Saturday, 31 December 2011


Saturday 31 December 2011
Good numbers of Marsh Tits and a Redpoll on feeder and a Raven flying over.

Monday, 26 December 2011


Monday 26 december 2011
At last the thrushes have re-appeared at the Watercress Beds. Good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing but very flighty - not hanging around to be counted.  Two Water Rails on show, one between the bridge and the mill weir and the other near the feeders.  Need some really cold weather to get an idea of actual numbers - guessing at 4 or 5.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Greetings

Friday 23 december 2011
All the very best for Christmas and the New Year - can I get my followers into double figures during 2012?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

3 surveys in 3 days

Tuesday 20 december 2011
Sunday the Preston Crowmarsh farm survey came up with 334 birds of 33 species - most notable being 2 Little Grebe, 7 Skylarks and a Bullfinch - first of these ever at the farm!
Monday was the turn of the Watercress Beds - 156 birds of 24 species - only 2 Water Rails worth mentioning.
Today was Dorchester where 2122 birds of 23 species identified. 15 Golden Plover and 2 Egyption Geese  and a Kingfisher seen amongst the more mundane.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Mainly partridges

Thursday 15 December 2011
Flying visit to Ewelme to top up the feeders - the Water Rail seems a bit braver of late spending more time out in the open but, unfortunately always in or near shadow making photography tricky - at least that's my excuse.
On the way back via Cottesmore Lane three groups of Partridges, 14 Grey, 10 Grey and 4 Red Legged. 

Saturday, 10 December 2011

On track again

Saturday 10 December 2011
At Ewelme the frosty weather encouraged the Water Rail, or one of them, to co-operate allowing me to get a few minutes of video, part of which is here Also on show were 2 Green Sandpipers and a female Blackcap.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Berry Christmas

Friday 9 December 2011
The large Privet bush at Ewelme had 5 Blackbirds, a Robin and 2 Blackcaps gorging on the berries - can't see them lasting very much longer.  Still the Ivy berries are prolific and will be more attractive with a few hard frosts to soften them.  There must be at least three Blackcaps around as the two today were both female and the two a few days ago were one of each.  Still no sign of Water Rails - not seen one since last Sunday.  Hope they are just being their normal secretive selves and haven't moved on or come to grief.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Away day

Tuesday 6 December 2011
Out of my comfort zone today.  Packed emergency rations, blew the dust of my satnav and set off for Cowleaze Wood.  Second mistake (first was deciding to go) was to go via Britwell Hill which was a bit like an ice ring in places. Survived that and parked up at the wood.  Stepped out of the car and first bird I saw was a big black corvid - that could be a Raven, I thought - "kronk" - thank you very much.  I began to think that this could be my day but things rapidly went downhill. A large flock (c60) of small finches kept flying around but if they did settle it wasn't anywhere near where I was. Managed to find Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Jay and Great Spot but not a lot else.  Eventually the small finches settled within range, briefly, when they appeared to be mainly Goldfinch with some Siskin. Probably wasn't helped by hoards of dogs apparently all fighting one another and necessitating looking what you were treading in rather than looking at the tops of trees.  Why do people seem to want flocks of dogs rather than the odd one or perhaps two? and why do dog owners think that they needn't clear up after them when in the countryside?

So no sign of the Crossbills, numbering around 40, seen on Sunday by son .

Allways another day I suppose.

Monday, 5 December 2011


Monday 5 December 2011

Still rather quiet at the Watercress Beds but the feeder filling trip somewhat enlivened by pairs of both Bullfinch and Blackcap (not on the seeds though!). Missed out on the Water Rail again - it/them are being extreemely secretive at the moment.  Wonder if they like dried mealworms?  might be worth a try!