Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Wintry Garden

Cloudy, 2°, light SSW.

Garden mainly clear of snow but still a fair bit of frozen snow around after a rather cold (-6) night.

A few Fieldfare and Redwing in the garden today and up to 5 Song Thrush and 16 Blackbird and all the regulars.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

First Snow

Snow, 1°, light ENE.

Snow started falling around 06:00 this morning and begun to settle. However not quite freezing and soggy underfoot.

A walk out to the Lees proved somewhat fruitless as very little seen. A few Gulls in the air and a few Corvids around and 2 Mistle Thrush in the Church grounds.

Most of the action today was in the garden as there was some readily available food.

Species in the garden today: Mallard (5), Moorhen (4), Wood Pigeon (6), Stock Dove (2), Collared Dove (2), Great-spotted Woodpecker, Pied WagtailDunnock (3), Robin (2), Song Thrush (2), Blackbird (8), Wren, several Great Tit and Blue Tit, Coal Tit (3), Long-tailed Tit (9), Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Carrion Crow (2), House Sparrow (2), Chaffinch (20+), Goldfinch (14), Greenfinch (8).

Species over the garden: Red Kite, Grey Heron (flew from the brook), Fieldfare, Redwing, Rook, Jackdaw.

A small flock of Lapwing seen by Giuseppe Morlando out at Lollingdon today with approx 30 flying towards Didcot direction and a singleton flying towards Cholsey. Quite probably a cold weather movement as they will not be able to feed on snow covered ground and will be looking for clear ground.

Apart from the Fox last night there has been a Grey Squirrel in the garden today and a Hedgehog last night. Not overly concerned about the Hedgehog being out this time of year as it overwinters in a spot close to the bird feeders and will pop out sometimes to feed up and then retire again.

Midnight Visitor

This beauty visited the garden last night.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Mistle & Song

Rain, clearing early PM, 9°, light to breezy NW.

Both Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush feeding in the garden today in addition to all the regulars.

A Grey Heron dropped in the meadow alongside the brook this afternoon.

 Mistle Thrush ↕

 Song Thrush feeding on one of Loren's homemade energy balls.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Quiet Days

Cloudy, 8°, light WNW.

A quiet time out at Lollingdon today.

On clearing the long tunnel on the way out a small Goose flew over heading east, quite distant but managed to get on to it and am pretty confident it was a Pink-footed Goose. However, I did not get enough on it to be 100% so it’s going down as a probable!

A Raven also flew over on the way back moving south.

The hill hosted the usual Thrushes and Finches and 14 Corn Bunting.

A Sparrowhawk over the allotments this afternoon.

A Merlin seen on Saturday from the railway station, flew across the railway and headed towards Lollingdon and the downs.

Another pic of the Harris Hawk that was present in a garden along the Wallingford road.............has now moved on. Photo courtesy John Wheeler. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Thrushes & Finches

Sunny, 4°, light NNW.

Another chilly day out on the hill although the south side was basking in sunshine and sheltered from the wind and felt quite pleasant.

A very similar mix on the hill to Wednesday but with lesser numbers, mainly Thrushes and Finches.

In addition, a couple of Mistle Thrush and 2 Meadow Pipit on the hill and a Sparrowhawk and Raven flyovers.

A couple of Bullfinch near the Bullshole.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Garden stuff

Cloudy, 3°, light NW.

Another cold day and the morning spent clearing leaves in the garden.

Quite a few Redwing passing over the garden again with birds frequently settling briefly in the tops of the garden trees before moving on. Also several Fieldfare passing through.

The usual Tit flock visiting several times in the day, mainly Long-tailed Tit, with 2 Coal Tit, several Blue Tit and Great Tit, at least 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

Several Blackbird and a Song Thrush frequenting the garden.

Also a rare garden visit from a Magpie and 2 Buzzard overhead.

 Before & After

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Winter is Coming!

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 4° and a cold wind from NNW.

A chilly day with a northerly breeze blowing through.

The Hill was quite busy today with a Green Woodpecker, 100+ Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing, several Blackbird and Song Thrush, 40+ Chaffinch, 30+ Goldfinch, c50 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, and 6 of each Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting.

A Sparrowhawk and 2 Kestrel hunting in the area.

2 Goldcrest nearby and another flock of approx. 40 Goldfinch and another Fieldfare flock (c50) on the way back. Still a lot of Black-headed Gull around with approx. 200 noted in fields around Lollingdon.

A Song Thrush in the garden most of today and approx 100 Redwing alighting in the tops of the garden trees before moving on over a period of 30 minutes.

Low numbers of Corn Bunting coming to the roost at Cholsey Marsh recently with less than 50 birds arriving. per TW.

Saturday, 25 November 2017


Sunny, 5°, light NW.

Several Redwing in the garden trees and a Red Admiral in the allotments.

a small flock of Golden Plover on Cholsey Hill.

Friday, 24 November 2017

#Blackfriday? Go birding!

Hazy sunshine, 6°, light WNW.

Stuff going to shops or looking online for bargains that are not! Much more satisfying to get out in the fresh air and enjoy nature!

A different morning again out at Lollingdon with a Stonechat appearing out of nowhere on the Hill and disappearing just as quick, a flyover of at least 1 Brambling with a small flock of Chaffinch.

2 Raven flew south west and a female Sparrowhawk perched up on the north side of the hill and a Chiffchaff in a hedgerow near the paddocks.

The usual Thrushes (5 species) around and an unusual sighting of a single Long-tailed Tit in a lengthy hedgerow.

Thursday, 23 November 2017


Sunshine, 10°, breezy SW.

Approx. 12:30 this afternoon I was in the garden potting up some indoor plants when I noticed 3 birds fly in and settle in the top of one of the garden trees.

I realised pretty quickly that they were 3 Hawfinch…………….. No bins……………… No camera…………….expletive!!!!!!!!!

All I could do was stand and watch and after approx. 1 minute they then flew off and headed across the meadow towards the playing field where I lost sight of them.

Interesting point here is that back sometime in the 60’s, Bill Campbell the headmaster of Cholsey School caught a Hawfinch in a Heligoland trap in his garden.

The garden where the Heligoland trap was......is now part of our garden!

Several Redwing and Fieldfare overhead.

This morning, 60+ Golden Plover present on Cholsey Hill.

W.D. (Bill) Campbell, the inspiration for quite a few Cholsey lads!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Busy Garden Quiet Hill

Mild, wet & windy, 14°, breezy SSW.

A somewhat fruitless walk out to Lollingdon today with a stiff wind and almost constant light rain.

Typical………….as soon as I arrive back home the sun comes out………….

The hill was deserted with the wind blowing full on to it and not much better elsewhere.

Small flocks of thrushes around as per usual, a single Jay and a Grey Heron.

The garden was much livelier today with a roaming flock visiting comprising 12+ Long-tailed Tit, 3 Coal Tit, 2 Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a female Great-spotted Woodpecker, and an undetermined number of Blue and Great Tit.

Also in the garden, 2 Stock Dove, 2 Collared Dove, 5+ Wood Pigeon, 3 Moorhen, 8 “Mallard”, 2 Blackbird, 2 Robin, a Wren, 3 Dunnock, 2 House Sparrow, 8+ Goldfinch, 6+ Chaffinch and 4 Greenfinch and a few Redwing and Fieldfare in the trees.

A male Sparrowhawk hunting the garden a couple of times this afternoon.

A Kestrel briefly in the garden yesterday.

A female type Blackcap at the weekend in TW’s garden.

Cholsey Marsh has been quiet this week also. Per TW.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Little change

Overcast with light rain, 11°, light to breezy SW.

Little change on and around the hill today with Thrush species still dominating the avian landscape although in lesser numbers.

Blackbird and Fieldfare were the most abundant today with 100+ of each followed by Redwing (c50), Song Thrush (c20) and a single Mistle Thrush.

A handful of Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit feeding alongside livestock and 2 Sparrowhawk hunting the area and a single Kestrel.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Cold & Quiet

A sunny day, 6°, light W.

Another frosty start to the day and a quiet time on the hill.

The usual Fieldfare and Redwing around and 14 Blackbird and 9 Song Thrush in the Hawthorns on the hill suggesting an influx and 2 Mistle Thrush present on the north side.

A Raven around and being mobbed by 2 Crow and a Goldcrest were the only other birds of note.

 courtesy Loren
A view from the Hill (courtesy Loren)