia japonica). Probably feeding on the pollen/nectar. The plant is native to Taiwan but we have one in the garden. It flowers from December through ‘til about March and is a good early source of nectar for Bees etc.