31 Dec 16

Alton Barnes

A Barn Owl seen hunting tonight and catching prey.

(Margaret and David Delpy)

Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve

2 Short-eared Owls. Via CWP Blog Here

(Andrew Whittaker)

Coate Water


Goodbye to 2016 from a Grey Heron (Felicity Cobb)

Nythe

It's still that time of year when Foxes are pairing up and being very vocal. This morning we had a vixen in the street calling out from 6:30am until 7:15am. Very loud!

(Martin Adlam)

Ogbourne St. George

Barn Owl seen hunting tonight and then perched

(Margaret and David Delpy)

South Leaze

2 Short-eared Owls again this afternoon, which were joined by a Peregrine Falcon.

(Richard Williams)

30 Dec 16

Barbury Castle

Neil George
A bit of a Kite festival at Barbury Castle today. We counted 12 individual Red Kites at least, and at one point had seven in the bins at the same time. Photos on the SBAW Facebook Page Here

Felicity Cobb
A flock of Starlings looking to roost, 2 Red Kites and 2 "mechanical" kites.

A flock of Starlings off to roost (Felicity Cobb)

"Mechanical kites" (Felicity Cobb)

Centenary Copse to Coate

Species seen, some in quite large numbers, Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Blue Tit. Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Dunnock, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion CrowWood Pigeon, Buzzard and Robin.

Also Roe Deer, Grey Squirrel.

The water level in the main lake was down by about 2 feet which gave it an interesting dynamic and some different feeding opportunities for some birds. On here were Black-headed and Herring Gull, Coots, Moorhen, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Pochard, Goosander, Grey HeronMute Swan and Cormorant.

Strangely I don't remember seeing any Canada Geese where I was at the bottom end of the Lake!

(Nick Goddard)

Roe Deer (Nick Goddard)

Reedbeds (Nick Goddard)

CWP Pit 74

2 Avocet and 6 Curlew. Via CWP Blog Here

(Nigel Pleass, Stephen Edwards)

Hackpen Hill

A beautiful sunset here this evening.

(Felicity Cobb)

Another blazing sunset (Felicity Cobb)

Liddington Hill

2 Short-eared Owls seen between 3:00pm - 3:30pm. Photos on the SBAW Facebook Page Here

(Alan McCluskie)

Roves Farm

Just the one Cattle Egret here this afternoon.

Also recorded were: 8 Mallard, 1 Moorhen, 20+ Black-headed Gull, 1 Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, 2 Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, 2 Robin, 3 Blackbird, 12 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Wren, 5 Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, 12 House Sparrow, Chaffinch.

(Martin Adlam)


Just the one Cattle Egret here this afternoon (Martin Adlam)

Cattle Egret (Martin Adlam)

A male House Sparrow (Martin Adlam)

A bit of symbiosis going on here. In Africa they have Oxpeckers on Rhinos and we have Magpies on Highland Cattle. (Martin Adlam)

Sevenhampton

1 Red Kite and Kestrel overhead.

(Martin Adlam)

South Leaze

I popped out to the South Leaze patch for 4:00pm this evening. Observing from the temporary staff car park on the bend I saw a Short-eared Owl (another birder there reported seeing two) plus a Kestrel, a Green Woodpecker and 2 Meadow Pipits.  Not bad in the dusk!

(Richard Williams)

29 Dec 16

Aldbourne

This afternoon, just north of the village along Lottage Road, 1 male Stonechat, Corn Bunting, Great Tit, 2 Robins, Pied Wagtails, Fieldfare and Redwing.

(Martin Adlam)

Hinton Downs

Around 1:30pm 4 Red Kites and a Buzzard soaring over the hill, and a Kestrel in a tree close to the M4.

(Martin Adlam)

Liddington Hill

Martin Adlam
Viewed from Folly Farm Here, 2 Short-eared Owls quartering the west slopes between 4:05pm and 4:35pm. Also 400+ Rooks in a roost close to the Farm and 50+ Fieldfare in the fields.


Viewed from the gate here next to Folly Farm, the slopes in the distance had 2 Short-eared Owls quartering there this evening. (Martin Adlam)

Kris Page
2 Red Kites over Liddington Castle today

Red Kites (Kris Page)



Lydiard Park

46 species in an afternoon walk with highlights being 2 Blackcap, 2 Red Kite, 27 Gadwall, 14 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 7 Little Grebe, 21 Herring Gull, 31 Moorhen, Nuthatch and 2 Jays.

(Nigel Pleass)

28 Dec 16

Aldbourne

Tawny Owl calling from roof top at 6:00pm this evening in Oxford Street

(Don Young)

Coate Water

A foggy Coate Water today. At Hide 2 were 2 Water Rails feeding together, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Jay, 1 Wren, 2 Robins, Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, a female Blackbird, 3 Moorhens, 1 Dunnock and 2 Chaffinches. Also 2 Grey Squirrels and 2 Bank Voles.

At Hide 1 there were 1 Water Rail, 4 Moorhens, 2 Cormorants, 1 Great Crested Grebe, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, 1 female Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Robins, 1 male Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Coots, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits, 3 Chaffinches and 2 Dunnocks. Also 2 Squirrels and a Rat feeding on the fatball feeder.

(Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Water Rail (Graham Cox)

Long-tailed Tits (Graham Cox)

Jay (Graham Cox)

Blue Tit (Graham Cox)

Grey Squirrel (Graham Cox)

Brown Rat (Graham Cox)

Hackpen

Clear conditions changing to mist then fog. Quite eerie. Birds seen were Chaffinches, Stonechats, Kestrel and a small raptor in fog.

It was a very strange and beautiful sunset here tonight. The sun set in heavy fog. People were just blurred shapes. Afterwards the sky was clear with pale blue and yellow slots.

(Felicity Cobb)


Chaffinch and Corn Buntings (Felicity Cobb)

Stonechat (Felicity Cobb)

Fog in the distance (Felicity Cobb)

The fog sets in (Felicity Cobb)

Sunset over Hackpen (Felicity Cobb)

Sunset over Hackpen (Felicity Cobb)

Sunset over Hackpen (Felicity Cobb)

Sunset over Hackpen (Felicity Cobb)

Old Town

Seen from the conservatory today were Blue TitsCoal TitsDunnock and a male Blackcap my first of the year for the garden.

(Mike Ford)

South Leaze

Short-eared Owl still at South Leaze, between Waitrose and the “hidden lake”.  How many supermarkets offer that?!  Also Snipe at the “M4 lake”.

(Brian Harris)

Swindon

Blackcap. Via WOS Site Here

(Graham Deacon)

27 Dec 16

Barbury Castle

Nigel Pleass
Short-eared Owl

Richard Williams and Dave Mildenhall
Dave and I got to the western side of Barbury Castle at c9:30 this morning.  We walked down the Ridgeway then up the road to the stables and car park and then back round the southern lip of the castle.

It was fairly quiet to begin with but things warmed up at Finches Corner.  While not as exciting as last year it still yielded Chaffinches, Yellowhammers, Dunnocks, Robins, Great Tits and Blue Tits.

At the top of the hill the newish house or lodgings have some feeders in the garden and here we saw a Coal Tit, while around the stable yard was a large group of House Sparrows, a Bullfinch showed well for a brief visit, we saw our first Redwings and a group of Long-tailed Tits moved through. Having seen it fly over we managed to track down a Goldcrest around the path towards the car park.

Not much was seen around the castle itself except that a microlight sent up the flock of Fieldfare, and a male Stonechat, followed by seeing Matt Pringle and a couple of friends provided a fine finale.

Total species seen were: Pheasant, Buzzard, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Stock DoveGreen Woodpecker (heard), Meadow Pipit, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Stonechat, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer (28)

Felicity Cobb
Barbury car park this afternoon was packed solid so we assumed that any SEOs would not be present. Instead we decided to walk down Smeathes' Ridge to the bottom, then take the quiet path up to the area near the Shooting school.

A wise decision...very quiet..and little of note was seen apart from a Grey Wagtail, 3 Pheasants, several Fieldfare and 5 Fallow Deer in a nearby field. They took fright at the sound of voices and disappeared.

We had a chat with the owner of the farm at the bottom of the Ridge and he confirmed there were always many foxes and badgers in the local area.

Finally, there was the most glorious sunset... but I had no camera, sadly! It was the most beautiful pink and red and really lit up the sky.

Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve

Peregrine moving north-east at 3:45pm.


(Robin Griffiths)

Highworth

We only have a small back yard, but this morning we had, simultaneously, House Sparrows, a Robin, Wren, Coal Tit, Dunnock and a Blackbird. And yesterday a Great Tit popped in for a short visit.

(Neil George)

Nightingale Wood

200 Redwing, 40 Fieldfare, Raven, Red Kite and Kingfisher. Via WOS Site Here

(Phil & Graham Deacon)

Ogbourne St Andrew

100 Corn Bunting, 300 Yellowhammer, 150 Chaffinch, 250 Redwing and 2 Raven. Via WOS Site Here

(Matt Prior)

26 Dec 16

Barbury Castle


Following up yesterday's report, we saw a single Short-eared Owl in the same reported location at Barbury Castle this evening at about 3:00pm. It then disappeared over the ridge and out of view.  A nice sight on Boxing Day!

(Edward Butler)

Short-eared Owl (Edward Butler)

Blakehill

This afternoon there was a Merlin hunting along the plateau between 4:10 - 4:15pm, a Short-eared Owl at 4:25pm and a Barn Owl at 4:30pm. Also Snipe, a pair Stonechats, several hundred Fieldfares & Redwings and a female Reed Bunting.

(Jon Mercer)

Broad Town to Clyffe Pypard

We walked from Broad Town to Clyffe Pypard on the low (muddy!) paths and then back along the high paths.  A beautiful morning to be out.

Birds seen included a flock of c12 Fieldfare, 2 Buzzards, a Jay and a few Yellowhammers.  Outside Broad Town there is a sizeable pond built since my fairly old map (great when landowners do that sort of thing) which had some 70 Mallards and a Coot.  Otherwise the usual species with a couple of Wrens showing particularly well.

(Richard Williams)

Covingham

A Red Kite over Covingham Drive at 12:45, being harassed by the local flock of Feral Pigeons / Doves.

(Mike Fox)

Red Kite being mobbed by Doves (Mike Fox)

Cleveland Lakes Nature Reserve


450 Wigeon, 41 Gadwall, 89 Tufted Duck, 21 Goldeneye, 39 Snipe, 8 Curlew, 500 Lapwing, Woodcock, 3 Water Rail, 3 Green Woodpecker, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Grey Wagtail, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff and 10 Bullfinch.

(Nigel Pleass)

CWP Pit 305

Adult Peregrine on mound and Chiffchaff.

(Nigel Pleass)

Latton

500 Lapwing.

(Nigel Pleass)

Nythe

In the local area this afternoon, a Grey Heron in the pool, Redwings overhead, a Green Woodpecker in the Nythe Wood and an adult Common Gull at the playing fields again.

(Martin Adlam)

Grey Heron (Martin Adlam)

Toothill

12 Starling and 2 Great Tits in the garden.

(Richard Williams)

25 Dec 16

Barbury Castle

Around 4:00pm a Short-eared Owl over fields Here

(Alan McCluskie)

Coate Water

Kingfisher and small Siskin flock.

(Malcolm Royal)

Nightingale Wood

On a walk here today we had close-up views of a Buzzard sitting in a tree right by the path.

(Neil George)

Nythe

Main highlight this morning was watching a Grey Heron trying to evade 3 Common Gulls and several Black-headed Gulls as it flew over the pool.

Birds Recorded around Nythe were:  1 Grey Heron, 1 Moorhen, 7+ Black-headed Gull, 3 Herring Gull, 3 Common Gull, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, Goldcrest, 8 Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Goldfinch.

Also 1 Grey Squirrel

(Martin Adlam)

Park South

Today at lunchtime I saw a Dipper in the Dorcan Stream, south of Shaftesbury Lake. It's the first I've seen here in 25 years of living here.

(Martin Newman)

South Marston

Driving through South Marston there was a Little Egret standing at the side of the road, which then flew up into a tree as we approached.

(Neil George)

Toothill

2 Stock Doves and a Wren in the garden.

(Richard Williams)

24 Dec 16

Barbury Castle

Via a friend, who told me there were lots of Red Kites here this morning (studying her very small dog!)

(Felicity Cobb)

Broome Manor

Flock of about a dozen Long-tailed Tits on our feeders today, also Goldcrest in the garden.

(Nick Goddard)

Coate Water

A rather gloomy and overcast for a late walk round Coate. Most of the usual suspects seen as well as 16 Moorhens scuttling into bushes near the café. Also Cormorants from Hide 1 and Heron by the bridge.

(Felicity Cobb)

Moorhens scuttling away. (Felicity Cobb)

Cormorants on the Reserve. (Felicity Cobb)

Cormorants. (Felicity Cobb)

Grey Heron (Felicity Cobb)

Nythe

Around the village this morning a Common Gull family outing with an adult winter and two 1st-winters on the Playing Fields, where there was a rare sighting nowadays of Greenfinch in a Willow close-by. In around Nythe Pool a Grey Heron and a large mixed flock of Long-tailed Tits, Great Tits, Blue Tits and some very vocal Goldcrests.

(Martin Adlam)

23 Dec 16

CWP Pit 30

Wigeon on the pit today.

(Felicity Cobb)

A drake Wigeon (Felicity Cobb)

A drake Wigeon (Felicity Cobb)

Roves Farm

Tony Martin
There were 5 Cattle Egrets in the field with the Highland cattle at 10:00am, 3 flew off towards the farm and the other 2 remained until 11:00am

Cattle Egret (Tony Martin)

Cattle Egret (Tony Martin)

Cattle Egret (Tony Martin)

One of the Highland cattle (Tony Martin)

Martin Adlam
3 Cattle Egrets in the sheep field here until they flew off west at 1:20pm. Also in the field were 40+ adult Pied Wagtails and several juveniles, with a few in moult.

Birds Recorded: 3 Cattle Egret, Pheasant, 2 Black-headed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, 1 Green Woodpecker, 50+ Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw.

2 Cattle Egret (Martin Adlam)

And the third (Martin Adlam)

All took off and headed west at 1:20pm (Martin Adlam)

A juvenile Pied Wagtail. (Martin Adlam)

1st-winter Pied Wagtail. (Martin Adlam)

Sevenhampton

1 Red Kite, 1 Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and a Kestrel.

(Martin Adlam)

Kestrel (Martin Adlam)

22 Dec 16

Marlborough

Blackcap. Via the WOS Site Here

(Tony Reader)

Westmead

Grey Heron in the River Ray, close to Barnfield Road. Not unusual but this was at 18:50. I noticed it as I cycled over the bridge, turned around and then observed it stalking in the water for some minutes. Interesting to note that they do some hunting at night.

(Richard Williams)

21 Dec 16

Liden

2 Red Kites low over Liden at 10:20am.

(Don Hopkins)

Nythe

As I pulled up the kitchen blinds this morning there was a male Blackcap on the neighbours Leylandii. Later it was seen feeding on the Firethorn Pyracantha berries in the back garden. Not a bad start to the shortest day of the year. Other oddities were the return of the giant "Ring Ouzel" in the shape of the Carrion Crow with the white collar (last seen 8 Jul) and a male Blackbird that was lacking pigmentation on his left leg, which was skin-coloured and not black.

So after an unplanned garden watch from 9:00am - 10:00am,  I  recorded: 8 Wood Pigeon, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 1 male Blackbird, 1 male Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Wren, 1 Magpie, 1 Carrion Crow, 7 Starling and 11 House Sparrow.

(Martin Adlam)

The return of the Giant "Ring Ouzel"

It was last seen on 8 Jul where that collar was a lot bigger, The two images below are from 8 Jul.

8 Jul 16

An impressive looking Carrion Crow.

Back to today and the male Blackbird with the flesh-coloured left leg. (Martin Adlam)

Roves Farm

3 Cattle Egrets present but mobile. Via WOS site Here

(Colin Pinchen)