Friday, 22 September 2017

Quiet Days

Sunny periods, 17°, light SSW.

Quiet on the hill today with 2 Common Redstart and little else other than several Chiffchaff.

A steady passage of Hirundines over the hill with up to 200 birds with roughly equal numbers of Swallow and House Martin.

4 Kestrel seen along with 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 being hassled by 4 Rook over the playing field and another harrying and being harried by 30+ Meadow Pipit on the way back.

Grey Heron, 2 Bullfinch and 8 Yellowhammer noted.

Reptiles: several Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, several Large White and Small White, 20+ Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Comma and 2 Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Hill to the Thames

Cloudy but mild, 17°, light SSW.

Quiet on the hill today with just a Common Redstart present. A couple of Kestrel around and the usual Buzzards and Red Kites overhead.

c100 Swallow moving south along with a few House Martin and a couple of Skylark overhead.

A male Stonechat on the hill yesterday and a Barn Owl out at Lollingdon recently (per TW).

The other side of the hill was busy with 8+ Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrest and a couple of Tit flocks.

2 Bullfinch around the paddocks and several more Chiffchaff.

A male Peregrine halfway between the village and Lollingdon and the usual Grey Heron present.

2 Cetti’s Warbler down on Cholsey Marsh and a high count of Egyptian Geese this week with 70 on the river near the 4 Arches (per TW).

Mammals: Roe Deer and several reports of Otter on the Thames between Bow Bridge and the 4 Arches recently (TW & PC).

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, prob Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large and Small White, 3 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 1 Speckled Wood.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sunshine & Showers

Mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells and rain showers……………….again, 15°, light NNW.

A Common Redstart still on the hill and a couple of Yellowhammer but little else.

150+ Swallow overhead plus a few Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail and 1 probably 2 Ringed Plover flew over calling.

A Raven heard nearby but not seen and several Chiffchaff around.

2 Jay and a 4 Yellowhammer on the walk back.

2 Chiffchaff in the garden this afternoon with one of the mobile Tit flocks, 6 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Coal Tit and a Nuthatch.

Mammals: Short-tailed Vole.

Reptiles: 10+ Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Emperor and Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Clouded Yellow, several Large White and Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Gatekeeper.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Redstarts for 65 days

Variable cloud with sunny spells and rain showers, 13°, light NW.

Relatively quiet on the hill today. 2 Common Redstart present, 1 Blackcap and several Chiffchaff.

Apart from Redstarts, the hill has been quiet this autumn with fewer migrants passing through.

Redstarts have been present on the hill since 12th July with a max of 5 on 2 occasions.

100+ Hirundines passing overhead and 30+ Meadow Pipit.

2 Kestrel around the hill and 6 Mistle Thrush nearby.

Reptiles: a couple of Common Lizard.

Amphibians: a Common Frog.

Dragonflies: Emperor, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White , Small White, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Speckled Wood.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Aileen blows through

Intermittent sunshine with a few squally showers, 16°, fresh W.

Was not expecting much on the hill today as the wind was sweeping across the area.

Apart from 2 Kestrel around the only migrant on the hill was a Common Redstart.

The fields in the lee of the hill were a little more productive with another Common Redstart, a Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler and several Chiffchaff.

2 Meadow Pipit flew over and several small flocks of Hirundines moving through.

Some of the Hirundines would spend time feeding over the fields and resting up before moving on again.

Dragonflies: 1 Common Darter Lollingdon and a Southern Hawker in the garden.

Butterflies: 3 Large White, 1 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Speckled Wood.

Friday, 8 September 2017

After the rain

Rain all morning then sunny spells, 17°, breezy W.

An afternoon start today after the rain this morning and a breezy day on the hill.

Several Red Kite enjoying the updraft on the hill along with a couple of Buzzard (including a very pale bird that eventually drifted off high south east).

2 Kestrel hunting on the hill and a Hobby over.

A good passage of up to 200 Hirundines through today with the ratio of Swallow to House Martin approx. 80:20.

A Redstart still present and a Common Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat and several Chiffchaff.

A Grey Wagtail in the garden this evening and a Nuthatch and 2 Coal Tit earlier.

Mammals: Bank Vole, 3 Hedgehog in garden this evening.

Dragonflies: 2 Southern Hawker and several Common Darter.

Butterflies: several Large and Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 3 Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Mainly cloudy with sunny intervals, 18°, breezy WNW.

Very little out at Lollingdon today, a Common Redstart still present, a Common Whitethroat and several Chiffchaff.

100+ Swallow over plus a few House Martin with some resting up on fences and Hawthorns on the hill.

Little else of note.

A Sparrowhawk visiting the garden regularly but not having much luck and a least 2 Tawny Owl around at nights.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Peacock, 1 Comma, 3 Speckled Wood and 1 Meadow Brown.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Wheatear on the Hill

Overcast and humid with several light rain showers, 20°, light SSW.

The first Wheatear of the autumn on the hill today with one on a ploughed field on the lower slope.

A Common Redstart still present and a few Chiffchaff around.

2 Raven flew north and a Cormorant flew over then turned around and flew back north and 2 Yellow Wagtail over.

A handful of Swallow overhead and at least 2 Bullfinch near the paddocks.

Another Yellow Wagtail over the garden.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Speckled Wood.

Moths: a Silver-Y.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

A Twitch and a Dip

A text arrived this afternoon just as Loren and I were off to the Bunkfest that changed our day.

The text read “Greenish Warbler Middle Barton in a garden of nn North Street”, a quick check on the Oxon Bird Blog read “Greenish Warbler: calling frequently in the garden of nn North street while I was viewing the house next door. Flew over the other side of the road. 13:45”.

I’ve seen around a dozen or so of these before in the UK but not one in Oxfordshire and I believe it would be a county first for this species. So off to Middle Barton we went.

Our journey took us around 50 minutes and on arrival we saw several birders milling around and not looking at anything in particular and the finder had left.

After a quick chat we ascertained that the bird had not been seen or heard since the original sighting and, correct me if I am wrong, but I was told that it was viewed without binoculars and the observer had no previous experience of Greenish Warblers.

We started to fan out around the village but after a few hours or so nothing was found so one by one we all left and called it a day.

A few birders present at Middle Barton

Friday, 1 September 2017

Autumn begins

Sunshine and broken cloud, 20°, light NW.

A slow start to September, 1 Common Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, several Chiffchaff, 3 Yellow Wagtail over, 6 Mistle Thrush and a Kestrel on the hill.

A Raven heard calling and 2 Sparrowhawk and 50+ Swallow and a few House Martin overhead.

Nearby, 3+ Bullfinch, a Grey Heron, several Yellowhammer and another Kestrel.

A Willow Warbler on the walk out to Lollingdon.

Nuthatch and Coal Tit in the garden and c100 Swallow and 2 Hobby over the garden early evening.

Reptiles: several Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell (numbers low this year), 1 Comma, 1 Gatekeeper and several Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Overcast, 13°, light NW.

A cooler day than of late and fortunately we missed most of the rain.

A surprise on the hill today: a bird alighted on a fence post on the top of the hill and looked interesting. I got the bins on it and realised it was a young Cuckoo. As soon as I raised the camera it took off, gained height and headed off south. I continued watching it as it carried on and was lost from view heading high over the downs.

A single Common Redstart, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackcap, several Chiffchaff and 6+ Mistle Thrush present.

Approx. 50 Swallow flew over while I was present and a Kestrel by the paddocks that had just eaten a small rodent.

Mammals: Muntjac Deer.

Butterflies: singles of Large White and Speckled Wood.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Birding & Foraging

Sunny, 26°, light NE.

A twin mission on the hill today with Loren foraging along the hedgerows and me doing what I usually do.

4 Common Redstart on the hill, 8 Mistle Thrush, 2 Common Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, a Green Woodpecker and a Hobby overhead.

Another Common Redstart near the paddocks, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Blackcap, several Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch and a Jay.

A Sparrowhawk over the garden and it appears most of our local Swallow and House Martin have departed.

Reptiles: several Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

Common Darter
Spotted Flycatcher
Common Darter
 Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Green Shield Bug (garden)