Tuesday, 30 April 2019


Green Hairstreak and Small Copper butterflies today. Courtesy Alan Dawson.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Quiet again

Mainly cloudy with sunny spells, 13°, light ESE.

Fairly quiet on the hill and surrounds today, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler. The usual Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff, Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer present and a couple of Raven again in the area.

A Yellow Wagtail near Westfield road. Per Alan Dawson.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Muntjac Deer.

Reps: Common Lizard.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Common Lizard
Yellow Wagtail (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Muntjac Deer

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Tufted Ducks

Light cloud and sunny spells, 14°, light NNW.

2 pair of Tufted Duck at Cholsey Meadows. Per Alan Dawson. A scarce bird in Cholsey.

A Swallow alarm call heard over the garden this afternoon and within around 10 seconds a female Sparrowhawk flew over.

First 3 photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

 Tufted Duck
Red Admiral

Robin bath time

Saturday, 27 April 2019

First Swift

Mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells, 13°, fresh W.

The first Swift of the year over the village this afternoon and 2 House Martin over Church road.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Firecrest, Merlin & Cuckoo

Sunny periods, 14°, moderate SSW, rain mid PM.

The Firecrest seen again in Whitehead meadow this morning and heard in song. Per Michael Pocock & PC. Not seen this afternoon!

A Merlin flew through Cholsey Churchyard this morning. Per Tony Rayner.

2 Cuckoo in the Cholsey Marsh area. Per Alan Dawson.

Thursday, 25 April 2019


After a quiet morning out at Lollingdon today I was resigned to writing up a minimal blog.

Sitting at the laptop when an email came through from Richard Broughton saying that he found a Firecrest in Whitehead Meadow……………………….Grab the bins and camera and rushed out. Found Richard and then the Firecrest.

It was less than 50m from the garden flitting around the trees and bushes on the east side of Whitehead Meadow.

I quickly called Loren, Tony W and Alan and all managed to get to see it.

A real beauty that performed for us and a little later I was watching it from the garden.

This is the 6th record of this species for Cholsey.

All gone quiet!

Sunshine and showers, 15°, moderate S.

Very quiet out there today with very little birdsong and no influx or movement of migrants detected.

A Raven and a Little Owl were the only species of note.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Butterflies: a few around in sheltered spots in the sun, Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

 Orange Tip upperwing & underwing

Wednesday, 24 April 2019


Cloudy with some light rain showers, 13°, light to fresh SSW.

An early call from Alan this morning regarding a Grasshopper Warbler on Cholsey Marsh.

A quick cup of tea and got to the marsh and as soon as I got out of the car I could see Alan and Brian Wyatt there and heard the Warbler reeling away in the depths of the reed bed.

They are an annual visitor on Cholsey Marsh and have bred there in recent years.

Several other Warblers were in song including, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler. Also Cetti’s Warbler per Brian.

All photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

Reed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Hairy Shieldbug

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

A bit more going on!

Hazy sunshine, high cloud, 21°, light ESE.

Firstly a Cuckoo heard late yesterday from Cholsey Marsh area. Per MA.

Lollingdon was a little busier today with 4 singing Lesser Whitethroat and the pair of Swallow have returned. A week later than their neighbours in the village.

A Swallow seen collecting mud from a puddle in Church road this afternoon.

Other species noted singing today were, 8 Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 6 Common Whitethroat, 6 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting, 5 Corn Bunting, a Treecreeper and a few other resident species.

Also seen: Raven, Little Owl, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Jay.

A Garden Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and both Reed and Sedge Warbler at Cholsey Marsh. Per TW.

"The fledged Rook from the Church road Rookery on the 15th might be the earliest ever recorded in Britain. Back calculating a minimum 49 days for laying, incubating & nestling periods, the lay date would have been around 25th Feb. The earliest lay date in the BTO database, downloadable from BTO Bird Trends pages, is 18th March. Rooks are hard to monitor, so the BTO data might not completely rigorous, but those are the dates, and a 3 week difference is pretty massive, so whatever the exact dates, the Cholsey Rooks are exceptionally early this year, and likely some of the earliest ever in Britain." Dr Richard Broughton

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Reps: 4 Common Lizard.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and a possible Small Copper.

Moths: TR caught a Lime Hawk Moth, a month earlier than any previous date in Cholsey.

Lime Hawk Moth
 Song Thrush bathing in the garden

Monday, 22 April 2019

Dribs & Drabs arriving

Sunny intervals, 21°, light ESE.

Still only dribs and drabs arriving out at Lollingdon. An increase in the number of Common Whitethroat and 3 Lesser Whitethroat and singles of Willow WarblerYellow Wagtail and Sparrowhawk.

6-8 Yellowhammer, a single Reed Bunting, Green Woodpecker, Little Owl and a Raven.

A Garden Warbler in the garden yesterday.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Reps: 1 Common Lizard.

Butterflies: Brimstone, good numbers of Orange Tip, a couple of unidentified Whites, good numbers of Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Friday, 19 April 2019

A good mix!

Sunny, 21°, light NE.

A relatively quiet hill today. The first Yellow Wagtail of the year dropped in and a Mistle Thrush present. 3 singing Common Whitethroat vying for attention and a Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler nearby.

2 Raven in the area for a time and then flew SW and c20 Fieldfare still around.

The "Tail-less" Red Kite over Station road allotments most of the afternoon.

Mammals: Stoat, Brown Hare and Roe Deer.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood.

Most photos taken from a distance today.

Red Kite
Yellow Wagtail
 Stoat "running up that hill"
Holly Blue

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Odds & Sods

Sunshine, 20°, light E.

Another Willow Warbler today singing near the garden and a Raven over Route 1 garden centre.

2 House Martin back along Church road this morning feeding overhead with several Swallow.

A singing Reed Warbler at Cholsey Marsh, a flock of between 40-50 Fieldfare and a Common Whitethroat out at Lollingdon. Per AD.

Photos courtesy Alan Dawson

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Not birding just observing

A sunny, hazy day, 15°, light E.

Not birding today but if you are outside you can't help noticing stuff. 

A Willow Warbler in the garden around midday before moving off and a Raven mobbing a Red Kite over the allotments early afternoon.

Several local Swallow are back along Church road and Manor farm area.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip and Small Tortoiseshell.

Orange Tip

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

A little quiet.

Misty and overcast with a few light rain showers, 12°, light NW.

Not too much going on today, the hill was fairly quiet.

2 Raven flew south and a single Swallow north, several singing Corn Bunting present and a single Reed Bunting and 3 Yellowhammer.

Good numbers of Chiffchaff and Blackcap in song and a single Common Whitethroat.

A flock of 70+ Fieldfare present out at Lollingdon and the Little Owl seen.

Several Sedge Warbler in at Cholsey Marsh. Per Ed & Alan.

Mammals: several Voles noted but not specifically ID’d.

Thanks to Alan Dawson for photos of Sedge Warbler & "Tail-less" Red Kite and Phil Dyson for the Mistle Thrush.

Monday, 15 April 2019

More youngsters

A sunny day with high cloud, 14°, light ENE.

The first youngster in the garden today. The Robins have fledged one.

Also the first Rooks have fledged with a couple in the garden early evening.

A couple of pics of it sat watching one of the parent birds bathing.

Young Rook on the left

Linnet (courtesy Alan Dawson)

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Litter pick

Sunny with variable cloud, 8°, light E.

A bright but slightly chilly day.

Went down to Cholsey Marsh this morning with Alan to help out on a litter pick organised by Ed Munday of BBOWT.

It appeared that someone had been there before us and had filled quite a few carrier bags full of rubbish.

Still, about 10 of us turned up and we managed to fill 2 large sacks with mainly plastic.

The marsh appears quite dry at the moment and will be interesting to note any changes that may happen?

Wildlife wise not a lot going on down there. The occasional burst of song from a Cetti’s Warbler and singing Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

A couple of Sedge Warbler are in but not heard today.

A Sparrowhawk flew over the marsh before I arrived and the odd Black-headed Gull cruising along the river.

Good numbers of Swallow and House Martin feeding over Cholsey sewage works. Per Alan Dawson.

Butterflies: Orange Tip and Speckled Wood.

A few plants in flower were: Loddon Lily, Marsh Marigold, Lady’s Smock (Cuckoo flower) and Hedge Garlic. Thanks to Phil Dyson for the plant ID’s.

Swallows and Corn Bunting courtesy Alan Dawson.

Lady's Smock