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wildlife - Nature


Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush, Cholsey church (courtesy Alan Dawson). ...
16-12-2018 16:03

15th Dec ? Rain

A wet day from start to finish making getting around the reserve unpleasant and seeing wildlife difficult. It was no surprise that there were few visi ...
16-12-2018 16:03

December wildlife

In the last few weeks I have been busy doing a variety of scrub cutting and tree felling at Fishlake Meadows and Blashford Lakes, trying to make the m ...
15-12-2018 16:03

Pop-up café this Sunday

Christine and Nigel will be back this Sunday serving hot drinks and delicious home baked cake and savouries in the Education Centre classroom between ...
14-12-2018 16:03

Black-headed Gulls

Mainly cloudy, 3°, light E. There have been a lot of Black-headed Gull in the open areas close to the village recently. Small flocks of between roughl ...
14-12-2018 16:03

Getting colder

Cloudy and dull, 7°, light SE. Not much change from yesterday but fewer Thrushes around. 2 Lapwing out in the field where yesterday?s Snipe were and j ...
13-12-2018 16:03

Grey Herons

A Grey Heron along the Thames at Cholsey today, courtesy Alan Dawson.unfortunately another found dead along the Wallingford road this afternoon. ...
08-12-2018 16:03

Caught on Camera

It has been a busy week at Blashford Lakes with volunteer work parties on four days, despite unpromising weather we actually got a lot done. On Sunday ...
08-12-2018 16:03

A trip to the coast

At the end of November we headed to Keyhaven Marshes for some coastal bird watching with our Young Naturalists. We were last here with the group a cou ...
06-12-2018 16:04

Song Thrush & Little Egret

A wet day with almost continuous light to moderate rain, 13°, light SSW. A day for not going out, however the Song Thrush visited the garden again and ...
06-12-2018 16:04

Between the Rains

Sunny at first then clouding over, 7°, light SSE. A frosty start to the day with -3° after a wet weekend then more rain due later. Not a lot out there ...
05-12-2018 16:04

A Misty Morning

A fine and frosty morning, perhaps the first that has felt properly wintry. Having scraped the frost from my windscreen I headed to Blashford across a ...
05-12-2018 16:04

Damp Days

The long, hot summer seems an age away now, with most days dominated by drizzle (Friday excepted). It is still very mild, but the combination of damp ...
03-12-2018 16:04

Red Kites feeding

A photo from Alan Dawson of Red Kites feeding on a Rabbit carcass. ...
02-12-2018 16:04

Official Statement on Bread from the Queen?s Swan Marker

As many of you know there has been a lot of debate about feeding swans and other waterfowl bread. We have always maintained that feeding them bread is ...
01-12-2018 16:03

Two from yesterday

A couple of photos by Alan Dawson from yesterday. ...
01-12-2018 16:03

Fencing, banks, paths, scrub & birds!

There has been a lot more happening around Fishlake Meadows recently. Some new chestnut paling fencing has gone in at the southern end of the canal pa ...
30-11-2018 16:03

Wet 'n Windy

Wet ?n windy, 13°, breezy SSE. A somewhat drab day with almost constant light rain being driven by a fresh breeze. Subsequently not a lot seen on the ...
29-11-2018 16:03

The Turn of the Season

As autumn slips into winter and the last of the leaves get blown from the trees we are seeing the wildlife of the reserve taking on a more wintry feel ...
28-11-2018 16:03

Garden & River

I awoke at dawn on Sunday and could hear a Song Thrush in song not too far away. Later in the day it appeared in the garden and hopefully will winter ...
27-11-2018 16:04

Crow takes a Wood Pigeon

Mainly cloudy, 8°, light N. Over the years a pair of Crow that are resident in the area around the garden are often seen chasing the Wood Pigeon from ...
26-11-2018 16:04

Obliging Buzzard

A very obliging Buzzardcourtesy Alan Dawson2 Cormorant flew east over Cholsey Railway Station this morning. ...
23-11-2018 16:03

Blashford Lakes?What?s On"??.

… our events and courses leaflet for the coming months will be available from the Centre soon and is available to view/print from this blog post ...
22-11-2018 16:04

The Best of Blashford

The second Pop-up Cafe of the winter today and, thankfully, the weather was a great deal better than the damp day we had at the start of the month. Th ...
19-11-2018 16:03

"Tail-less" Red Kite

The "Tail-less" Red Kite still around.This bird has been seen around Cholsey since 2016.Courtesy Alan Dawson ...
18-11-2018 16:04

Peregrine bath time

Sunny intervals, 14°, light S. 2 Peregrine Falcon seen today. 1 flew south over the hill towards the downs and then another encountered north of the h ...
15-11-2018 16:06

Sharing our experiences

At October’s Young Naturalists session we were joined by Corinne from the Cameron Bespolka Trust and Craig from the New Forest National Park Aut ...
14-11-2018 16:06

A Merlin in the mix

Mainly sunny, 13°, light SW. Highlight of today was a male Merlin that zipped through out at Lollingdon. Appeared not to be hunting but still panicked ...
14-11-2018 16:06

Round-up

A busy today started with a water pipit and a fine female marsh harrier from Tern hide as I opened up, it was also pleasing to see a small flock of li ...
12-11-2018 16:04

Another Kingfisher

A showery weekend with sunny spells, 13°, light S. A brief visit yesterday to the garden by 2 Brambling, by the time I got the camera something had sp ...
12-11-2018 16:04

Scrub cutting, dragging & dead hedging

Since the 24th October there have been 2 more work parties at Fishlake Meadows, both of which have seen a lot of rain! On 4th November, the first Sund ...
12-11-2018 16:04

A few more fungi

Most people will agree that this has been a good autumn for mushrooms and toadstools with some of the common species being particularly abundant. I do ...
12-11-2018 16:04

Advance Notice

On Sunday we are running a training course on the identification of gulls at Blashford, this will mean that the Tern, Goosander and Lapwing hides will ...
09-11-2018 16:09

Golden Plover

A Golden Plover flock between 60-70 back on Cholsey Hill, also a flock of 100+ Lapwing.Photos courtesy Alan Dawson ...
07-11-2018 16:04

Time for a Trim

Tuesday is one of our volunteer task days at Blashford and today’s task was to cut the vegetation in front of Ivy North hide and open up some si ...
07-11-2018 16:04

Letting the Light in

For several weeks now there have been contractors working up at the Linwood reserve working to open up an areas of mire habitat that had become seriou ...
06-11-2018 16:04

Richard's Pipit revisited

Cloudy with some sunshine, 12°, light S. A trip to the downs above Blewbury this morning to catch up with the Richard?s Pipit that was found by Roger ...
04-11-2018 16:05

Wilder Britain

The past week has seen a lot of coverage of the environment and our impacts upon it. There has been the WWF report on extinction of vertebrates Living ...
03-11-2018 16:06

Pop Up Café ? opening times

Yes, we are pleased to announce that Walking Picnics are opening our Blashford Lakes Pop Up Café again this winter! Delicious home-made snacks, cakes ...
02-11-2018 16:06

First Fishlake winter work party 2018

On Wednesday 24th October we had our first work party of the winter at Fishlake Meadows. It was a wonderful sunny day and incredibly mild, so not very ...
01-11-2018 16:05

Arrivals and Sightings

A quick update on the last couple of days. Yesterday I was working with the volunteers near the Lapwing hide, on the way there I flushed two water pip ...
01-11-2018 16:05

Thrushes dominant

Cloudy with a few sunny spells, 12°, light SE. Not a great deal of variety around today! Plenty of ?Winter Thrushes? around with in excess of 200 Fiel ...
01-11-2018 16:05

Whilst I was Away

A real frost this morning, the cold going well with the arrival of goldeneye and goosander on Ibsley Water. There were four goldeneye reported yesterd ...
30-10-2018 16:05

Chilly end to October

Sunny, 8°, light NNE. A bit chillier than of late and the 2 Stonechat still present on the hill along with a Green Woodpecker. Elsewhere plenty of Fie ...
30-10-2018 16:05

Fairwood flush

Much of Fairwood Common is vegetated by flora that characteristic of acid soils, however, occasional flushes can be found that support species more ty ...
30-10-2018 16:05

How Long to a Wilder Britain"

Despite the various attempts of some of the more struthian* (Struthio camellus – the Ostrich) of our leaders to ignore or deny it, there can be ...
29-10-2018 16:07

What a difference six months makes?

At the end of September we headed back to the Purbecks with our Young Naturalists to repeat March’s snowy residential, and the weather was glori ...
28-10-2018 16:05

Sleepy Hollow again

Following on from the "Headless Kite" we now have a "Headless Kestrel"courtesy Alan Dawson ...
28-10-2018 16:05

Whittling wands?

If you have children or grand children you will be well aware that it’s half term holidays for Dorset and Hampshire children this week – a ...
28-10-2018 16:05

Inside looking out

Light cloud, 12°, light NW. The 2 Stonechat still present on the hill today and some movement of Thrushes and Starling with approx. 300 Fieldfare, 20+ ...
26-10-2018 16:05

Lapwings

The first flock of Lapwings of the autumn arrive in Cholsey with up to 300 birds present today.Photos courtesy Alan Dawson. ...
21-10-2018 16:05

Last of Summer

Recently there have been a few late swallow around Ibsley Water, late migrants from further north. There has also been a pair of adults with one juven ...
19-10-2018 16:04

Great Expectations and Small Surprises

I was not at Blashford for most of yesterday, a site meeting at Fishlake to look at the upgrade work to the canal footpath, followed by a meeting abou ...
18-10-2018 16:05

Thrushes moving

A hazy day with low cloud cover, 18°, light SW. 2 Stonechat on the hill this morning but only briefly before moving off. A Sparrowhawk, several Yellow ...
17-10-2018 16:05

Clouded Yellows

A couple of photos of Clouded Yellow butterflies today from Alan Dawson. ...
14-10-2018 16:04

Shaggy Inkcaps

A few Shaggy Inkcap fungi courtesy Alan Dawson. ...
12-10-2018 16:05

A busy Hill

Another sunny day, 21°, light ESE. A fair bit of activity on the hill today, with 2 Stonechat present (also present yesterday per TW) and a fair sized ...
11-10-2018 16:04

And Then There Were Three

Great white egret that is, Walter now had two companions and all were joining in the fishing frenzy on Ibsley Water this morning. Later on they were s ...
09-10-2018 16:04

'Stanley's' Fleabane in Burry Port

With no formally adopted vernacular, I\'ve taken the liberty to create one myself of an interesting hybrid encountered whilst surveying an area of cru ...
09-10-2018 16:04

Wittenham Wood

Hazy sunshine, 13°, light SW. A cooler day after the rain and a walk up to Wittenham Wood. Firstly several more Redwing noted a flock of 4 and another ...
08-10-2018 16:04

A Marvellous Day

The first Sunday of the month is volunteer task day and this morning we were continuing work on the path between Goosander and Lapwing hide. The path ...
08-10-2018 16:05

On the Fly

During the morning today, whilst the reserve was open to visitors, someone “lost” a load of garden waste on the access to the main car par ...
07-10-2018 16:04

First Redwing

Misty light cloud, 18°, very light SSW. Our first Redwing of the autumn today along Cholsey brook by Church road. Per Richard Broughton.Not a lot on t ...
06-10-2018 16:05

Reports and a Bit of Garden Wildlife

5th October reports from Blashford showed that all the main player are still present. On Ibsley Water the ferruginous duck was still around the north ...
06-10-2018 16:05

New Moth for Cholsey

TR caught a new moth for Cholsey last night. A rather battered specimen but one non the less.A Clifden Nonpareil - Catocala fraxini.Photo of underside ...
05-10-2018 16:05

Paths to Wildlife

A busy few days, either working with the volunteers or on a chainsaw course has meant that I have not really had time to look around the reserve or he ...
05-10-2018 16:05

Bats & Bits

An edited version of an email sent to me by TR. TR?s son Fred has become a Bat enthusiast and has bought an Echo Meter Pro Bat detector. Switching it ...
05-10-2018 16:05

An Autumnal day

Mainly cloudy, 17°, breezy W. A flock of 25 Mistle Thrush flew on to the hill this morning but stopped only briefly before heading north over the top. ...
04-10-2018 16:05

Comings and Goings

It finally seems as though the grey phalarope has left us, I am  surprised that it has not gone before now, the nights have been fine and apparently i ...
02-10-2018 16:05

Stonechats & a Frog

Cloudy, 13°, light NNW.2 Stonechat on the hill today found by Alan Dawson.And a Frog on the allotments found by Loren. ...
01-10-2018 16:05

The Hare & the Swing

An interesting video of a Hare playing (") with a swing.Video courtesy Julie Grimshaw. Thanks ...
01-10-2018 16:05

A couple from the garden

3 of the family of Moorhen that frequent the garden.And a visit from the Sparrowhawk. ...
01-10-2018 16:05

September?s End

Another fine day although with more of an autumnal feel that yesterday. There was still mist over the lakes as I opened the hides, from Tern hide the ...
01-10-2018 16:05

a couple of pics

A couple of photos from yesterday courtesy Alan Dawson. KestrelA typical view of Grey Partridge ...
28-09-2018 16:04

Quiet apart from Red Kites

A warm and sunny day, 20°, light SW. Pretty quiet out there today, 2 Raven, 1 Swallow and a handful of Meadow Pipit and Skylark over the hill and 2 Ch ...
27-09-2018 16:05

A film and many questions?

Back in April our Young Naturalists group were joined by Paul from Strong Island Media who came along to film them engaging with nature and participat ...
26-09-2018 16:06

A Perfect Day

It was a glorious day at Blashford today, to my mind the perfect balance of sunshine and cool temperatures, the ideal autumn day for getting work done ...
25-09-2018 16:05

A Close Shave"

After a windy night I looked out over Tern hide this morning with some hope of seeing something new blown in. I was greeted by an adult peregrine perc ...
21-09-2018 16:05

Wheatear & Whinchat

Cloudy with sunny spells, 21°, fresh SW.Ventured out today not expecting much in the windy conditions. The hill was very windy, however 2 Wheatear and ...
20-09-2018 16:03

19th September ? Sightings

A windy day with occasional showers and a lot of cloud. Iblsey Water hosted hundreds of hirundines all day, in contrast to yesterday, when almost all ...
20-09-2018 16:04

Stormy Eiders

I have been working up the North west over the last few days and have come across Common Eiders at Mullaghmore in Sligo (21) and at Malin Head (12) in ...
20-09-2018 16:03

New Bees on the Block

The Ivy Bee was first recorded in the UK in 2001 and is now found in Southern England and Wales. As their name suggests they feed and collect Ivy poll ...
20-09-2018 16:03

Sparrowhawk strikes again

Cloudy and windy, 22°, moderate to fresh SW.Noticed a Sparrowhawk around the garden this afternoon sitting in one of the trees above the feeders and a ...
19-09-2018 16:04

Sightings

Although there has not been a lot of migrant activity over recent days there are lots of birds around on the reserve at present. As someone said to me ...
19-09-2018 16:04

Raven & Red Kite

Cloudy at first then brighter, 21°, breezy SSW. Fairly quiet on the hill today with 123 House Martin over in a 1 hour period, 3 Meadow Pipit and a Sky ...
18-09-2018 16:05

Birds, Beetles and Butterflies (and a bit more besides)

We are slipping into autumn, despite the weather remaining warm the signs are everywhere. Berries are ripening and birds are on the move. Over the las ...
12-09-2018 16:05

Flycatchers

Mainly cloudy with the occasional sunny spell, 21°, breezy SW. The hill was being blasted by a breezy south west wind today so I didn?t expect to find ...
12-09-2018 16:05

Toadflax Brocade & Boris the Spider

A communication from Cholsey\'s foremost moth expert.A first for Cholsey."At the weekend I caught a moth that I had never seen before.The Toadflax Bro ...
11-09-2018 16:05

Myths, moths and marshmallows

With the summer holidays over and the brief lull in group visits that always follows while the Southeasts children all settle back into school and  un ...
08-09-2018 16:05

Wandering in Nature

Another belated blog post relating to our summer holiday activity program… this time a “Wildlife Wander”. Nice easy one to plan and ...
08-09-2018 16:05

This weeks wildlife highlights

Further to Bobs post earlier this week, in which he mentioned the unusually early bittern sighting and egrets galore, today saw more signs of autumn p ...
08-09-2018 16:05

Messing about in boats?

…with boats, out of boats and under boats! Yes, the last week of the summer holiday saw us, and the children on “Wild Days Out” as w ...
08-09-2018 16:05

Warblers & Flycatchers

Mainly sunny, 20°, light to breezy N.A single Whinchat on the hill today along with a Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and a Reed Bunting.The area a ...
06-09-2018 16:04

The White Stuff

A Red Letter Day for Fishlake Meadows today, we finally have some cattle on site! We had hoped they would be on much earlier and next year I am sure w ...
06-09-2018 16:04

A Good Day

Sunny with hazy cloud, 22°, light N. A good day by any standards out at Lollingdon today. The walk out was reasonably quiet with the Bunting flock pre ...
04-09-2018 16:04

Just a couple

At Bunkfest yesterday but at least one of our wildlife watchers was out and about.A Hobby over the garden yesterday morning and a Chiffchaff in the ga ...
02-09-2018 16:03

WWW

A sunny day with light cloud, 20°, light NE veering SE.A Whinchat and a Wheatear on the hill today along with a Willow Warbler along the hedge.A coupl ...
01-09-2018 16:04

Not a lot

Sunny spells, 19°, light NNW. A disappointing visit out to the Lees this morning as the long ditch has had all the vegetation cut and looked quite bar ...
31-08-2018 16:04

Whinchats again

Cloudy with occasional sunshine, 19°, light NW. A surprise find of a Grasshopper Warbler today out at Lollingdon. A small streaky warbler flying ahead ...
30-08-2018 16:04

Whinchats

Cloudy, 19°, light W. 3 Whinchat and a single Wheatear on the hill today and 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 Common Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler in th ...
29-08-2018 16:03

 



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