31 Jan 15

Blakehill
Location

Jack Snipe, 13 Common Snipe, Teal, 3 Stonechats, 2 Ravens and a Common Buzzard with white rump. Also 2 Brown Hares. (Robin Griffiths)

Swindon

Chiffchaff and Blackcap (Paul Castle)

30 Jan 15

M4

Rough-legged Buzzard west of junction 16 M4 (north side) near to the Deer Farm at 10.55am this morning. More on my Blog Here. (Malcolm Royal)

Note: On the Rare Bird Alert website here, they have a good number of images of a Rough-legged Buzzard and this individual certainly matched photos 12 and 13, with that distinct white band on the upper side of the tail. Also in this area a Rough-legged Buzzard was seen recently at Lea. And as the crow flies it's not that far from the Deer Farm.

Oakhurst
Location

In the garden today our regular Blackcap feeding on the Crab Apple tree. (Bob Shiret)

A male Blackcap. (Bob Shiret)

Wroughton Reservoir
Location

9 Little Grebe, 29 Gadwall, 10 Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, 2 Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull and 2 female Bullfinch. (Malcolm Royal)

Axford
Location

On the Kennet 2 Heron, 3 Cormorant and Little Grebe. (Malcolm Royal)

Barbury Castle Area

I went out to the Barbury castle area today, to a spot where there are a pair of Stonechat that fly up to the car and perch to have their picture taken. I also managed to get a couple of shots of a Kestrel right above the car. This flew down and caught a vole right by the drivers side wing of the car. (Gary Chalker)

A male Stonechat (Gary Chalker)

A female Stonechat (Gary Chalker)

Kestrel (Gary Chalker)

Kestrel (Gary Chalker)

29 Jan 15

Coate Water
Location

A quick visit to Coate Water this afternoon. Birds seen were 9 Goosanders, 1 Kingfisher, 1 unusual "white-faced" Canada Goose, 14 Grey Herons, Teal, Tufted Ducks, Gadwall , Shovelers and Mallards. (Graham Cox, Tony Martin, Terry Grant and Brian Waller)

Canada Goose (Graham Cox)

Canada Goose (Graham Cox)

Canada Goose (Graham Cox)

Grey Heron (Graham Cox)

Note: Graham's unusual Canada Goose above could either be a partial leucistic Canada Goose or a Canada Goose x Barnacle Goose hybrid. Leucistic Here or Hybrid Here. Open to ideas or thoughts!(Martin Adlam)

Oakhurst 
Location

In our garden today was our regular male Blackcap, by the time I got camera ready he had gone, but this nice Greenfinch popped up in a ray of sunshine. Also in the garden were six Bullfinches, one of which is this rather rotund female. (Bob Shiret)


A male Greenfinch (Bob Shiret)

A rather plump female Bullfinch (Bob Shiret)

Nythe
Location

A Red Kite over the estate today. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

Red Kite over Nythe (Martin Adlam)

28 Jan 15

M4 Wroughton
Location

Little Egret amongst a flock of gulls in a field by the motorway. (Malcolm Royal)

Coate Water
Location

At Broome Manor Lane end of Coate Water, 9 Goosander, 21 Mute Swans, 2 Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Heron, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull and Common Gull, Jay, Marsh Tit and Goldcrest. (Malcolm Royal)

Chiseldon Railway Path
Location

Bullfinch and Kestrel. (Malcolm Royal)
Lechlade
Location

Just south of Lechlade at 10:45am approx. 150 Lapwings. (Martin Savage)

Swindon

Eventually managed to get a shot of the Goldcrest that we see in the garden most days. (Trevor & Sue Clayson)

Goldcrest (Sue Clayson)

27 Jan 15

Liddington Hill
Location

Today there were 2 Red Kites, 2 Ravens, 2 Stonechat (m+f) and 1 Skylark. (Bob Shiret)

Red Kites (Bob Shiret)

Red Kite (Bob Shiret)

Red Kite (Bob Shiret)

Barbury Castle

Today there were 5 Red Kites, 2 Buzzards (white phase) and a Kestrel. No Short-eared Owls by 3.45pm. (Bob Shiret)

26 Jan 15

Barbury Castle area
Location

2 Short-eared Owls, 2 Kestrels, Buzzard and several flocks of Starlings over heading to roost. (Malcolm Royal)

Also at Barbury Castle today,  Buzzard, Kestrel, Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Stonechat and Goldfinch. (Dave Butcher and Gary Chalker)

Kestrel (Dave Butcher)

Buzzard (Dave Butcher)

Stonechat (Dave Butcher)

Goldfinch (Dave Butcher)

Corn Bunting (Dave Butcher)

Stanton Park
Location

At Stanton Park this evening a Tawny Owl calling (Nigel Sluman)

Nythe
Location

A Red Kite over the estate at midday. Always nice to see. (Martin Adlam)

Nythe Pool

Highlights of a quick visit to the pool were 1 Grey Heron, 9 Mallard (resident pair, plus 4 drakes & 3 ducks), 2 Moorhen, a Song Thrush singing as were several Robins. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

Grey Heron (Martin Adlam)

Robin (Martin Adlam)

Swindon

A Goldcrest showing well in the garden this morning although there was no sign of it yesterday during our Big Garden Birdwatch. (Trevor and Sue Clayson)

CWP Pit 74
Location

The highlight of our walk in the Water Park today was a male Smew and Goldeneye on CWP Pit 74 (Trevor and Sue Clayson)

25 Jan 15

Savernake
Location

Hawfinch 1+ (under Beeches at east end of Grand Ave), Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (M) seen and drumming (at West end of Grand Ave), 2 Willow Tit, 11 Marsh Tit, 12+ Treecreeper, 22+ Siskin, 40+ Redwing, 4 Buzzard and also a large mixed tit flock feeding on leaves along road edge including 25+ Great Tits. (Ian Searle)

Marlborough STW
Location

4+ White Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail and 26+ Pied Wagtail. (Ian Searle)

Wroughton
Location

11 Lapwing near Wroughton in field next to M4. (Ian Searle)

Ridgeway
Location

On the Ridgeway east Banbury Castle 7+ Red Kite, 4 Red Legged Partridge and 2 Buzzard. (Ian Searle)

Nightingale Wood
Location

202 Lapwing, 600 Rook, 400 Jackdaw, 8 Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Snipe, Red Kite, Water Rail, Raven and 8 Reed Bunting (Graham Deacon)

Lawns
Location

Interesting behaviour from those 2 Robins again. Sharing food containers of grain. Female displaying to male on nearby ivy (raising her tail to show her nether parts!!) Blue Tits in and out of box, placed near 2 feeders. 9 Wood Pigeons, as usual, going mad on seed and bread. Barely bothering to pause in gobbling down as much as possible. Once Black headed gulls swooped, others joined in... Great Tits, Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock and also Jackdaws. (Felicity Cobb)

Nythe
Location

This evening a Little Egret flew over the estate heading towards River Cole at Covingham. (Martin Adlam)

Haydon End
Location

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2:30pm - 3:30pm - 3 Wood Pigeon, Robin, 11 House Sparrow, 3 Blackbird, Blue Tit, 3 Carrion Crow, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, 18 Starling, 2 Dunnock and 13 Black-headed Gull. (Nigel and Hannah Sluman)

Blakehill
Location

No Short-eared Owls between 1:00pm - 2:00pm but a corvid aggressively chasing a Merlin, who ducked and dived out of the way. Also 1 Buzzard. (Felicity Cobb)

Distant view of Penhill from Blakehill. (Felicity Cobb)

Waterhay
Location

The water levels are now dropping at Waterhay.

Waterhay levels down.  (Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water
Location

At Coate Water today 1 Kingfisher, 1 female Goldeneye, 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Wigeon, male and female Pochard, Gadwall, Shovelers, Teal, Tufted Ducks and Mallards, 12 Cormorants, 15 Grey Herons, Mute Swans, Moorhens, Coots, 2 Water Rail, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Jay, 3 Robins, 3 Dunnocks, 1 Wren, Blue and Great Tits, Common Gull, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and Lesser black-backed Gulls, Magpies, Rooks, Jackdaws and Crows. (Graham Cox, Tony Martin and Andrew Sloane)

A female Goldeneye (Graham Cox)

A female Goosander (Graham Cox)

A male Goosander (Graham Cox)

Greylag Goose (Graham Cox)

Greylag Goose (Graham Cox)

Jay (Graham Cox)

Blue Tit (Graham Cox)

24 Jan 15

Toothill
Location

I completed my RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch between 8:35 and 9:35 this morning.  A grand morning for watching some great birds from a bedroom window with species seen:
16 Starlings, 10 House Sparrows, 4 Magpies, 2 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Goldfinches, 2 Collared Doves, 2 Blackbirds, 1 Robin, 1 Wood Pigeon and 1 Jackdaw.
However the star bird was a male Blackcap who lingered for about 10 minutes - a very pleasing find.
Rooks and Black Headed Gulls flying about, a Chaffinch and Greenfinch heard.
Drama afterwards with 2 Magpies taking on a cat - I am sure they were perching and hopping about on the lawn enticing the moggy into a charge away from the small seed tray so that they could get to the dried mealworms I had placed in there.  The cat certainly seemed wound up! (Richard Williams)

Shaftsbury Lake
Location

3 Goosander, 2 male, 1 female. (Phil Deacon)

Barbury Castle area
Location

3 Short-eared Owls, 2 Kestrels, Buzzard and Starlings. (Malcolm Royal)

Nythe
Location

There is a regular pre-roost gathering of Magpies near the pond. Minimum 41 in December, Min 35 in January so far. Unusual to get this many Magpie together. (Phil Deacon)

Coate Water
Location

On a trip to Coate Water I saw the usual Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tufted Ducks and a drake Pochard (Steve Harper)

A drake Pochard (Steve Harper)

Two drake Tufted Ducks (Steve Harper)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Steve Harper)

A Great Tit head down in the feeder. (Steve Harper)

Great Tit (Steve Harper)

Long-tailed Tits (Steve Harper)

A male Chaffinch (Steve Harper)

A male Reed Bunting (Steve Harper)

A male Reed Bunting (Steve Harper)

A male Reed Bunting (Steve Harper)

Broome Manor Lane
Location

Highlights of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch were a male and female Blackcap. (Jim Day)

Liden Lagoon
Location

I visited Liden lagoon to see the Pintail plus other wildfowl, which were all very unhappy that I had no bread ! (Jim Day)

Drake Pintail (Jim Day)

Mute Swan (Jim Day)

Common Gull (Jim Day)

Robin (Jim Day)

Also at Liden Lagoon - After the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and a good day of outside chores in the gorgeous weather I diverted from where I was to Liden Lagoon for, believe it or not, my first ever visit as I recall. I was impressed with the size of the water, the closeness you get to the birds and the variety of birds which I'd say surpasses Moulden, Peatmoor and even Lydiard Park.
The Pintail is still there (my objective in going) together with 2 male Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, 2 Great Crested Grebes, Moorhens, Coots and Black-headed Gulls with 2 Herring Gulls flying over...no Common Gulls though.
So a good birding day without feeling guilty about not getting the jobs done!! (Richard Williams)

23 Jan 15

Coate Water
Location

Today I had my best sightings of a Bullfinch. (Dave Dunn)

A male Bullfinch. (Dave Dunn)

A male Bullfinch. (Dave Dunn)

Royal Wootton Bassett
Location

It appears the annual murmuration of Starlings over Royal Wootton Bassett is back again, centred on the old Gerald Buxton sports field, Rylands Way, where a huge roost is in the Leylandii there. (Richard Gosnell)

Liden Lagoon
Location

The male Pintail was still at Liden Lagoon today, along with 1 male Pochard, a Dabchick, Great-crested Grebe, Grey Wagtail, a couple of small mixed flocks of Long-tailed Tits/Blue Tits and all the usual other wildfowl (Tufted Duck, Mallard, Mute Swans and Canada Geese). The only gulls were Black-headed Gulls and Herring Gulls. (Colin Pinchen)

Cricklade
Location

Female Blackcap in the garden today. (Robin Griffiths)

Marlborough - Wroughton

The idea today was to have a walk on the Marlborough Downs, starting at Marlborough taking advantage of the sunshine this morning, and working our way to Barbury for about 4:00pm, hoping for a Short-eared Owl.
Along the way we saw 4 Red Kites in the Rockley/Ogbourne Maizey area. Next in the area around Delling Copse there was a Raven, a Buzzard, a male Yellowhammer, 6 Mistle Thrush & 10+ Linnets. Going down to Avebury for lunch we saw a pair of Stonechats, 70+ Lapwing, 100+ Starling, 20+ Linnets, 4 Pied Wagtails, a Kestrel, a male Pheasant & a Roe Deer on Avebury Down. 34 Lapwing, 2 Sparrowhawks, 3 pairs of Stonechat & a lone female, a Buzzard & a Pheasant were seen along the Ridgeway to Barbury. Arriving at Barbury we found quite a few birders but no Owl. The wind had got up by then and by the time we had walked round the castle everyone else had gone and it had got rather cold so it was a brisk walk down to Wroughton and the bus home. (Trevor & Sue Clayson)

22 Jan 15

Aldbourne
Location

On the way to Aldbourne via Lottage Road this afternoon, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel,  a Fieldfare and 150+ Wood Pigeon. On the way back around 4:15pm, 2 Jays, 5 Buzzards (all sitting on telegraph poles) and 8 Roe Deer grazing in numerous fields, between Aldbourne and Wanborough. (Martin Adlam)

Ridgeway from Hackpen Hill
Location

Yellowhammer and Stonechat. (Malcolm Royal)

Barbury Castle
Location

1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and 3 flocks of Starlings over. (Malcolm Royal)

CWP Pit 74
Location

In the reedbeds a Bittern. More on the CWP Blog Here. (Paul Attaway and Kim Milsom)

21 Jan 15

Liden Lagoon
Location

Paid my first visit to Liden Lagoon today in hope of the Pintail and it was still present along with 2 Pochard, Grey Heron, plenty of Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot, Canada Geese, a few Moorhen and Mute Swan. (Nigel Sluman)

Royal Wootton Bassett
Location

Female Blackcap on feeders in Wootton Bassett this afternoon. (Bob Philpott)

20 Jan 15

Seven Fields Nature Reserve
Location

On a short walk around Seven Fields today I saw 2 Foxes, 4 Bullfinch, numerous Chaffinch and Goldfinch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Jay.  On my return home, I found 9 Blackbirds in my small-ish garden. (Leanne Newton)

Chaffinch (Leanne Newton)

Chaffinch (Leanne Newton)

Note: On Tara's Trails there's a good 2 mile walk to be found Here.

Swindon

Just finishing a long walk in the sun round the complex when I spotted a lovely white-phase Buzzard hunting in the field surrounding the Holiday Inn today. (Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water
Location

At Hide 1, for about 8 weeks now, we've had a Blue Tit with a black belly (just a pigmentation of the feather's, due to pigment in the tissue), but a nice little Blue Tit all the same. On the way back there was a Cormorant just off the causeway and walking pass the sand pit on the top track, a Merlin flew pass me about two feet off the ground flying in a dead straight line. (Tony Martin)

Blue Tit (Tony Martin)

Blue Tit (Tony Martin)

Cormorant (Tony Martin)

Cormorant (Tony Martin)

Note: In light of Tony's Blue Tit above with partial melanism, I came across the BTO's Abnormal Plumage Survey Here, which makes interesting reading. (Martin Adlam)

Note: With reference to Tony's Cormorant above, adult Cormorants develop white 'filoplumes' on the head prior to breeding, but they gradually disappear as the breeding season progresses. The amount of white varies from bird to bird. It was once thought that a Cormorant with a very white head was the Continental Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) rather than the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), but both can have these white filoplumes.

Barbury Castle area
Location

4 Short-eared Owls, 3 Kestrel, Buzzard, large mixed flock of Fieldfare and Starlings. (Malcolm Royal)

Swindon

The day got off to a good start with a male Bullfinch on the feeders in the garden this morning. (Trevor and Sue Clayson)

CWP
Location of CWP Pit 74 and Kent End

At CWP Pit 74 -  Goldeneye & Pintail and at Kent End Red-crested Pochard. More on the CWP Blog Here. (Trevor and Sue Clayson)

Liden Lagoon
Location

I was at Liden Lagoon this morning and had some of the best views I've ever had of a Kingfisher, it flew from the south island over to the bushes on the western drain (where the benches & railings are) then it flew to the eastern side where the cascade in-flow is. As it was sunnny it's back was glowing. Glad the Pintail sighting has been of interest, I'm sure that's the only time I've seen one there. Then walking home on the path on the western side male Sparrowhawk flew right over head. (Owen Moose)