Sunday, 31 March 2019

Tufted Duck & Orange Tip

A couple of photos from Alan over the weekend

A pair of Tufted Duck, Cholsey Meadows.
Orange Tip

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Garden helper and Blackcaps arrive

Sunny, 17°, light W.

Some gardening to do today and our little helper appeared.

Photos courtesy Loren

A Holly Blue and several Brimstone in the garden.

A Green-veined White in TR’s garden today. 

At least 6 Blackcap singing on Cholsey Marsh today plus a Cetti’s Warbler present. Per Alan Dawson.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Spring has nearly sprung

Sunny, 15°, light S.

a beautiful sunny day and expecting more but not quite there yet.

A single Wheatear on the hill today and a singing Corn Bunting.

The Little Owl still loafing around out at Lollingdon but not easy to find.

An increase in the number of singing Chiffchaff with 12 noted between the village and Lollingdon Hill.

Not really that much else of note.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Reptiles: first Common Lizard of the year with 2 seen.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. Plus Holly Blue & Small White (per TR).

Insects: 2 Black Oil Beetle and Dark-edged Bee-fly.

Dark-edged Bee-fly
Coal Tit

Thursday, 28 March 2019


A nice photo of a Skylark by Alan Dawson.

Their distinctive flight song can be heard frequently at the moment.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019


Sunny intervals, 12°, light NNW.

A visit by a male Blackcap to the garden this morning. I am assuming it is one of the overwintering birds that is still around rather than a newly arrived migrant.

Several species singing in the garden today: Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Robin and Great Tit.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Wheatear again

A sunny day with variable cloud, 13°, light SW.

Not a lot to shout about today.

A single male Wheatear on the hill today and a flurry of Meadow Pipit flying over, approx. 30 birds in total. A Corn Bunting in song and a few Yellowhammer around.

The Little Owl nearby and a Grey Heron.

And of course the usual Chiffchaffs in song.

Most of the Gulls have left the farm land now, just a small flock of Black-headed Gull and a single Lesser Blackback Gull noted.

2 Song Thrush feeding in the garden at dusk.

Mammals: Roe Deer, a (Common) Pipistrelle flying at dusk again.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.

Chiffchaff (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Little Owl
 Grey Heron
Roe Deer

Monday, 25 March 2019

Game of Crows………………continued.

Over the last 10 years I have been observing a pair of Carrion Crow that held a territory in Whitehead Meadow and the surrounding area (including the garden).

Any other Corvid (Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie etc.) that ventured to feed in their territory were quickly chased off.

It has not always been the same birds present over the years as at one point the male disappeared and was replaced by another male and I assume that this could have happened more than once and also maybe the female.

Most years only one young was raised with at least 2 years with no young.

Back in mid-December last year another pair of Crows appeared and there was a violent confrontation.

Since that time Crows have been markedly absent from the meadow and garden area with only minimal sightings and no aggression to other Corvids.

Subsequently other Corvids are now seen feeding regularly in the meadow and garden. The Church road Rookery is close to the garden and there is a small colony of Jackdaw nesting at the other end of the meadow and these seem to have the freedom to forage more openly in the area now.

Even a pair of Jay have moved in to the area this year and can be heard regularly nearby.

I am unsure of what has now happened, maybe the resident pair of Crows now have different territorial responsibilities due to another pair nearby, or have they been completely ousted?

But it obviously leaves a vacuum in this area for another pair of Crows. What has changed in the Corvid dynamics of the area?

All photos from the garden

 Carrion Crow
 The Fight

Sunday, 24 March 2019

A Butterfly day & Wheatears

Sunny, 12°, light WNW.

3 Wheatear still present on Lollingdon Hill along with 6 Fieldfare and 2 Meadow Pipit.

A Raven heard calling nearby and the Little Owl seen.

At least 7 Chiffchaff heard/seen in song and 2 Blackcap seen out at Lollingdon.

Several Yellowhammer singing in various places and a couple of Treecreeper in song.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Green-veined White, Orange Tip (TR), Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.

Moths: Mottled Grey (another new sp for Cholsey, perTR).

Insects: Black Oil Beetle and Dotted Bee-fly.

a (Common) Pipistrelle flying around the meadow at dusk.

Brimstone (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Yellowhammer (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Dotted Bee-fly (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Saturday, 23 March 2019


Cloudy at first then sunshine, 12°, light NNE.

The first Wheatear of the year arrived on Lollingdon Hill today, 2 male and 1 female.

Photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

Friday, 22 March 2019

The calm before the Storm? I hope.

Another overcast day, 11°, light SW.

Still pretty quiet out there with not much going on. Anticipating the arrival of many migrants soon!

A small flock of approx. 30 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing out at Lollingdon, a small flock of around 20 Starling and 5 Chiffchaff were the only birds of note.

A new micro moth for Cholsey in the shape of Brindled Plume (Amblyptilia punctidactyla). Caught by Tony Rayner this week.

 A ringed male Reed Bunting photographed this week by Alan Dawson.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

That time of year

Its that time of year again and a few photos from Bill Nicholls garden today, with a Great Tit nest building and a Goldfinch and Greenfinch on the feeders.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Oil Beetle

Overcast, 12°, light SW.

Still fairly quiet out there today.

5 Chiffchaff heard singing between the village and Lollingdon, appear to be the only migrants around so far.

The hill was very quiet with just a pair of Reed Bunting that flew in and disappeared off after a brief spell.

A single Raven flew south.

Just 2 Fieldfare noted, a few Jay and several Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail and a couple of Yellowhammer in song.

A Barn Owl hunting over Cholsey Hill recently. Per Ben.

And a male Siskin in TW’s garden at the weekend.

There are Rooklings in the Church road Rookery!

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Insects: The first Black Oil Beetle of the year seen on the hill. 3 in total.

Monday, 18 March 2019

A little quiet out there!

Sunshine and showers, 10°, light W.

A quiet day out there, Lollingdon hill was quiet, a flock of c200 gulls following a tractor working one of the fields. Mainly Black-headed Gull (nearly all in summer plumage), 10 Lesser Blackback Gull and a single Herring Gull.

A flock of c20 Meadow Pipit flew west and a Pied Wagtail present.

12 Fieldfare and a single Redwing seen nearby and a Chiffchaff briefly in song.

A female Sparrowhawk soaring high over the garden early afternoon.

A very vocal Water Rail on Cholsey Marsh yesterday and 2 possible Green Sandpiper present. Per Ed M.


Friday, 15 March 2019

A windy week

A week of wind and rain and a week of catching up on others things I need to do so I have not been out birding this week.

However the garden has been fairly active with the Stock Doves courting and the Rooks and Jackdaws still frequent in the garden.

Other regulars have included 2 Coal Tit, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 1-2 Nuthatch amongst others.

 The male Stock Dove in courtship display, fluffing up his glossy neck feathers and then bowing to the female.

But she does not seem to be that interested in his advances at the moment.
 One of the Jackdaws visiting the feeders and coping well.