31 Jan 16

CWP Pit 82
Location

Juvenile Great Northern Diver still present. Very active feeding round the lake.

(Felicity Cobb)
Great Northern Diver (Felicity Cobb)

CWP Pit 30
Location

The 2 male Smew which were on CWP Pit 29 are now on Pit 30.

(Nigel Pleass)

Nythe
Location

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

What a difference a day makes:

2 Wood Pigeon
2 Dunnock
2 Blackbird (m, f)
2 Goldcrest
1 Great Tit (m)
2 Blue Tit
2 Starling
5 House Sparrow (3m, 2f)

(Martin Adlam)

Elgin
Location

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
The birdwatch hour turned up fewer birds than in previous years but this was somewhat expected as the birds we have had in the garden over the last year are well down on what we have been used to. Particularly the complete absence of finches and thrushes this winter.

Visiting during the hour were:

2 House Sparrows
7 Starlings
1 Robin
1 Blue Tit
2 Collared Doves
5 Wood Pigeons
2 Crows
1 Magpie
and
1 Grey Squirrel enjoying the apples left for the thrushes.

(Trevor and Sue Clayson)

Grey Squirrel (Sue Clayson)

Grey Squirrel (Sue Clayson)

Grey Squirrel (Sue Clayson)

Coate Water
Location

Richard Williams
I walked around Coate Water today. At the Broome Manor lane end I used some seed I took with me on a stump and drew instant results with Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits all visiting together with Nuthatches, Robin, Chaffinches and a couple of Dunnocks. The Coal and Marsh Tits and Nuthatch were my target birds and so that was very pleasing. Also in the vicinity were at least 2 Goldcrests.

On the water of main interest were three Goosanders (one male and two female) and quite a gathering of five Great Crested Grebes by the weir with a pair further out.

Great Crested Grebe (Richard Williams)

Great Crested Grebes (Richard Williams)

A female "redhead" Goosander (Richard Williams)

A female "redhead" Goosander (Richard Williams)

Graham Cox, Tony Martin and Harry King
At Coate Water today birds seen were 200+ Lapwings, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, 9 Snipe, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Goosanders, Pochard, Gadwall, Shovelers, Mallards, Teal, Tufted Ducks, Coots, Moorhens, Grey Herons, Cormorants, 2 Jays, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (m, f), 1 Buzzard, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Chaffinches, 2 Wrens, 2 Robins, 3 Dunnocks, 1 Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tits. Also 1 Muntjac Deer and 1 Grey Squirrel.


Jay (Graham Cox)

Jay (Graham Cox)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Graham Cox)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Graham Cox)

Blue Tit (Graham Cox)

Long-tailed Tit (Graham Cox)

Chaffinch (Graham Cox)

Pinehurst
Location

I found this Lily Beetle, Lilioceris lilii on a flower pot this afternoon.

(Maurice Carne)

Lily Beetle (Maurice Carne)

Toothill
Location

A nice garden tick today a Wren.

(Richard Williams)

30 Jan 16

CWP Pit 29
Location

At last our first Smew (2 males) of this winter at the Water Park. It always seems to be the way with Smew that they are on one of the largest lakes and about as far away as possible but just wonderful to see them again. All our sightings today can be found on the CWP Blog Here.

Below are a few distant record shots, one with the camera and 2 through the scope.

(Trevor & Sue Clayson)

2 male Smew (Sue Clayson)

2 male Smew (Sue Clayson)

A male Smew (Sue Clayson)

Toothill
Location

A generally quiet RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch started very slowly but then picked up...
8 House Sparrows
5 Starlings
4 Magpies
3 Blackbirds (believe it or not a garden year tick but as it's either been dark or wet when I've been at home....)
2 each of Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch
1 each of Robin, Greenfinch and (Star Bird!) Grey Wagtail.

So still 12 species in an hour.

(Richard Williams)

Nythe
Location

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
6 House Sparrows
2 Starlings
2 Wood Pigeon

(Martin Adlam)

Pinehurst
Location

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

3 Blackbird
2 Blue Tit
2 Great Tit
2 Robin
Dunnock
3 Collared Doves
30+ House Sparrows
Magpie
8 Starlings
7 Wood Pigeon
3 Jackdaw

Also: 2 Frogs seen in the pond.

(Maurice Carne)

Baydon Road
Location

Just east of Baydon Road, 5 Red Kite at around 12:30pm

(Martin Adlam)

Aldbourne
Location

Red Kite this afternoon

(Martin Adlam)

Wanborough Road
Location

Red Kite overhead at 12:15pm

(Martin Adlam)

A419

Red Kite over close to Stratton.

(Felicity Cobb)

Blakehill Farm NR
Location

6 Skylarks repeatedly rising into the air, hovering, then diving down into the grasses.
2 Stonechats (m and f)
1 Hare

(Felicity Cobb)

CWP Pit 82
Location

Great Northern Diver reported seen this morning but no sign at 13:30.

(Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water
Location

A few hours at Coate today down at Hide 1. Birds seen were 5 Goosander, Tufted Duck, Teal and a Pochard in front of the hide. On the feeders a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Chaffinch and a Wren with a nice juicy caterpillar.

(Tony Martin)

A drake Pochard (Tony Martin)

Long-tailed Tit (Tony Martin)

A Wren with a juicy caterpillar (Tony Martin)

Wren (Tony Martin)

Oakhurst
Location

In our garden today were 2 Blackcaps (1m, 1f), 7 Bullfinch (5f, 2m), 12 Goldfinch and 4 Greenfinch. Also a Red Kite seen over Oakhurst Way.

(Bob Shiret)

A female Blackcap (Bob Shiret)

A female Blackcap (Bob Shiret)

A male Blackcap (Bob Shiret)

29 Jan 16

Stanton Park
Location

Highlights of a quick walk around the park were: The Chocolate Magpie x Mulard duck, 1 pair Teal, 4 female "redhead" Goosander, 2 Marsh Tit, 30+ Siskin and 30+ Goldfinch.

(Martin Adlam)

The Chocolate Magpie x Mulard duck (Martin Adlam)

CWP Pit 82
Location

Juvenile Great Northern Diver still present. Via BirdGuides Here.

28 Jan 16

Liden Lagoon
Location

Highlights of an early afternoon walk around the lagoon were: 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 9 Gadwall, 49 Tufted Duck, 1 possibly 2 drake Pochard and a Sparrowhawk. More on my Blog Here.

(Martin Adlam)

A drake Pochard (Martin Adlam)

CWP Pit 82
Location

Juvenile Great Northern Diver still present. Via BirdGuides Here.

Old Town
Location

A long the Old Town railway path this morning were 2 Buzzards, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Jays, 1 Green Woodpecker and a Kestrel.

(Bob Shiret)

Common Buzzard (Bob Shiret)

Barbury Castle
Location

This afternoon 12-15 Bramblings present on a rare sunny day!

(Jon Mercer)
Brambling (Jon Mercer)

Brambling (Jon Mercer)

Chaffinch (Jon Mercer)

Greenfinch (Jon Mercer)

Yellowhammer (Jon Mercer)

Mouldon Hill CP
Location

After work I checked the waterfowl on the lake: Great Crested Grebe, 2 Teal (patch tick for me), c30 Mallard, 8 Canada Goose, 6 Coot, 4 Moorhen, Grey Heron and c70 Black-headed Gull (mostly circling the lake rather than roosting on it)

(Nigel Sluman)

27 Jan 16

CWP Pit 82
Location

This morning: Great Northern Diver, Little Egret and c50 Canada Goose.

(Nigel Sluman)

CWP Pit 81
Location

6 Canada Goose and 200 Lapwing.

(Nigel Sluman)

CWP Pit 200 (Kent Farm End)
Location

3 Bullfinch, 45 Coot, 10 Tufted Duck and 2 Pochard.

(Nigel Sluman)

CWP Pit 74
Location

From Twitcher's Gate Here: 50 Lapwing, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull and large numbers of the usual wildfowl - Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall and Teal.

(Nigel Sluman and Martin Adlam)

Several Cormorants on the pontoons in the middle of CWP Pit 74. (Martin Adlam)

Cricklade
Location

Highlights of birds seen around the River Thames were: 300+ Lapwing and 2 Buzzards. More on My Blog Here.

(Martin Adlam)

A few of the 300+ Lapwing passing overhead this afternoon. (Martin Adlam)

Waterhay area
Location

7 Little Egret, 2 Stock Dove, Cetti's Warbler, 8 Lapwing, 400+ Black-headed Gull, 2 Grey Heron.

Waterfowl included Pochard, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen and Great Crested Grebe.

(Nigel Sluman)

Coate Water
Location

At Coate Water today a flock of over 130 Lapwings and a few Golden Plover with them. Also 1 Kingfisher, 1 Water Rail, Pochard, Gadwall, Teal, Shovelers, Wigeon, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, 15 Grey Herons, 14 Cormorants, 6 Snipe, 8 Great Crested Grebes, Moorhens, Coots, 2 Jays, 1 Buzzard, a female Sparrowhawk, 30+ Siskins, 3 Goldcrests, 3 Wrens, 2 Dunnocks, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, 4 Chaffinches and a male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker.

On The mammal front 2 Roe Deer and 2 Grey Squirrels.

(Graham Cox, Tony Martin and Dave Dunn)

Cormorant (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Graham Cox)

Jay (Graham Cox)

Long-tailed Tit (Graham Cox)

26 Jan 16

Liden Lagoon
Location

Highlights of a walk around the lagoon this afternoon were: 8 Gadwall, 54 Tufted Duck, 1 drake Pochard, 6 Herring Gull and large mixed flock of around 60 Siskin and Goldfinch. More on my Blog Here.

(Martin Adlam)
A few Siskins in Alders around the Lagoon (Martin Adlam)

25 Jan 16

CWP Pit 82
Location

Highlights of a walk around Pit 82 and local pits were the juvenile Great Northern Diver, 90+ Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and Reed Bunting.

Also: a Peacock Butterfly and a Painted Lady. More on my Blog Here.

(Martin Adlam)

Just the one shot of the Great Northern Diver as it flew across the pit. Unfortunately I was good 200 metres away, hence the small image. (Martin Adlam)

A Redwing (Martin Adlam)

Lesser Redpoll (Martin Adlam)

Highworth
Location

Last night 1 Ypsolopha ustella and 1 The Chestnut.

(Steve Nash)

Brinkworth
Location

A female Blackcap on the feeders

(Ian Searle)

Cleveland Lakes Nature Reserve
Location

Stoat this afternoon. More on CWP Blog Here.

(Mark Shields)

24 Jan 16

CWP Pit 82
Location

Great Northern Diver
 still present this morning. Via BirdGuides Here.

Coate Water
Location

Highlights from a walk around Coate were: 12+ Great Crested Grebe, a pair of Teal, 1 female Goosander and 2 Common Gull. More on my Blog Here

(Martin Adlam)

Common Gull (Martin Adlam)

Liden
Location

Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron and Sparrowhawk being harassed by a Carrion Crow by Snodshill Roundabout

(Martin Adlam)

Swindon
Location

Red Kite over the County Ground this afternoon.

(Martin Adlam)

Marlborough
Location

Blackcap and Brambling

(Brian Davies)

Oakhurst
Location

On the side of our garden backing onto Thamesdown Drive this Sparrowhawk had a rest for half an hour today.

(Bob Shiret)

Sparrowhawk (Bob Shiret)

Sparrowhawk (Bob Shiret)

Chiseldon to Barbury Castle

After treating ourselves to breakfast at the Three Trees Cafe at Chiseldon we walked to Barbury Castle then back to Wroughton via Overtown Hackpen.

In the hedgerows near the cafe were Blackbirds, Chaffinch & Greenfinch. We then headed along the Old Ridgeway which was devoid of any bird life.

Arriving at 'Finch Corner' though there were the usual hundred or so birds, Goldfinches flew out when we arrived and Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tits & Yellowhammers were immediately seen in the trees so we put some seed and a few peanuts on the post to top up what was already there and retired a short distance to see what might be tempted out. While waiting we spotted a Dunnock, a Tree Sparrow, a few Brambling & a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the trees. A Red Kite & a Sparrowhawk flying over caused panic and indicated just how many birds were hidden in the trees & bushes.

It was quite busy with walkers, cyclists, vehicles & trail bikes passing and it was interesting that after being disturbed each time the first birds returning to feed on the seed were female Chaffinches followed by Greenfinches, the most confident, dominant and aggressive towards the other birds. The Chaffinches and Greenfinches took the seed in the greatest numbers, Blue Tits just flew in and took peanuts, a few of the Bramblings and the Dunnock also visited the seed but were very cautious, although Yellowhammers, probably the most numerous species, didn't venture down to feed.

Returning to Wroughton there were 2 Stonechats along the track and 2 Pied Wagtails on the farm building roof at Overtown Hackpen.

(Trevor & Sue Clayson)

23 Jan 16

CWP Pit 82
Location

Great Northern Diver
still present this morning. Other birds on that lake were Mute Swans, Canada Geese and Coots while on the way back (wellies required!) I saw a female Bullfinch, a pair of Reed Buntings and my first Skylarks and Stonechats of the year.

(Richard Williams)

Wichelstowe Area
Location

My WeBS survey today: 39 Black Headed Gulls, 38 Mallards, 15 Canada Geese, 4 Tufted Ducks, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Cormorants, 2 Grey Herons, 1 Coot and 1 Moorhen

Also a group of House Sparrows, 2 Blue Tits and a Carrion Crow I've not mentioned before but it is clearly a resident as I have seen it previously. It is quite leucistic and the white bars are particularly noted when it flies.

At the original South Leaze Lake: 7 Mallards and a fox

At the new South Leaze Lake: 4 Tufted Ducks (1 male and 3 females) and a male Stonechat showing brilliantly.

(Richard Williams)

Note: There's an interesting page on leucistic Carrion Crows Here.

Toothill
Location

In the garden a family of Long-tailed Tits

(Richard Williams)

Stratton
Location

Saw my first Red Kite of the year this afternoon flying over Stratton.

(Nigel Sluman)

Oakbourne Park
Location
Another beautiful red fox seen today in the Oakbourne Park area of Swindon.

(Felicity Cobb)

A419
Location

2 Buzzards (one white phase) hunting from posts right by the A419 road this morning.

(Felicity Cobb)

Purton
Location

Long-tailed Tit on the garden feeder this morning, and 2 Ravens and a Peregrine flew E north of Purton at lunchtime.

(Jon Mercer)

Cloatley Meadows

Location

Chiffchaff, Raven, singing Nuthatch

(Robin Griffiths)

Savernake Forest
Location

4 Coal Tit, 3 Marsh Tit, 2 Willow Tit, Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch, 6 Nuthatch, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpecker, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Jays, Buzzard.

(Malcolm Royal)

Coate Water
Location

2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Redwing, Sparrowhawk, 7 Goosander, 7 Pochard, c100 Teal, c100 Lapwing, Snipe and Jack Snipe.

(Malcolm Royal)

Highworth
Location

A single The Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) in the trap in last night - the first moth since 5th January! Also a Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria)

(Steve Nash)

Pale Brindled Beauty (Steve Nash)

Braydon

Location

2 The Chestnut and an Acleris ferrugana/notana last night.

(Lysana Robinson)



The Chestnut (Lysana Robinson)

Acleris ferrugana/notana  (Lysana Robinson)

Avebury
Location

20 Tree Sparrows and Grey Partridge. Lots more on the WOS Site Here

(Matt Prior, Paul Wexler, Alexander Macintosh, Phil & Graham Deacon)

River Thames
Location

I went for a walk around Lechlade and came across: Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Buzzard, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, 2 Canada Goose and all other usual suspects

(Nigel Sluman)