Saturday, 30 November 2019

Friday, 29 November 2019

Black Friday - Rather go Birding

Sunny, 6°, light NNE.

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.

Quite a few photos today 😀

Song Thrush (courtesy Alan Dawson)
Redwing & Fieldfare
 Part of the footpath to Lollingdon
Cotoneaster lacteus

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Gone quiet

Overcast with light rain (again), 9°, light to breezy W.

Cholsey birders out in force today as I met both Tony W and Alan D along the Bunk line today.

However it has gone quieter along there. Very few Thrushes around today with just a handful of Fieldfare and Redwing and a small flock of Starling.

2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Herring Gull, a flyover Raven and a female Sparrowhawk flew low over the fields.

Tony went “off piste”, with the farmers permission of course and added a couple of Goldcrest.

Little else of note though.


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.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019


Overcast with light rain, 13°, light S.

Started to brighten up around midday but more rain coming.

Another venture out along the Bunk line and very similar to yesterday with good numbers of Thrushes around.

A surprise of 5 Shoveler flew west (first for the year), a very scarce duck to see in Cholsey even at a distance.

5 Bullfinch, a Reed Bunting and a couple of very active Goldcrest of note.

Not 100% certain but a possible Firecrest heard in the small wood by Bunk Bridge. Could not locate the bird though!


Monday, 25 November 2019

Thrushes & Corvids & more

Overcast with almost constant light rain, 12°, light SSE.

Bunk line/Green lane.

Good numbers of Corvids feeding in the fields between Wallingford road and the Bunk line. Mainly Rook and Jackdaw, 20+ Carrion Crow, 6 Magpie and 2 Jay. 4 Herring Gull also present.

Several hundred Thrushes scattered around with Fieldfare dominant, 50+ Redwing, c30 Blackbird, 8 Song Thrush and 3 Mistle Thrush.

Fairly quiet for smaller birds although several Bullfinch, 2 Yellowhammer, a few Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail and a Chiffchaff.

Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Treecreeper in garden.

Around a dozen Bats feeding over CSW at dusk, probably Common Pipistrelle? Also Blackcap (m) and a Grey Wagtail. (Per Alan Dawson).

Song Thrush
Fieldfare ↕

And 3 from Alan

 Grey Wagtail ↕

Grey Partridge

Friday, 22 November 2019

Busy North quiet South.

Overcast, light to moderate rain showers, 9°, light SE.

Bunk line/Green lane area buzzing with birds today. as opposed to the south of the village which has been quiet this week.

Several hundred Thrushes, majority Fieldfare with 80+ Redwing and a few Mistle Thrush.

Around 100 Starling feeding in the area, a couple of Bullfinch, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest with a Tit flock and both Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker.

Several Meadow Pipit and a Reed Bunting present.

3 Lapwing sheltering in a field along with a flock of 46 Black-headed Gull and 2 Herring Gull around CSW.

A small flock of Golden Plover seen distantly over Cholsey Hill.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

All quiet still

Overcast, 5°, light E.

A rather dull day with low cloud and a bit chilly.

Again not a lot seen today, a Little Egret out between Little Lollingdon and Lollingdon itself and a Little Owl heard calling.

A scattering of all the usual Thrushes but no large flocks.

 A couple of record shots of the Little Egret

Mistle Thrush

Wednesday, 20 November 2019


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?

Photos courtesy Alan Dawson.

Brown Hare

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A bit more action

Cloudy, 6°, light SE.

A walk along the Bunk line/Green lane area where I bumped into Alan also out birding.

Between us we notched up a few species: Quite a few Fieldfare and Redwing, good numbers of Blackbird and Robin and a scattering of Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush (higher numbers than usual).

Several Common Snipe dropped into one of the fields and a Chiffchaff ,Treecreeper and male Blackcap noted.

The garden busy again today with a Pheasant appearing, also Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Treecreeper along with the usual suspects.

Treecreeper (courtesy Alan Dawson)
 Goldfinch, Greenfinch & Great Tit
Roe Deer from yesterday, came to a full stop when it realised Alan was in front of it. (photo courtesy Alan Dawson)

Monday, 18 November 2019

All quiet at Lollingdon

Sunny, 7°, light NNW.

Another quiet day out at Lollingdon! A fair few winter thrushes around with 100+ Fieldfare and a few Redwing.

A single Raven flew west and 70+ Lapwing flew south towards the downs.

2 Red Admiral butterflies on the wing seen today.

 A couple of Pied Wagtail catching insects on a sunny roof

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Sunday Birds

A selection of pics from Alan today from around the village.

 Common Buzzard
Peregrine Falcon

Friday, 15 November 2019

All quiet

Overcast with light rain, 8°, light to breezy N.

A rather grey day with not a lot being seen. A scattering of Fieldfare and Redwing with a few Mistle Thrush thrown in.

2 Kestrel hunting around the hill and a mobile flock of c100 Linnet.

A few Roe Deer and a Brown Hare seen.

winter plumage Black-headed Gull
Autumnal scene Lollingdon

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Cholsey Marsh

2 Water Rail
1 Cetti’s Warbler
1 Chiffchaff. ( Per Alan Dawson)

First Brambling of the winter in a garden near Waterloo Close. Per MA.

Common Buzzard, Cholsey Marsh (courtesy Alan)


Sunny at first the clouding up, 8°, light W.

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.

A couple of Roe Deer also seen.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Cholsey Marsh

Photos today from Alan Dawson.

Egyptian Geese, a lot around at the moment.
A Cormorant drying out.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Late Dragonfly

Sunshine with variable cloud, 8°, breezy W.

Not a lot out there today, very few Winter Thrushes around, a handful of Fieldfare and 2 Redwing.

The highlight was a male Merlin that zipped overhead and disappeared south over Lollingdon Hill.

A female Sparrowhawk seen hunting and a flock of 25 Stock Dove.

A rather Late Common Darter seen sunning itself near the Bullshole.

Saturday, 9 November 2019


Overcast, 6°, light E.

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.
Everything saw him coming again so no luck today.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Alans wanderings

A sunny day, 9°, light SSW.

A series of photos from Alans wanderings today.

Long-tailed Tit
Mistle Thrush
 Treecreeper ↕

Water Rail on Cholsey Marsh, only seen briefly but quite vocal.