Monday, 20 February 2017

A taste of Spring

A spring like day with broken sunshine, 13°, breezy SW.

“3 Wigeon and 2 Teal on the floods near Church rd early morning” but not present at 10:30 when I checked. (Per Richard Broughton).

Don’t recall seeing Wigeon locally before other than on the river in hard weather!

The Little Egret still being seen regularly in the area from the Church rd floods out to Amwell spring.

“3-4 Blackcap still present and feeding on apples in a West End garden and a Peregrine out by the Lees”. (Per Tony Williams).

(Per Tony Rayner). “A Siskin this morning over Cholsey Church.
Amazing how Brimstones suddenly appear on mass. Had a pristine Small Tortoiseshell today too.
Also a great day for reptiles - a Grass Snake and 8 Slow-worms. The snake was my earliest ever recorded by two clear weeks. To have as many as 8 Slow-worms is also a record this early, and again the previous earliest date to have that many was 7th March. The first Bumblebees too, at least two species”.

Lollingdon still fairly quiet, the Little Owl heard again but not seen. 1 Buzzard and 8 Red Kite soaring over Lollingdon Hill and a handful of Fieldfare, 30+ Starling and 8 Pied Wagtail on the Hill and several Skylark in song.

8+ Reed Bunting around the usual stubble fields and fewer Yellowhammer, and a flock of c100 Lapwing seen distantly flying east over the village.

A Grey Wagtail in the garden this morning, a Treecreeper singing, a Kingfisher along the brook and an odd record of a Coot heard over the garden last night at 21:20.

Mammals: Roe Deer and Brown Hare.

Butterflies: 4 Brimstone (2m & 2f) between the village and Lollingdon and a Small Tortoiseshell and 2m Brimstone in TR’s garden.

An interesting observation by Tony Williams last week. “Attracted to a noise I noticed a Peregrine Falcon mobbing a Buzzard on the ground. As I got closer I noticed the Buzzard had a Wood Pigeon and maybe the Buzzard had taken this from the Falcon. The Falcon then flew off and settled in some nearby trees.

After a short while the Buzzard then took off with the Pigeon and was immediately mobbed by a Red Kite. The Buzzard subsequently dropped the Pigeon only for it to be snapped up in mid-air by the Red Kite which then flew off with it”.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

First butterfly of the year

Another sunny day, 12°, light SW.

A Red Admiral butterfly in Tony Rayner’s garden today and 5 adult Slow-Worm. "This is my earliest ever record of a Slow-Worm".

A new moth for the site - a Pale Brindled Beauty.

Library pic

Friday, 17 February 2017

False Spring

A mild day, mainly cloudy with some sunny spells, 11°, light SSW.

A milder day today with more insects in the air including a few Honey Bee. The weather is supposed to get milder over the next few days but February is a notoriously unpredictable month.

Very much the same out at Lollingdon today with little change since Monday, however a Little Owl heard calling from the usual area and a few Yellowhammer appear to be taking up territories.

Still lots of “winter thrushes” around and a couple of Mistle Thrush.

The Little Egret seen yesterday, flushed from the brook by a dog walker and flew off across the meadow towards West End.

A couple of Siskin heard yesterday also, flew over the garden calling.

2 Grey Wagtail feeding in the garden this week, a Kingfisher seen flying up the brook and 2 Nuthatch and a Treecreeper visiting regularly and a Green Woodpecker on Wednesday.

From Tony Rayner “My early checks on my reptile sheets have shown more Field Voles than usual all looking fairly plump. This suggests to me it could be a vole year, in which case it could be a good year for Barn Owls and other predators. And the first singing Chiffchaff this morning.”

Back in 1987 I drove down to the Sussex coast to see my first Little Egret which back then was a rare/scarce bird in the UK. Now as you can see they are resident and breeding in the UK with the first breeding record in Dorset in 1996. They have also bred in Oxfordshire recently. Climate change? I think so! It’s on my garden list 😜.

 Green Woodpecker working the garden trees.
One of the 20 or so Redwing in the hedge by the garden.

Monday, 13 February 2017


A sunny day, 9°, light E.

A bright day today finally getting rid of that oppressive cloud cover that’s been around for several days.

Needless to say plenty of
Fieldfare and Redwing around still and several small flocks of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.

Lapwing resting in a flooded field with c100 gulls until everything was flushed for a good  ½ mile radius by an extremely low flying helicopter.

Fox also noted today.

A few signs of winter slowly losing its grip with Snowdrops and Aconites in flower and a bit more bird song noted.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Quiet Times

Cloudy with light snow and rain showers, 2°, light NNE.

The Little Egret out on the Church road flood early afternoon and a flock of 20 Golden Plover flew across the road on Cholsey hill.

With the weather being rubbish this week and all quiet on the bird front I’ve been catching up with things I need to attend to so only a few observations from the garden.

A visit from another Pheasant this week, stayed for half a day then flew off and returned 2 days later and still present.

Up to twenty Redwing feeding in the meadow regularly during this cold spell.

2 Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a GS Woodpecker frequent this week along with most of the regulars.

Friday, 10 February 2017


Not quite Cholsey but Wallingford.

Video courtesy Nadine Mitschunas

Monday, 6 February 2017

A bit samey

A cloudy day, 7°, light SSE.

The Little Egret put in an appearance on Amwell Spring this morning (per Geoff Ryman) but not seen subsequently.

Little change out at Lollingdon, still plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing around and a good number of Yellowhammer.

Several Song Thrush singing frequently recently.

A Corn Bunting, 2 Buzzard, 4 Red Kite and several Fieldfare on the hill but that was about it.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Little Egret again

Sunny, 6°, light SE.

Little Egret back on the floods this morning (per Richard) but not seen late afternoon. 

Not seen yesterday either, maybe feeding along the brook at times.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Little Egret

Overcast with rain showers, 11°, breezy SE.

A Little Egret on a flooded field by Church road this afternoon. Found by Richard Broughton.

 photo above courtesy Richard Broughton

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Dusk on the Marsh

Mainly cloudy after some earlier rain, 9°, light SE.

A rather quiet time on the marsh this evening, approx. 80 Corn Bunting came in to roost, c50 Meadow Pipit and 30’ish Yellowhammer. Only 1 Reed Bunting noted.

3 Cormorant flew upstream, 2 Egyptian Geese flew across the marsh and headed down river and a couple of Water Rail heard.

Around 50 Fieldfare came in late and appeared to roost in some of the trees by the marsh.

A Mistle Thrush and a couple of Song Thrush singing at dusk.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Change in weather but not Birds

Overcast with some very light rain, 7°, light ESE.

Very little change from last week, however a milder day after a week end of rain.

Plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare still around and the Bunting/Finch flock still feeding out on the stubble fields, c100 Linnet, 20’ish Yellowhammer and several Reed Bunting.

2 Jay and a Kingfisher noted and 3 Corn Bunting and a Mistle Thrush on the hill.

A male Blackcap seen in a garden along West End.

The weekends Garden Birdwatch was fairly quiet possibly due to a change in the weather.

The Fieldfare left the garden sometime on Saturday morning but Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush all turned up.

Friday, 27 January 2017

All about Thrushes.....again.

Cloudy with a light mist, 4°, a breezier SE.

Not a lot going on out at Lollingdon today still quite static, again Fieldfare and Redwing scattered everywhere feeding along hedgerows, open fields and woodland.

Also a flock of 38 Redwing in a tight group on the playing fields.

The usual flock of Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting still out at Lollingdon but little else.

A Goldcrest in the Millennium Wood and a couple of Bullfinch at the Bullshole.

The Fieldfare back in the garden today and a Redwing as well.

Several Roe Deer seen.

Garden Thrushes.

A Song Thrush anvil with remains of Snail shells.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fieldfare visit

Overcast, 0°, light SE.

A cold dull day and a lot of activity in the garden.

The first Fieldfare of this winter arrived in the garden around midday, initially hassled by Blackbirds but eventually held its own and spent the rest of the day feeding on the apples and chasing off the Blackbirds.

A Sparrowhawk has been thru the garden twice but everything scattered before it got near anything.

4 Starling, a Song Thrush, at least 14 Blackbird, a Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, 4 Long-tailed Tit and Great-spotted Woodpecker today as well as the other regulars.

Last 2 pics courtesy Loren

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

3, 2, 1.

A dull misty day, 3°, light SE.

A busy day and no birding done other than what was in the garden.

Amongst the regulars were
3 Starling, a scarce species in the garden.
2 Song Thrush, very unusual and
1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, a regular.

Also a Treecreeper in song.