A sunny day at last but still very muddy underfoot and hard going out to Lollingdon.
Rather quiet all round today with Alan also reporting that it was quiet in other areas of Cholsey.
A couple of Kestrel noted and a pair of Bullfinch and a vocal flock of Linnet in the tree tops on the hill.
Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird and Song Thrush scattered around and all busy stripping what is left of the berry crop. The area at Cholsey Church for instance had at least 20 Blackbird present and a couple of Fieldfare and Redwing.
Most of the berries have now gone except for a Cotoneaster lacteus(native to China) in the Church yard that still has many berries (or pomes) present and unlike other Cotoneasters the birds do not eat these unless they are really hungry and have no other choice! Presumably they are less nutritious or less palatable?
The Harris Hawk was seen today by Gerry Sexton down at Cholsey Marsh. The first report this year of this bird. It has now been present for at least 6 years in the area.
An interesting one today. Tony Williams was handed a bird ring yesterday and he has passed it on to me. (Pictured here).
I had a look at it using a magnifying glass and noticed the ring was from a ringing scheme at Heligoland in Germany.
The bird in question was a first winter male Blackbird that had unfortunately been killed by a cat! It has presumably flown approx. 700km to get here.
I have sent the relevant information to the ringing scheme and await their reply.
We are also waiting for a reply from a Norwegian ringing scheme as a winter plumaged Black-headed Gull photographed by Alan Dawson at Benson Lock the other week had a coloured leg ring on its right leg and a small metal ring on its left leg. According to Euring the code and colour is used in Norway. We await the results.
This Nuthatch photographed by Alan today at Bow Bridge. Interestingly Nuthatch have not been seen in this location for a few years and may indicate an individual from the otherside of the river moving over to Cholsey if only temporarily?
The only other Nuthatch(s) in Cholsey have been present for a few years now in the Church road/Station road/West End area.
I have been reminded that there has been a Nuthatch visiting feeders in Cholsey Meadows for some time now. So Thank you Cathy & Niall.
I received an email this evening from Dave M stating he has 2 regular Nuthatch visiting his garden in Caps Lane. So the one at Bow Bridge may well be one of these?
So I wonder how many Nuthatch we actually have residing in Cholsey?
Going back 20 or so years the only Nuthatch(s) in Cholsey were in the Winterbrook area close to the river. These more recent records are an interesting development in the distribution of this species in Cholsey where they have usually been absent or very scarce. Wonder why?
A rather uneventful walk out to Lollingdon and back today.
An increase in the number of Winter Thrushes around with 100+ Fieldfare and around 20 Redwing and a few Mistle Thrush. Also at least 4 Bullfinch around the hill and the Linnet/Chaffinch flock reaching around 100 birds.
Some late insects noted today with a Brimstone butterfly seen (PC&TW) and a pair of Common Darter in tandem mode.
Several observers reporting sightings of a Little Egret around Cholsey recently.
The male Sparrowhawk spent several minutes atop the bird feeders in the pouring rain this afternoon and constantly looking around. As if he is working out his future attack strategies. What's the best direction to approach from, what speed and height etc. Fascinating to watch.
The garden has been busy over the last few days with Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Treecreeper and the odd Finch.