Monday, 28 January 2013

First for 6 years

Monday 28 January 2013

Unlikely to draw the local twitchers to the Watercress beds but a Nuthatch was a good find being the first I have seen there since January 2007.

Battle Farm

Sunday 27 January 2013

First proper count of the year round the local farm revealed 239 individual birds of 29 species. Good to see lots of insectiverous feeders survived the cold snap with 26 Long-tailed Tits and 6 Goldcrests. When I get a moment I will check but suspect this is a record for both species. Missing though were Goldfinch and winter thrushes. Little grebe under the bank where the fields run alongside the Thames.

Where's me Rail?

Saturday 26 January

Beginning to think the ewelme Water rail has gone "walk-a-bout" but then i have thought that before and it has wandered nonchalently out from under the privet bush. A Lesser Redpoll was compensation though.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Hale Farm, Warborough and River

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Lots of thrushes, mainly Fieldfare, on the fields between Benson and Warborough and probably a good place to look for Merlin as very large flock of small stuff but too far away to ID. A few water birds on the river which have appeared now the flow has dropped off. Nothing unusual but Gadwall was nice.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Snipe at last

Monday 21 January 2013

Snipe, either one twice or two, turned up on the cress beds. Usually regular during cold spells but I guess there is water everywhere and some of it won't have frozen yet. A Sparrowhawk being harassed by a crow until the hawk turned on it and it scuttled off with its tail between its legs if that is possible in a bird?

Snowy walk

Saturday 20 January 2013

Cabin fever forced me out for a walk along to the Sewage farm at Preston Crowmarsh. Lots of Pied Wagtails on the beds together with Meadow Pipits but that was about it. Decided to return via Benson Lock where the stop at the Alders by the entrance to the weir payed off with a small party of Siskin.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

New 2013 ticks at Ewelme

Saturday 19 January 2013

A snowy underfoot walk to ewelme to top up the bird feeders was rewarded with 4 new birds for the site. Fieldfare and Pied Wagtail were not too surprising but a female Teal and party of about 6 Meadow Pipits were the result of the cold weather. still a long way to get up to the 46 species seen in January 2010.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Jan Dorchester WeBS count

Thursday 17 January 2013

Bit late as it should have been last Sunday but other committments got in the way. Less Ice than I expected with only the Allen Pit significantly affected but with the biggest count - 581 out of a total for all the lakes of 1172. Out of that 581 Wigeon accounted for 553 all squashed in to a small area free of ice. Best birds of a not very exciting count were a Great Black-backed Gull (very rare in WeBS counts at Dorchester) and a Snipe.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Tuesday 15 January 2013

Seem to be Lapwings spread out thinly in nearly every local field, presumably gorging on worms.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Green sands

Sunday 13 January 2013

Two Green sandpipers on the cress beds this morning - bring on the icy weather!

More, or the same, grey partridges

Saturday 12 January 2013

Drove down Firebrass Hill taking other half to her health walk - didn't stop but number of lapwings seemed up on yesterday and 10 grey partridges alongside the road.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A few new ticks

Friday 11 January 2013

First off a look at the Cress Beds and finally caught a glimpse of the Water Rail - seems a very shy bird this year but perhaps it will show itself better if we get the promised cold weather. Also a Carrion crow there bringing my 2013 total up to 32.

Had an hour to spare this afternoon so thought I would ckeck out the lapwing flock alongside Firebrass Hill ( that's the top road down from the B4009 into Ewelme). Scanned the field and came up mwith 120 Lapwing and just 1 Golden Plover. That's not too surprising as in the murk and sitting on a ploughed field Goldies are quite easy to miss. What was surprising was that when they all flew up, being disturbed by a passing chopper, that was exactly how many Goldies there were.

Friday, 4 January 2013


Friday 4 January 2013

Keep trying to get my garden Blackcap up to 2! The male spends ages in the garden protecting his fat balls and just occasionally gets chased off by the starlings. The odd thing is that when the starlings have had their fill the blackcap returns but almost invariably he has changed into a she.

Most unusually I have not caught up with a warbler at the cress beds - usually a regular winter bird attracted by the warm water and associated insects.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

3rd of my local patches

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Must make more of an effort at Dorchester this year - 76 last year was miserable but, I guess with only a dozen visits, I couldn't expect much better. Determined to try and get over there more and started off with a look around today. 42 species, the most noteworthy being a couple of Egyptian geese and 2 female Goldeneye (surprisingly not very common at Dorchester in recent years. 380 Lapwing on the edge of the flooded field near Day's Lock - for some reason I just can't stop myself from counting them!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Quick dash round 2 of my "local patches"

1 January 2013

Not a great deal to report but 2 warblers can't be bad for here - Blackcap in garden and Chiffchaff alongside Preston Crowmarsh Sewage works. 24 species at the Watercress Beds was about average but missed out on the Water Rail that has been very secretive this winter and probably only a single individual present - mind you there is a bit of water about in ditches, fields and just about everywhere so perhaps when elsewhere freezes...

First butterfly of the year - a Brimstone and it was free flying NOT disturbed out of its sleep by me!