Saturday, 17 March 2018

Winter........a slight return.

Overcast with light snow showers, 0°, light to breezy NE.

A slight return to winter this weekend but hopefully will be short lived!

The garden quite busy mainly with Finches today, a Nuthatch again plus the regulars.

Up to a dozen Rook coming in the garden (they must be hungry) only to be chased off by the Crows.

Female Brambling still present in a garden near Waterloo Close. Per MA.

Friday, 16 March 2018


Cloudy with a few sunny spells and a few light rain showers, 11°, light SSE.

After not seeing Nuthatch in the garden for a time one has now visited for the second day running. It would take a sunflower seed from the feeders, fly to the nearest tree, wedge it in and proceed to break it up in to smaller pieces.

A female Blackbird collecting nesting material this week and disappearing in to the Holly hedge.

A Barn Owl hunting Cholsey Hill this evening. Per, Sian Chandler.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Thrushes on the move

Sunshine and showers, 12°, light SSE.

A walk out to the Lees and then Lollingdon, still very muddy underfoot after last night’s rain but quite mild.

3 male Reed Bunting out along the dyke by the Lees and lots of Skylark (30+) and a good number of distant Gulls.

20+ Redwing on the playing field along with 2 Mistle Thrush and a Goldcrest and Coal Tit at the Bullshole.

Good numbers of Starling seen today with 500+ in several flocks flying through and lots of Fieldfare and Redwing moving (1K+).

3 Yellowhammer around the hill.

Mammals: Brown Hare & Roe Deer.

Several Bumble Bees noted this week, probably Buff-tailed.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Quiet times

Sunny at first then clouding up, 10°, breezy SE.

A very quiet time out there today, c50 Lapwing on the flooded field and 2 Teal still present and 4 Grey Partridge but that was it!

Nothing else of note today.

Having not seen a Nuthatch in the garden since January one actually turned up today and two have been seen in gardens along Station Road.

Mammals: Roe Deer.

Butterflies: a Brimstone in a West End garden last week.

 Male & Female Stock Doves visiting the garden regularly

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

A quiet marsh

Overcast, 8°, light W.

A visit to Cholsey Marsh this morning, initially to check on and feed the Dexters and then have a look around the Marsh.

Rather quiet except for 6 or 7 Reed Bunting in song. A pair of Mute Swan on the river, a few Canada Geese and Greylag Geese and a Cormorant flew over.

Monday, 12 March 2018

A wet one!

Almost constant light to moderate rain, 10°, light NW.

A bit of a mixed bag today and rather wet and muddy out to Lollingdon.

A flooded field had c100 Black-headed Gull, c20 Lesser Blackback Gull, c50 Lapwing, 14 Teal and 4 Mallard present.

3 more Teal and 2 Mallard on Amwell Spring.

A Little Owl nearby being mobbed by Blackbirds and Chaffinches and a Stonechat on the north side of the hill briefly before being chased off by a Robin and not re-found.

A Redshank flew over heading north.

Good numbers of Winter Thrushes (Fieldfare & Redwing) around and seemed to be concentrated in tree tops today with a lot of chattering going on. Usually a precursor to migration.

A few species in full or partial song today, notably Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Yellowhammer and Treecreeper and a couple of Blackcap in the village recently in full song.

Mammals: Several Roe Deer.

Reptiles: 20 Slow Worm at a garden site.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Black on Black

Overcast with some light rain showers, 13°, light SE.

Although we live right next to a Rookery they are rarely seen in the garden. Today we had 12 in the garden with 1 on the feeders. They were here for around 2 minutes before the Crows charged in and chased them off. The Rooks made a few more forays in to the garden but were chased off by at least 1 Crow each time.

A Treecreeper in the garden early morning and a Sparrowhawk zipped thru yesterday.

Seven photos of the Rooks in the garden (the last 3 Rooks courtesy Loren) and the eighth photo of one of the Crows.

The Crow

Wednesday, 7 March 2018


Mainly sunny, 9°, light WSW.

A pair of Raven along Church road this morning.

Info & photo courtesy Richard Broughton.

Update on the Red Kite deaths

I received a call from Brian Wyatt this evening and the theory on the 2 dead Red Kites is that they are 2 young Kites that were raised nearby and that they were in collision with high voltage power lines that are very close by and dropped in to the tree.

The carcasses have been present in the tree since last autumn and are apparently well decayed.

So that may well explain that one, however the amount of dead Foxes found is still a concern!

Dead Kites & Foxes in Cholsey

This is fast becoming a concern! Information received today.

"I saw with interest on your blog posting for Saturday that another dead fox has been reported. I thought I'd let you know that we also found another one on Cholsey Marsh week before last & I found a dead fox floating in the brook near The Lees back in January. & I believe there was another found down on the Marsh a few weeks ago too. So that's now four that I am aware of this year. Suspicious?

Another person also came across two dead Red Kite that had been dumped along the Agatha Christie Trail between Hillgreen & Cox's Farms recently which is obviously also a cause of concern..."

Am following up on these reports.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Dexters Midnight Colours

Cloudy, 10°, light SSE.

Sorry such a corny title................but 😊

A visit to tend the Cattle on Cholsey Marsh this morning. Since the latter end of January BBOWT have had 6 Dexter Cattle on the reserve and they are checked each day by volunteers to ensure their field is secure, there is water and that they are in good condition. Also just lately to distribute hay for them to feed on as the grass is not of a good quality yet.

There were a pair of Stonechat in the cattle field and a Yellowhammer in the hedgerow.

50+ Fieldfare, a Buzzard, 2 Song Thrush and 4 Greenfinch all in the immediate vicinity.

Whilst down there 2 Egyptian Geese flew over along with several Greylag Geese and Canada Geese.

A Blackcap in full song along Scraggs Lane this morning. Per Tony Rayner.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Back in the Field

Overcast, 9°, breezy SSW.

A walk out to the hill today with the weather back to the norm for this time of year.

4 Yellowhammer (1 in song) on the way out and a flock of approx. 300 Lapwing present in one of the flooded fields along with around 100 Gulls.

Lots of Thrushes scattered around in loose flocks with 500+ Fieldfare being the majority, around 50 Redwing and a scattering of Blackbird and Song Thrush, 5 Mistle Thrush also seen with 3 in song.

2 singing Corm Bunting on the hill and several Skylark singing in the area.

4 Robins in the garden at the moment trying to define their territories, expending a lot of energy chasing each other around.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Unfortunate Heron

A few sunny spells and rain showers, 10°, light SE.

A couple of Redpoll and a Common Pochard on Cholsey Marsh today and an unfortunate Grey Heron that appears to have flown in to overhead wires near Bunk Bridge, Church road. Thanks to Richard Broughton for the info and photo.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Thaw

Overcast, 4°, light W.

A temperatures crept in to plus figures the snow started to disappear rather quickly and by around 14:00 this afternoon most of it had gone.

As the snow went so did most of the Fieldfares with just 2 feeding this afternoon along with 2 Mistle Thrush and by late afternoon these had moved on and the garden stayed eerily quiet for the rest of the day.


A dead Fox found in a stream today by Giuseppe, It may well have died of hunger, however I hope it’s death was not malicious, ‘cos if it was Karma will find whoever was responsible!

Photo courtesy Giuseppe Morlando.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Another cold one

Overcast with a few light snow showers, -1°, light to breezy WNW.

Another busy day in the garden with the number of Fieldfare rising to around 20. They are still very possessive of their claimed apples and are defending them against all-comers even of their own species. The only bird that stood up to them was a Mistle Thrush that has been visiting on and off throughout the day.

A few Redwing skulking under the hedge at the back and side of the garden and a single Song Thrush on and off and up to 22 Blackbird present and a Pied Wagtail paying a few visits through the day. All the other regulars have been present today.

A three-legged Muntjac appeared in the garden today and stayed and fed for a short time. According to a friend it has been around for a couple of years and has been seen nearby.

A Barn Owl hunting Cholsey Marsh this evening, Per Alan Dawson.

 Mistle Thrush
Song Thrush
 Fieldfares fighting