31 Mar 14

M4: Red Kite seen in the direction of Coate Water. (Felicity Cobb)

Stanton Park: Today at Stanton were all the usual birds and a couple of distant Greenfinches. (Dave Butcher)

Greenfinch (Dave Butcher)

Greenfinch (Dave Butcher)

Liddington: At Liddington today there was a Willow Warbler singing, lots of Linnets, Corn Buntings and Yellowhammers. (Tony Martin)

Coate Water: At Coate Water there were 2 Coot nests with chicks. One of the nests was just off the causeway. (Tony Martin)

Coot chicks (Tony Martin)

Coot chicks with adult (Tony Martin)

Swindon: Today in a bush covered in ivy a House Sparrow was building a nest, it must be short of house sites. (Tony Martin)

Today's Photo Here

30 Mar 14

Hannington: 2 bats, probably Pipistrelles, flying around outside at dusk. (Steve Davies)

Stanton Park: Highlights early this morning were 2 Blackcaps, many Chiffchaff singing, Marsh Tit and a pair of Red-legged Partridges. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

Marsh Tit (Martin Adlam)

Wren (Martin Adlam)

Also at Stanton Park, 2 Grass Snakes. (Dave Butcher)

Grass Snakes (Dave Butcher)

Grass Snakes (Dave Butcher)

Haydon Wick: I put my moth trap out for the third time this year, but last night I got my first moths! As I only started trapping last August all these are new for me so quite pleased. 10 Hebrew Character, 3 Clouded Drab, 4 Common Quaker, 2 Early Grey, 2 March Dagger Moth and an Early Thorn. (Nigel Sluman)

Nythe: This afternoon an hours bird watching from the back garden produced a Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, 3 Herring Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Wood Pigeon, 2 male Blackbirds, 2 Blue Tit, 3 Carrion Crow, 5 Starling and 5 House Sparrow. Also noted were 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Brimstone, a Bumblebee sp. and a 2 Zebra Spiders.

House Sparrow and Starling (Martin Adlam)

Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus is a common jumping spider

Mouldon Hill CP and my garden: Birds - Chiffchaff, c40 Mallard, 4 Coot, Moorhen, 2 Canada Goose, 2 Blue Tit, Wren, Lesser Black-backed Gull, pair Great Crested Grebe. Insects - 3 Brimstone, 11 Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock butterflies, Red Ant, Black Ant, White-lipped Snail, Tree Bumblebee, White-tailed Bumblebee, Buff-tailed Bumblebee. Also 2 Common Frog. Flowers in bloom - Marsh Marigold, Red Dead-nettle, Daisy, Dandelion, Lesser Celandine. (Nigel Sluman)

Nightingale Wood:  Ringing at Nightingale Wood, 6 Blackcap present, four of which we trapped, 2 male & 2 female. By weighing the birds and checking for body fat deposits we can tell that the females and one male were fresh in overnight and still have a fat (fuel) deposit so are likely to migrate further north. Also trapped the first Willow Warbler of the year. Picture on WOS website sightings page Here. Also present were 15 Chiffchaff and 6 Reed Bunting. Butterflies seen were Brimstone, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. (Phil Deacon)

Coate Water: Today at Coate Water there was a lot of different stuff but nothing to exciting. These included a Buzzard, 2 Toads, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Tufted Duck. Also there were some fungus on the logs. (Harry King)

Tufted Duck (Harry King)

Buzzard (Harry King)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Harry King)

Wren (Harry King)

Toad (Harry King)

Toadstool sp. (Harry King)

Bracket fungi sp. (Harry King)

Also at Coate Water with Harry King was Graham Cox, Tony Martin and Dave King who also recorded 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Buzzards, 4 Pairs of Great Crested Grebes, Teal, Gadwall, Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler and Mallards, 2 Wrens, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest, Chaffinches, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 14 Grey Herons and 2 confused Mallards. Other wildlife seen were 2 late Toads and Rabbits plus Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and 4 Brimstones butterflies. (Graham Cox)

Buzzard (Graham Cox)

Drake Mallards (Graham Cox)

Wren (Graham Cox)

Toad (Graham Cox)

Toad (Graham Cox)

Toad (Graham Cox)

Comma (Graham Cox)

Marlborough - Swindon: Along the rail path from Marlborough to Ogbourne St George were 7 Buzzards, a Red Kite, 3 Chiffchaffs, a singing Skylark, 2 Pheasants, 5 Hares & a large Wasp sp. ( Queen? ).
We passed 6 Yellowhammers, a singing Skylark and a Buzzard climbing up to the Ridgeway along Copse Drove.
As we approached the South side of Liddington Hill a Sparrowhawk was over Lower Upham, a Red Kite passed overhead and a Buzzard was over Folly Farm.
At Liddington Hill 20+ Yellowhammers, 4 singing Skylarks, 3 Meadow Pipits, a Fieldfare, 2 Corn Buntings and 30+ Linnets.
A Muntjac along the rail path from Chiseldon to Coate Water.
All the usual birds at Coate Water although the ducks now in very small number and a Red Kite over Shaftesbury Avenue Lake. (Trevor & Sue Clayson)

Chiffchaff (Sue Clayson)

A large wasp sp. possibly a Queen. (Sue Clayson)

29 Mar 14

Liddington Hill: This morning at 8:00am a male Ring Ouzel was present. Also 224 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing and Chiffchaff singing. (Nigel Pleass)

Nythe: Mid-afternoon a Red Kite over the estate again. And 2 were also seen by Phil Deacon during the day. (Martin Adlam)

Swindon Area: I did a tour of some of the garden centres this morning. At The Garden Centre, Stratton a Red Kite flew over. Also 3 Brimstone butterflies were seen and a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee (first for year?). Then on to The Water Garden at Hinton Parva. En route just before Wanborough I saw 2 Red-legged Partridge and another Brimstone butterfly. Once at the centre saw a pair of Pied Wagtail and c6 Small Tortoiseshell, another Buff-tailed Bumblebee, several Honey Bee and a queen Red-tailed Bumblebee (first for year?). Upon arriving home another Small Tortoiseshell in my garden.
Spending an afternoon in the garden and washing the car etc leant itself to a few more insects and invertebrae. 3 White-lipped Snail, a Garden Snail, a winter coated Green Shieldbug, 3 Common Earthworm, 8 Pollen Beetle sp. and a Peacock butterfly. (Nigel Sluman)

M4: In a field between J17 and J16 all the Fallow Deer were sitting on the ground, eyes closed, facing the sun. Lovely to see. (Felicity Cobb)

Bushton: This afternoon I visited my BTO Breeding Bird Survey square at Bushton to record the habitats. With this survey the BTO allocate you a square they have chosen at random.  I started last year and made three visits: to record the habitats along each 200m of the 2 * 1km transects and then there will be 2 early (very early!) visits in April and May.  While my square seems fairly non-descript farmland it is peaceful and there is usually something interesting to see. So this afternoon I saw: 2 Mute Swans (the fields are still boggy underfoot in some areas), 2 Buzzards, 2 Chiffchaffs (and others heard), 2 Skylarks, plus Great Tit, Blackbirds, Pheasant, House Sparrow, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons, Rooks, Carrion Crows, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also seen were 2 Brimstones and a Small Tortoiseshell, plus 2 Rabbits. (Richard Williams)

Folly Farm: While hoping, but failing, to see something a little more exotic I did see some Yellowhammers, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Buzzards, a small flock of Meadow Pipits, 6 Fieldfare, some Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Hare. (Richard Williams)

CWP: Highlights of today's walk in the Cotswold Water Park included 5 Little Egrets near Cerney Wick and 7 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Curlew and 3 Oystercatchers at CWP 74. Still good numbers of Goldeneye to be seen and pairs of Red Crested Pochard on several lakes. A glorious spring day to be out and the footpaths although a bit muddy are no longer flooded (at least where we went). All today's sightings can be found on the CWP Blog. (Trevor & Sue Clayson)

Red Crested Pochard (Sue Clayson)

Stanton Park: At Stanton park today a Grass Snake. (Tony Martin)

Grass Snake (Tony Martin)

Grass Snake (Tony Martin)

Grass Snake (Tony Martin)

28 Mar 14

Swindon: 3 weeks ago I put a niger feeder on the green out the front of my house as I had heard Goldfinches flying over. Within 48 hours I had 2 on there, and after being away for two weeks I came back to an empty feeder. After topping it up 2 days ago I had 5 Goldfinch visiting! This is along with the usual small flocks of House Sparrow, Blue and Great Tit, 3 Blackbird and a female Blackcap that has been here since November. (Nigel Sluman)

M4: Mid-afternoon there were 6 Fallow Deer in a field between J17 and J16. (Felicity Cobb)

27 Mar 14

Liddington Hill: An early start this morning rewarded me with a male Ring Ouzel, Song Thrush, Buzzard, 20+ Linnet, 3 Yellowhammer, 7 Corn Bunting, Skylark and 10 Meadow Pipit. (Matt Pringle)

Coate Water: 6 Sand Martin (my 1st this year), 3 Cormorant, 3 Greylag Geese, Stock Dove, 2 Buzzard and 3 Chiffchaff. (Matt Pringle)

Moulden Hill: Highlights from a walk here this morning were 17 singing Chiffchaffs, 1 male Blackcap, a Reed Bunting and a pair of Great Crested Grebes. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

Chiffchaff (Martin Adlam)

Great Crested Grebes (Martin Adlam)

Marsh Marigolds (Martin Adlam)

Cricklade: 26 Fieldfares SE over. (Robin Griffiths)

Croft Wood: At least 12 Magpies by Thames water plant near Croft Wood today. (Felicity Cobb)

Nythe: At midday a Red Kite flew over the estate being mobbed by several gulls. (Martin Adlam)

Swindon: A few wildlife photos taken locally today. (Maurice Carne)

Robin (Maurice Carne)

Robin (Maurice Carne)

Water Vole (Maurice Carne)

Water Vole (Maurice Carne)

Water Vole (Maurice Carne)

Water Vole (Maurice Carne)

Wren (Maurice Carne)

Coate Water: At Coate this afternoon 2 Little Egrets, 3 Reed Buntings, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Wren, 1 Goldcrest, 15 Grey Herons, 2 Goosanders, Teal, Gadwall, Mallards and Tufted Ducks, 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes (1 pair on Nest), Coots on nests and Moorhens. Loads of Rabbits on the right hand bank on the path to Hide 2, also 1 Roe Deer feeding on the edge of the lake and 2 Muntjac Deer in the first field to Hide 2. (Graham Cox, Dave King and Tony Martin) 

Little Egrets (Graham Cox)

Little Egret (Graham Cox)

Coot (Graham Cox)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Graham Cox)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Graham Cox)

Wren (Graham Cox)

Roe Deer (Graham Cox)

26 Mar 14

Folly Farm: I had a trip to Folly farm this morning to look for Ring Ouzel's. I didn't see any but got a few Yellowhammer shots. (Gary Chalker)

Yellowhammer (Gary Chalker)

Yellowhammer (Gary Chalker)

Yellowhammer (Gary Chalker)

Yellowhammer (Gary Chalker)

Clout's Wood: At Clouts Wood on the edge of Wroughton and saw a few of Goldcrests flitting through the trees. (Gary Chalker)

Goldcrest (Gary Chalker)

Goldcrest (Gary Chalker)

Goldcrest (Gary Chalker)

Goldcrest (Gary Chalker)

M4: Today 4 larger deer seen from M4 heading west in field not far from Wroughton. (Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water: A quick visit to Coate Water today. There were 2 Nuthatches using an old Woodpecker holes and mudding them Up! Also 2 pairs of Robins at Broome Manor Road end of Coate. (Graham Cox)

Nuthatch (Graham Cox)

Nuthatch (Graham Cox)

Nuthatch (Graham Cox)

Nuthatch (Graham Cox)

Robin (Graham Cox)

Robin (Graham Cox)

Robin (Graham Cox)