Saturday, 21 October 2017

A Brambling but no YBW

Overcast, Rain, 13°, Fresh to strong SW.

A Brambling 1stw/F with a Chaffinch flock this morning SU5985, per MA.

No sign of Yellow-browed Warbler today. Whitehead Meadow/Rec/Millennium Wood and Bullshole all checked.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Yellow-browed and 2 late Swallow

Cloudy with a fair bit of sunshine, 14°, fresh WSW.

A breezy and bright day on Lollingdon hill but little moving. Before that:

I was out in the garden clearing some twigs etc. after last night’s blow when I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling close to the garden in Whitehead (Brook) meadow, along the hedgerow leading to the Rec at around 17:00. Rushed in to get the bins and camera but could not relocate the bird. Searched until nearly 18:00 and all I managed to find was a flock of Long-tailed Tit and 2 Goldcrest, it may still be somewhere in the area so will look again tomorrow.

Earlier in the day: 15 Mistle Thrush and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker on the southern side of the hill and 2 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest on the northern side.

Nearby 2 Kestrel, c50 Pied Wagtail scattered around, 30+ Meadow Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, 3 Bullfinch, a Little Owl, a couple of Siskin and c20 Redwing.

2 Swallow flew south west over the hill just after 13:00.

Stonechat along the dyke near the Lees and a Peregrine. TW.

Dragonflies: 6 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 8 Red Admiral and 1 Comma.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Overcast and murky with some light rain, 13°, light SE.

2 Corn Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting and a Green Woodpecker on the hill today.

Nearby 3 Bullfinch, 4 Chiffchaff, 50+ Redwing, 30 Meadow Pipit, 10 Pied Wagtail, 10 Mistle Thrush and several Siskin buzzing around.

Also 2 Raven in the vicinity (2 yesterday per TW).

A couple of Chiffchaff and a Cetti’s Warbler on Cholsey Marsh yesterday towards the 4 Arches, TW.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Tony's Garden

Cloudy, 14°, light SW.

A photo from Tony Rayner with a Raven in his garden yesterday.

10 Mistle Thrush on Cholsey Marsh today but little else.

Monday, 16 October 2017


Cloudy and wind strengthening, 19°, fresh S.

An early movement of birds over Lollingdon hill this morning that fizzled out around 10:00 as the wind started to strengthen.

c120 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 70+ Starling, 60+ Chaffinch, at least 1 Brambling and 2 Redpoll.

30+ Skylark and several Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail over the hill were more likely a local movement.

The more sheltered side of the hill had 1 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest with a Tit flock.

3 Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk in the area.

c100 Lapwing on Cholsey hill this afternoon with both Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull.

“Pretty sure I had 3 Wheatear on Cholsey hill on Saturday - but I was driving and they were flying across the road together, so didn't get more than silhouettes. Redwing piling in since Saturday night (4 in garden on Sunday), and at least 4 Coal Tit in the flock that's going round the gardens”. (RB).

Dragonflies: 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 2 Large White and 3 Red Admiral.

Some interesting weather today with the sky appearing various hues of dark grey to almost an orange. The sun poking through at times and looking very red. Apparently this is due to dust from the Sahara region and smoke and particulates from the Iberian wildfires being whipped up in the atmosphere by Ophelia?

The following photos were of the only things that stated still for any length of time 😄.

Sunday, 15 October 2017


Sunny, 18°, light S.

An afternoon walk out the Lees with a couple of Chiffchaff en route, 17 Starling flew south and a Wheatear (poss 2?) feeding around Farm buildings near the Lees.

Around 60 Lesser Blackback Gull loafing in fields nearby but little else of interest.

Earlier in the day 2 Raven and several Siskin flew over the garden.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: several unidentified “Whites”, 3 Red Admiral and a Speckled Wood.

 Any ideas?
Harlequin (probably)
Last 2 photos courtesy Loren.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Hope October livens up!

Overcast and breezy. 16°, fresh SW.

Another quiet day on the hill with little of note around.

Nearby were 16 Redwing, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Yellowhammer and a Goldcrest.

A Sparrowhawk and 3 Kestrel also around.

A roaming Tit flock passed through the garden this afternoon with 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, several Blue and Great Tit and 2 Nuthatch.

14 Goldfinch also feeding in the garden this afternoon.

Mammals: Pipistrelle Bat and Hedgehog active in the garden after dark this week.

Butterflies: 4 Red Admiral.

 This local Buzzard was the only bird on the hill
 Nuthatch, photo taken through foliage.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Red Admirals & Wind

A windy day with rain showers and some late sunny spells, 16°, fresh SW.

The weather was not conducive to any meaningful birding around the hill today with driving rain blowing on to the hill.

5 Redwing, 3 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a single Siskin noted.

Stonechat possibly still present. Got a distant, brief view of a bird that fitted the size and shape but not seen again.

One nearby field had a flock of c40 Lesser Blackback Gull and 10 Black-headed Gull present.

A Treecreeper with a flock of Long-tailed Tit in the Millennium Wood.

Butterflies: around a dozen Red Admiral with 8 in the meadow adjacent to the garden. Apparently it has been a bumper year for this butterfly in the UK.

Monday, 9 October 2017


Cloudy with some light rain showers and sunshine, light W.

2 Stonechat still present on the hill but sticking to the top corner in the lee of the wind.

2 Raven flew over heading towards the downs and 2 Mistle Thrush and a Chiffchaff present.

Nearby a flock of 60+ Redwing feeding on Yew berries, a Little Owl, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Chiffchaff and 4 Kestrel.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 2 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Redpoll & Peregrine

A couple of Redpoll today and a pair of Peregrine over Manor Farm. Thanks Richard.

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Mainly cloudy, 15°, breezy WNW.

Several Moorhens have been visiting the garden regularly with their young over the last couple of months.

The first photo is of one of the young dated 23rd August and the second one today.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Stonechat & Wheatear

Cloudy with sunny spells, 15°, light NW.

A busy time of the hill today, 2 Stonechat and Wheatear, 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Bullfinch and a good flock of birds in the fields below the hill.

I started to count and was partially through counting and identifying when a Sparrowhawk flew through and scattered the flock. However these are approx. counts. 58 Skylark, 80+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer, 1 Corn Bunting, 3 Pied Wagtail and c100 Linnet.

Nearby a few more Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Grey Heron, another Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, a mixed flock of Lesser Blackback Gull and Black-headed Gull and 3 Swallow flew south.

Went out to the car at 19:10 and a skein of around 70 Geese flew over calling noisily. Mainly Canada Geese with a few Greylag and at least 1 Egyptian Goose!

2 Tawny Owl have been regular around the garden for the last couple of weeks and very vocal.

Mammals: 2 Hedgehog active in the garden after dark.

Reptiles: a couple of Common Lizard basking in the sun.

Dragonflies: 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Large White, 1 Small White, 5 Red Admiral, 1 Comma and 1 Speckled Wood.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Slow October

Cloudy with brief sunny spells, 13°, breezy WSW.

Another breezy day on the hill with little of note: 8 Mistle Thrush, 2 Sparrowhawk flew over one hour apart both flying south and 2 Swallow flying south west.

Nearby were a total of 7 Chiffchaff with some roaming Tit flocks and 2 Siskin flew over.

Several Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail in the area.

3 Swallow south along the Thames yesterday, per TW.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 3 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Large White, 1 Small White, 5 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

A Conehead and a Frog

A couple of photos of an Amphibian & Insect found on the allotments today.

 Common Frog

Long-winged Conehead courtesy Loren

Monday, 2 October 2017

Quiet start to October

Windy with a few sunny spells, 15°, fresh W.

The hill was virtually devoid of birds today with a fresh westerly blowing across the face of the hill.

A few Gulls and Corvids overhead was all.

A few sheltered spots near the paddocks were a little more productive with 10+ Chiffchaff, at least 1 Goldcrest and several Finch species. A Grey Wagtail on the pond.

A light movement of Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

2 Grey Heron halfway out and a Chiffchaff in the garden again.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Large White, 1 Small Copper, 8 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma and 1 Speckled Wood.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Gone quiet again

High cloud, 15°, light to breezy WSW.

A late afternoon visit to the hill today proved somewhat unproductive.

6 Red Kite quartering the hill and a Kestrel hunting, several Buzzard around in the fields with a couple appearing to be hunting on foot, presumably chasing insects.

2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest around the paddocks.

A rare occurrence of a Rabbit in the garden. It turned up yesterday and still present today.

Dragonflies: 2 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 3 Red Admiral.

Only the 2nd Rabbit seen in the garden.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Interesting & Frustrating

A misty start but clearing around 11:000, then mainly cloudy, 18°, light SSE.

An interesting and frustrating morning on the hill today.

A flock of around 100 birds were spooked by a Red Kite off the top of the hill and flew around the hill area above me for a time.

The flock consisted of mainly Linnet with a few Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer but there was one bird calling and I could not put a name to the call but it stood out as different.

This bird was being hassled by a few Linnet, it was then joined by 2 others giving the same call and they broke away from the main flock and headed south.

I lost them in the haze towards the downs and the rest of the flock settled down out of sight on the top of the hill.

The birds were the same size and shape as Linnet but I could not see any detail on them in the misty conditions.

On arriving back home I checked some calls on “Xeno-Canto” and it appears to confirm my suspicion that these 3 birds could well have been Twite.

They will have to go down as “possibles” as I am a bit rusty on Twite calls and I could not get any other ID criteria on them!

Anyway back to the definite stuff:

3 Raven flew north, 2 out of the mist earlier and another about 2 hours later.

A few Swallow and House Martin still making their way south and a slight increase in Skylark and Meadow Pipit numbers and a couple of Pied Wagtail.

No sign today of any Redstart on the hill but quite a few Chiffchaff still in the area.

3 Kestrel, 5 Red Kite and 3 Buzzard frequenting the hill and 3 Mistle Thrush for a brief time.

Still a good number of Egyptian Geese with the Goose flock down near the 4 Arches today and several Chiffchaff on Cholsey Marsh (per TW).

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 5 Common Darter.

Butterflies: 1 Brimstone, 1 Large White, 3 Small White, 20 + Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a possible Small Blue.