Saturday, 19 August 2017

At last!

Sunny, 18°, breezy W.

At last, 4-5 Spotted Flycatcher out at Lollingdon seen by Tony Williams today, also a Willow Warbler, several Common Redstart and Common Whitethroat.

A Willow Warbler on Thursday near Church road and a probable Marsh Tit heard calling. (per RB).

Forgot to mention, a Stoat seen on Wednesday. (per DM).

A Southern Hawker in the garden today and several Bank Vole.

Spotted Flycatcher (2016)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Lizards & the rest.

Cloudy but bright, 22°, light SE veering to SSW.

2 Raven on the walk out to Lollingdon today, both perched up in a large tree.

4 Common Redstart present on the hill, 2 Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat, a Green Woodpecker and a Jay.

Several Bullfinch seen, 4-5 birds.

A Yellow Wagtail flew over and 2 Kestrel around, a Hobby flew over and 18 Mistle Thrush still in the area.

A Little Owl heard calling and 2 Grey Heron seen.

100+ Swift over Cholsey Hill this afternoon with c50 Swallow and House Martin.

2 Peregrine and a Barn Owl recently (per D & H. M).

Mammals: Bank Vole and Roe Deer.

Reptiles: double figures of Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Small White, Common Blue, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Moths: Hummingbird Hawk-moth (garden).

Monday, 14 August 2017

Signs of movement

Mainly cloudy with some light rain, 18°, light WSW.

A minor movement in Autumn migration today and another birder on the Hill, Gerry Quinn.

3 possibly 4 Common Redstart on the hill today (2m, 1f and pos 1 juv), also a Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, a Common Whitethroat and 2 Blackcap.

A light movement of 10 Swift, c20 Swallow, c30 House Martin and at least 1 Sand Martin overhead.

A Mistle Thrush and Kestrel also present.

The Little Egret seen from the garden yesterday.

Reptiles: 4 Common Lizard.

Dragonflies: Southern Hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: a Clouded Yellow flew through, 1 Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Common Blue, 2 Brown ArgusRed Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Speckled Wood and Gatekeeper.

Other: Oak Bush Cricket and Hornet Robberfly (a rare species in the UK).

 Common Redstart
Common Redstart & Robin
Common Redstart
 Oak Bush Cricket
 Common Blue
Hornet Robberfly Asilus crabroniformis
Hornet Robberfly Asilus crabroniformis
Harvesting the Pea field, initially for human consumption but the rain has spoiled the crop and will now be used as fodder.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Chocolate & Strawberry cake.......... & Beer

Sunny spells, 22°, light WNW.

The Cholsey Show in the meadow behind the garden today and a birthday tea in the garden with a few beers and a chocolate/strawberry birthday cake made by Loren combined to make a pleasant afternoon and evening.

One thing about birding and wildlife watching in general is that you can do it virtually anywhere.

1 maybe 2 Hobby around for most of the afternoon hawking insects and at one time settled in one of the trees in the garden, a Little Egret flew at treetop level following the brook.

40+ Swift moving through and quite a few Swallow and House Martin mixing with some of the local breeding birds still here.

A couple of Southern Hawker seen and several butterflies: Large White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Peacock.

All the bird pics were fairly distant and reflective of my beer consumption!

Friday, 11 August 2017

More of an Insect day

Variable cloud with sunshine, 20°, light WSW.

Fairly quiet bird wise at the moment and, more about the insects.

2 Common Redstart still present on the hill with one in the usual hedge area and the other in a hedge around 100m west.

A Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff and a Kestrel present.

Nearby were 2 Bullfinch and several Swift and House Martin overhead and 21 Lesser Blackback Gull.

Yesterday a Raven over the garden, 2 Swift over and a Treecreeper in the garden.

A Sparrowhawk over the garden this afternoon and 2 successful House Martin nests at Marymead this year.

Yellow Wagtail near Silly Bridge today (per MA) and a Wheatear reported from the same location last week (per KP).

Mammals: Roe Deer and Bank Vole.

Dragonflies: 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 3 Southern Hawker, 1 Migrant Hawker (garden), 2 Brown Hawker and 6 Common Darter.

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

Moths: Hummingbird Hawk-Moth in the garden again.

Common Darter
Southern Hawker
Painted Lady
Holly Blue
 Hornet Mimic Hoverfly

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Rain and more Rain

Rain and more rain, 15°. Light N.

Not a particularly good day for going out so most of what seen today was in the garden.

Goldfinch and Chaffinch dominating the seed feeders at the moment with the occasional Greenfinch visit.

Great and Blue Tit also frequent in the garden and the roaming Long-tailed Tit flock of c8 birds visiting several times per day and accompanied today with 2 Treecreeper, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, a Nuthatch and a Coal Tit.

Several House Sparrow have taken a liking to the suet balls and are frequently seen in the garden now.

A Chiffchaff seen working the Holly hedge this morning and a fly through visit from a Sparrowhawk.

Only a few Swallow and House Martin feeding overhead.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Come Out & Play

Cloudy with a few light showers, 18°, light WSW.

Despite the rainy weather there was a good turnout for the Cholsey-Earth Trust “Come Out & Play” event in the rec. the initial count of visitors were at least 84 adults and 166 children so thank you for coming.

A guided walk around the playing field to the Millennium Wood went well with the youngsters finding all sorts of creepies with Spiders, Wood Louse, Millipedes and various Beetles.

Very few birds present with a few Swallow hunting low over the playing field and several House Martin and Swift overhead and a single Chiffchaff heard calling.

Tony Rayner brought along his overnight Moth catch and enlightened both young and old with a good variety of moths. Nothing spectacular but interesting none the less with August Thorn, Canary Shouldered Thorn, and Brimstone to name a few.

The Earth Trust team provided various activities for the youngsters which included a bug hunt, a nature detective trail, wild art and also materials to make their own cardboard binoculars.

2 notable finds were one initially thought to be a Lizard but later confirmed as a Smooth Newt (found by Ben) and a female Stag Beetle (unfortunately the latter was deceased). The former was released back where it was found.

Only one butterfly and one dragonfly seen: a Small White and a Southern Hawker.

A lady from the Hereford Rescue centre was also present and showed the assembled audience a couple of Polecat, a Barn Owl, a Tawny Owl and a Hedgehog all of which had been rescued.

Thank you the Earth Trust Team, The Happy Hub team, Poppy Hunt, Tony Rayner and Mark Gray and all who took part in the organisation and running of the event and especially all the enthusiastic visitors both young and older.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Cholsey Marsh

Sunny with variable cloud, 20°, light WSW.

A walk along the river at Cholsey Marsh.

A fairly quiet marsh today, a Cetti’s Warbler heard and a couple of Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff present.

A flock of c20 House Martin and a few Swallow feeding overhead and Kestrel, Hobby and 2 Sparrowhawk around.

Grey Heron and Mute Swan also seen and several Black-headed Gull present.

Dragonflies: Brown hawker and Common Darter.

Butterflies: very few, Large White, Small Copper, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth still visiting the garden.

Sirex juvencus ? or Pimpla hypochondriaca ?
Harlequin Ladybird
Common Darter
Black-headed Gull

Earth Trust - Come Out & Play

Monday 7th August in Cholsey Rec

Saturday, 5 August 2017


Sunny periods, showers and thunderstorms, 19°, light to fresh NW.

A day in the garden today and a mixed bag.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden visiting some Buddleia, presumably the same one I saw yesterday evening.

An amazingly agile moth with wing beats up to 80 per second moving from flower spike to flower spike and then disappearing only to return approx. an hour later. It did this several times through the day.

2 Chiffchaff, 2 Nuthatch, a Coal Tit and several Long-tailed Tit amongst the bird visitors today. A Hobby and Sparrowhawk overhead and 60+ Swift flew south and 30+ House Martin and 20+ Swallow over.

Mammals: Bank Vole.

Dragonflies: 1 Southern Hawker and 2 female Common Darter.

Butterflies: Large White, Green-veined White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown.

Also a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly.

A selection of photos from the garden today (mainly the Hummer).