30 Sep 14

CWP: A few ducks are now beginning to return to the Water Park. Our first Goldeneye of the autumn was a female seen from Twitchers on CWP Pit 74. Nearby there was a Stonechat on CWP Pit 95 seen from the gateway on the way to Kent End. All our sightings are on the CWP blog Here. (Trevor & Sue)
Swindon, Pipers Way: Seen from the allotment 2 Buzzards, 1 Sparrowhawk and a Green Woodpecker. (Gaynor Dabner and Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water: I took these photographs this afternoon showing the extent of weed over the waters surface. Some questions though.

What will happen to it?
Do the birds eat it?
How does it get dispersed?

(Felicity Cobb)

The Mute Swans find a bit of open water at Coate (Felicity Cobb)

But for the most part there is a huge build up of weed / algae (Felicity Cobb)

Note: More on this algae outbreak on Readers Corner here. (Martin Adlam)

29 Sep 14

Shaw Forest: Kingfisher, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Song Thrush and 2 Meadow Pipit. (Matt Pringle)

Mouldon Country Park: 5 Skylark, 50+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Grey Wagtail, 11 Song Thrush, Blackcap, Reed Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Buzzard and 4 Swallow. (Matt Pringle)

Swindon: A new caterpillar in the garden today, a Knot Grass Moth caterpillar, on the dead leaves at the bottom of a Mullein plant. (Trevor & Sue Clayson)

Knot Grass Moth caterpillar (Sue Clayson)

Knot Grass Moth caterpillar (Sue Clayson)

Nythe: A Common Marbled Carpet moth in the house today. (Martin Adlam)

A Common Marbled Carpet moth. Thank you to Nigel Sluman for identification of this moth, which can be confused with the Dark Marbled Carpet moth. (Martin Adlam)

The markings on the hindwings of a Common Marbled Carpet moth help in the identification process of this species and also the fact that Dark Marbled Carpet moths only have one generation usually July-August (til' September further north), whereas the Common Marbled Carpet moth has its first May-June and a second late August-early October. Information supplied by Nigel Sluman.

Note: A plate here shows the difference with Dysstroma truncata being the Common Marbled Carpet moth.  (Martin Adlam)

28 Sep 14

Nythe: First thing this morning a large flock of Long-tailed Tits were foraging in the White Beam across the road from the house. Also with them 3 Blue Tits and a 2 Chiffchaff with one singing. Overhead were Meadow Pipits and Chaffinch moving east. (Martin Adlam)

Swindon: Red Kite seen very near to Swindon, travelling West. Also, 3 Buzzards on posts within a mile, all searching for food. Lovely to see. (Felicity Cobb)

Marlborough to Chiseldon: Our walk today was from Marlborough to Chiseldon via Rabley, Chase Woods, the Ridgeway & Liddington Hill. At Rabley Wood there were 60+, mostly juvenile, Pheasants, 20+ of which were running around in the road amongst 10 that had been run over. with 4 Buzzards and 2 Red Kites circling overhead. Three more Red Kites, 5+ Buzzards and a Kestrel were over Paulton Down. Along the Ridgeway near Chase Woods were Brimstone Butterflies and Common Darters. On the south side of Liddington Hill were 40+ Linnets, 12 Yellowhammers and 2 Red Kites, one on the ground and one in a treetop, both flew off in the direction of Folly Farm. Finally a Roe Deer near Folly Farm and a Buzzard and a Kestrel over the hill fort on a day, with very few birds around for long stretches of the walk. (Trevor and Sue Clayson)

Bincknoll: At the Wilts & Berks Canal at Bincknoll this afternoon one of the two Mute Swans was ringed with an orange K4N.  On the other leg was a metal ring where all I could make out was "London SW7".  (Richard Williams)

Toothill: At home a Speckled Wood - a garden tick. (Richard Williams)

Chiseldon: 5 Wrens, Grey Wagtail, Red Kite, Swallows and House Martins feeding high over the house this evening. (Malcolm Royal)

Coate Water: At Coate Water today at Hide 2, 1 Water Rail, 1 Snipe, 2 Kingfishers, Shovelers, Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Teal and Mallards, 8 Cormorants, Coots, Moorhens, 20 Lapwing and 5 Grey Herons. At Hide 1, 1 Jay, 2 Dunnocks, 14 Mute Swans, Blue Tits and Great Tits. Still a few dragonflies with Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters. (Graham Cox, Tony Martin, Andrew Sloane and Harry King)

Snipe (Graham Cox)

Snipe (Graham Cox)

Snipe (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Grey Heron (Graham Cox)

Jay (Graham Cox)

Stanton Park and Hayden End: A few photos from this weekend in the garden and around Stanton Park. Garden Spider, Sowbread (Cyclamen hederifolium) and a toadstool Coprinellus disseminatus (Nige Sluman)

Garden Spider (Nige Sluman)

Garden Spider (Nige Sluman)

Sowbread (Nige Sluman)

Sowbread (Nige Sluman)

Coprinellus disseminatus (Nige Sluman)

Coprinellus disseminatus (Nige Sluman)

27 Sep 14

Folly Farm and Liddington Hill: Male Ring Ouzel present this morning at 9:27am, plus 2 Kestrel, 3 Buzzard, Red Kite, several Chiffchaff, many Yellowhammer and Linnets, Corn Bunting, 11 Swallows, 2 Jay and 2 Roe Deer.
This evening, 3 Kestrel but no sign of the Barn Owl. (Malcolm Royal)

Barbury, Smeathes' Ridge: A single Red Kite seen this afternoon during Ramblers walk. (Felicity Cobb)

Stratton Wood and Stanton Park: Highlights were Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Grey Wagtail, 2 Blackcap, 5+ Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and 2 Jays.
Also seen: FoxGrey Squirrel, Terrapin sp., Speckled Wood, 2 Peacock, 3 Green-veined WhiteDrone FlySouthern Hawker. More on my Blog Here (Martin Adlam)

Speckled Wood (Martin Adlam)

Drone Fly (Martin Adlam)

CWP Pit 74: Black Tern still present early evening plus 15 Curlew and a Redshank. More on the CWP Website Here. (Ian Searle)

Coate Water: Today I went to Coate in the hope of seeing a Jay. I saw one a lot and got some great shots of it. (Harry King)

Jay (Harry King)

Jay (Harry King)

Jay (Harry King)

26 Sep 14

Liddington Castle: This evening Liddington Castle was quiet with a flock of Linnets and quite a few Meadow Pipits. Not a complaint for I could also share the solitude with a Kestrel and Barn Owl!  The Kestrel was quartering over the castle while I saw the owl in the high hedge looking down from the south west corner of the castle - I think my first in the Swindon Birds area.  Also 4 Roe Deer in the stubble field.
I parked in the field at the North west corner of the castle and walked up the Western flank and then to the top from there rather than from Folly Farm tonight. (Richard Williams)

Marlborough: On my way back from Marlborough this afternoon, sighting of an Osprey sitting on a post Here on the side of the A346 just as the road rises towards the Golf Club. (Dave Brown)

CWP Pit 74: Juvenile Black Tern still present. More on BirdGuides Here.

Haydon End: A Wiltshire tick for me this morning as there was a Speckled Bush-cricket on the door. (Nigel Sluman)

Speckled Bush-cricket (Nigel Sluman)

Speckled Bush-cricket (Nigel Sluman)

Swindon: Today on the ivy a Honey Bee or is this an Ivy Bee, would be interested to know. (David Boase)

Honey Bee (David Boase)

25 Sep 14

Coate Water: At Hide 1 the Hornets nest is ever growing. (Gary Chalker)

Hornets (Gary Chalker)

Also at Coate Water today a few Swallows and House Martins about. Not a lot down at Hide 2, but back at Hide 1, the Hornets nest is now all over the Blue Tits box on the first tree inside the gate. Now that there are no acorns in sight on the oak trees, the Jay is now coming in for the peanuts along with the Nuthatch to hide them for this coming winter. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is also back. (Tony Martin)

Hornets (Tony Martin)

Jay (Tony Martin)

Jay (Tony Martin)

Jay (Tony Martin)

Nuthatch (Tony Martin)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Tony Martin)

24 Sep 14

Stanton Park: Highlights of a lovely walk around the Park this afternoon were 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 House Martin, 4 Swallow, Grey Wagtail, 2 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Marsh Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and 1 Jay. Also seen were Green-veined White and a Comma butterflies, 5 Common Darters, a Southern Hawker and Hornets. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

A Flesh Fly (Martin Adlam)

A female Common Darter (Martin Adlam)

A male Common Darter (Martin Adlam)

Haydon End: Misjudged the weather last night, ran the trap and it rained.  It seemed to survive so hopefully it'll continue working!  So from Haydon End last night and in the trap this morning, 41 moths of 10 species:

Common Wainscot x2, Small Wainscot, Lesser Yellow Underwing x6, Large Yellow Underwing x5, Lunar Underwing x20, Sallow, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Square-spot Rustic x2, Light Brown Apple Moth x2, Carcina quercana and Caloptilia semifascia.

Also in the trap:
Caddis Fly - Limnephilus lunatus x10
Common Wasp x3

Also recently I had a new garden bird, as a Jay visited the Oak trees out the front and was collecting acorns. Other birds have started returning to the feeders including Robin, Blue TitsGreat Tits and House Sparrow. A Great Spotted Woodpecker has also been heard calling nearby.  I've also had plenty of Garden and Zebra Spiders, lots of Craneflies, and a wasp which I think is Diphyus quadripunctorius. (Nigel Sluman)

Caloptilia semifascia (Nigel Sluman)

Sallow (Nigel Sluman)

Small Wainscot (Nigel Sluman)

Diphyus quadripunctorius (Nigel Sluman)

CWP Pit 74: The juvenile Black Tern was still present this morning. (Nigel Sluman)

23 Sep 14

Swindon: This evening in my back garden,  I came across this caterpillar of the Pale Tussock moth. (Mike Ford)

Caterpillar of the Pale Tussock moth (Mike Ford)

Coate Water: At Coate today, 2 Kingfishers, 5 Cormorants, 6 Grey HeronsSwans pairing up, Wigeon, Teal, Mallards, Tufted Ducks and Gadwall, Shovelers, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Grebes, 3 BuzzardsWrens, Dunnocks and Robin. At Hide 1 there is a Hornet nest in a nesting box and has overflowed like the one in Stanton Park. Plenty of Dragonfly's about, Migrant Hawkers, Southern Hawkers Red Darters and Common Darters. (Graham Cox, Brian Waller and Tony Martin)

Mute Swans pairing up (Graham Cox)

Mute Swans pairing up (Graham Cox)

Shoveler (Graham Cox)

Wren (Graham Cox)

Hornet nest (Graham Cox)

Hornet nest (Graham Cox)

Hornet nest (Graham Cox)

CWP Pit 74: Juvenile Black Tern still present since 20 Sep. More on CWP Website Here. (Malcolm Royal)

22 Sep 14

Liddington Castle: A pre-archaeology group visit. No raptors seen but many Goldfinches.... truly a charm.
Another "feeding pot" seen (for pheasants?) and a small dead mammal spotted on the ground, possibly a Stoat?
Thank you to Malcolm Royal who was very helpful for instructions in accessing the castle easily. (Felicity Cobb)

Another Pheasant feeder! (Felicity Cobb)

Possibly a dead Stoat (Felicity Cobb)

Cotswold Water Park: We had a walk in the Water Park today. A good day for waders with Snipe on Pits 301, 74 and Kent End. Green Sandpipers and Common Sandpipers on Pit 74. Lapwing on Pits 301 and 74, and a Greenshank at Kent End. More on the CWP Website Here. Plus the juvenile Black Tern that has been present for 3 days now.(Trevor and Sue Clayson)

Greenshank (Sue Clayson)

Stanton Park: Still plenty of Chiffchaffs about plus a couple of Blackcaps this evening. In the Meadows at the rear of the pool, lots of Common Darters sunbathing / resting on the fences. Also Goldfinches feeding on thistles opposite the Stanton Manor House, where there are also plenty of Horse Chestnuts about to fall. (Martin Adlam)

The Pool (Martin Adlam)

Common Darter (Martin Adlam) 

Goldfinch (Martin Adlam)

Horse Chestnuts (Martin Adlam)

Nythe: The Hummingbird Hawk-moth was back this evening feeding on the Buddleia, which has just but a few flowers left. (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam) 

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Martin Adlam)

Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Martin Adlam)