Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Ring Ouzel

Sunny spells, 7°, a light but chilly N wind.

An earlier than usual visit to the hill this morning to search primarily for the Pipit that was there briefly yesterday but no luck.

However a smart male Ring Ouzel made up for it. Seen foraging in one of the horse paddocks for around 20 minutes before moving off.

A second Ring Ouzel see at Cholsey Meadows by Tony Williams shortly after.

A walk around the hill produced, 10+ Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Common Whitethroat and 3 Willow Warbler.

2 Song Thrush in garden.

Per Richard Broughton: “Since March I keep seeing a full adult Herring Gull in the field behind us, occasionally a pair, and also around the sewage works. It's a bit strange that they're still here at this time of year, so I'm wondering if they might actually be nesting at the treatment works. Worth keeping an eye out for - must be a Parish first if true?

Rooks are fledging - there's a freshly dead/drowned one in the brook.”

Butterflies: 1 Speckled Wood in a sunny sheltered spot.

Richard's Pipit

A Richard’s Pipit briefly on Lollingdon Hill yesterday.

Shortly after 11:00 yesterday morning a large Pipit flew in from the south and settled high on Lollingdon Hill for around 15 minutes at a range of approx. 80m before being flushed by sheep and disappearing over the top of the hill.

It foraged in the long grass for a short time reminiscent of a Yellow Wagtail and no calls heard.

I managed to get some iffy photos of the bird before it flew off and I searched for a further 2 hours but with no luck.

I also went back to the hill in the late afternoon for several hours but did not relocate the bird again.

A further search this morning but the bird not found.

Thanks to Ian Lewington and Roger Wyatt for their input in id’ing the bird from the photos I took.

This is the 2nd record for Cholsey since one back in the 50’s seen by WD (Bill) Campbell.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Osprey and more

Overcast with a few light showers, 10°, light WNW.

Top news today was of a flyover Osprey seen by Tony Williams this morning along the Thames at Cholsey Marsh. The first record for c25 years since one seen over Cholsey hill back in the 90’s.

Back to the more mundane: 9 Wheatear on the hill today along with a Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Yellowhammer, a Yellow Wagtail overhead, 14 Swallow, 3 Common Whitethroat, a female Common Redstart, 3 Lesser Blackback Gull over and a Little Owl nearby.

The usual Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Corn Bunting present.

Willow Warbler (above) and more Wheatear.


Cholsey Marsh: A flyover Osprey at 08:20 this morning. Continued upriver towards Wallingford.

Also Cuckoo calling frequently. per Tony Williams

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dawn on the Marsh

A sunny start, 10°, very light NW.

A dawn start at Cholsey Marsh today and an area covered from the 4 Arches railway bridge to Bow Bridge.

Arrived just before it got light this morning and already the noise of birdsong was obvious.

The Cuckoo was very vocal up until 07:00 then went quiet. And an approximate count of more notable species follows:

3 Grasshopper Warbler (one on the opposite bank), c30 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 8 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, c10 Chiffchaff, c10 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Cetti’s Warbler. 1 Common Redstart, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Yellowhammer, 8 Reed Bunting, a Green Woodpecker and a Grey Wagtail.

Also on the marsh were Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Linnet, Goldfinch and Greenfinch.

 The Cuckoo was not very cooperative and can just see its Tail and wing.
Common Whitethroat more photogenic.

Friday, 21 April 2017

A good mix

Cloudy day, 14°, light WNW.

5 hours spent around the hill today with a good mix of species either flying over or in the area and 2 more new species for the year.

Flyovers included, a Grey Heron, a male Peregrine Falcon, a female Sparrowhawk, 10 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, a Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 12 Lesser Blackback Gull.

On the hill were 4 Wheatear and a Green Woodpecker.

Elsewhere around the hill were 5 Corn Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer, 2 Reed Bunting, several Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 5 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Jay and a Little Owl.

Cholsey Marsh today, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and both Reed and Sedge Warbler. Per Brian Wyatt.

Cuckoo on the marsh this morning and 4 Common Whitethroat and this afternoon out by the Lees, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 8 Fieldfare. Per Tony Williams.

Reps: a Common Lizard scuttled across the path in front of me.

Butterflies: not many, 3 Orange Tip, 1 Holly Blue, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Peacock and 2 Speckled Wood.

Rooks having a hard time at the moment with the ground being hard and dry.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Grasshopper Warbler

Grasshopper Warbler at Cholsey Marsh this morning and a Lesser Whitethroat out at Lollingdon yesterday. per Tony Williams.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Yellow Wagtail

A sunny day, 15°, light NE.

A late afternoon walk out to the hill with 4 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail present.

Whereas the Wheatear would avoid the sheep when they were on the move the Wagtail would be actively feeding amongst them as the sheep’s movement through the grass stirs up insects for the Wagtail to catch.

Butterflies: Brimstone, Orange Tip, a few unidentified “Whites”, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Speckled Wood.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

More arrivals

Mainly sunny, 11°, breezy NNE.

A cool wind blowing today keeping the temperature low.

2 new species for the year today with a male Whinchat out at Lollingdon and 2 House Martin over the village.

8 Wheatear on Lollingdon Hill and 6 Swallow flew north today but little else. The Whinchat and several Chiffchaff and Blackcap nearby.

A Willow Warbler in the meadow this morning and 2 House Martin and a few Swallow over the garden.

Butterflies: very few, Brimstone, Orange Tip, several unidentified “Whites”, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock & Speckled Wood.

Arachnids & Insects

Mainly sunny, 11°, breezy NNE.

A cool wind blowing today keeping the temperature low but still quite a few bugs etc.

Apart for the Holly Blue and Speckled Wood butterflies we have not ID’d any of the other insects etc yet.

All photos courtesy Loren

Monday, 17 April 2017

Slowly but surely

Cloudy with a few sunny periods, a cooler 10°, light NNE.

An afternoon visit to Cholsey Marsh and Lollingdon and slowly but surely more migrants are appearing.

Cholsey Marsh: A Cormorant on the river, 1 Water Rail, 2 Kingfisher, a Cuckoo, 20+ Swallow, 6 Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroat, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Cetti’s Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler and 10+ Sedge Warbler.

Lollingdon: 6 (poss 8) Wheatear, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 singing Corn Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer and 6 Swallow. A Little Owl heard nearby and 3 Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff.

I bumped into Tony Williams out at Lollingdon and he had seen 2 Wheatear on the hill. After parting I made my way up the hill and initially found 2 Wheatear. The sheep on the hill started to move along the face of the hill and out of nowhere more Wheatear appeared, being pushed along in front of the sheep. Not easy to count but at least 6 and possibly 8 Wheatear and the Yellow Wagtails and Meadow Pipits became more obvious. Also the 6 Swallow feeding over the sheep as they moved along the hill.

A Cuckoo and several Swallow, Cholsey SF yesterday. Per Tony Williams.

Butterflies: 1 of each, Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

A few garden visitors

Cloudy with light rain showers p.m., 11°, light W.

A Willow Warbler in the garden around midday and 2 Swallow overhead and both Coal Tit and Nuthatch on the feeders. A Song Thrush and a Chiffchaff regularly visiting.

Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush and Blackcap in the meadow.

Saturday, 15 April 2017


Sunny spells, 11°, breezy NW.

A sunny day with a cool breeze and a visit to Otmoor.

As soon as we got out at the car park we could hear, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler in song.

So the next 3-4 hours spent wandering around Otmoor:

Species noted: Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Shovelor, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hobby, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Redshank, Lesser Blackback Gull, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Reed Bunting.

Mammals: Muntjac Deer.

Reptiles: Common Lizard.

Butterflies: Orange Tip, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.

 Marsh Harrier (above & below).

 Common Lizard & Common Carder Bee (courtesy Loren).

 Tufted Duck
Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Coot