Local sightings

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January 2008

Blackbird was my first bird of the year - what was yours? A Red-legged Partridge was in fields north of Berrydown Court. A grey and dull start, at least weather-wise, to the year.
a Peregrine was seen moving east over Town Meadow late afternoon. Lesser Black-backed Gull and Grey Heron were seen moving over the village. A Winter Moth was found in Southington Close.
the activities of Moles were obvious at Little Meadow, a string of hills being present along a fence line with others dotted about the meadow.
Mottled Umber motha male Great Spotted Woodpecker was visiting gardens in Ashe Warren during the first week of the New Year.
Kestrels were seen at Turrill Hill and by The Harrow Way 'crossroads'. Many corvids were feeding on pasture at Northington Farm. A duck Tufted Duck was on the pools off Southington Lane. A Mottled Umber was found on a property in Court Drove.
Right: Mottled Umber, Erannis defolaria
This one originally caught by myself was photographed by Mike Wall
a frosty start to the day!
a mixed day of weather that included more rain.
Snowdrops were in flower at many sites about the village, particularly in the more sheltered areas.
a Kestrel moved out towards The Harrow Way, over Court Farm House, as the school emptied for the day.
dandelion, Daisy, White Dead-nettle and Primrose were already flowering; several of these having done so before the year commenced.
an early morning mist did not stop the local Robins singing.
the relatively mild weather did not encourage too much out, including locals it would seem!
a partially albinistic cock Blackbird was frequenting Woodlands gardens.
more showers during the day culminated in a hail storm mid-afternoon.
up to ten House Sparrow in a Station Hill garden constituted the largest non-roost gathering yet to be reported this year.
a Grey Heron was being regularly seen on the watermeadows at Ashe.
Pied wagtailanother light frost started the day. Two duck Tufted Duck were on Southington Lane pools. Ten+ Pied Wagtail were seen to alight on Stitch Design in a pre-roost gathering.
Right: Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba yarelli
A previous roost in vegetation at Streetwell Lodge now having moved to the paper mill
light rain fell on-and-off throughout the day.
a particularly mild start to the day, the temperature in double figures prior to dawn.
both Linnet and Greenfinch were noted in pre-roost gatherings about the village as the month progressed.
pre-roost gatherings of Starling continued to take place on the 'dead' trees at the edge of Town Meadow.
a Barn Owl was quartering the fields of Frost Hill mid-evening. A Kestrel was off Straight Lane late afternoon. A duck Tufted Duck remained on the main pool east of Southington Lane. A huge pinkish moon finished the daylight hours.
Lesser Black-backed Gulls were again noted circling over the village center.
a Kestrel was watched hunting from a telegraph post at Turrill Hill.
a bumble-bee sp. was unexpected, it being a cold day. Up to ten House Sparrow were again present in a Station Hill garden.
the RPSB's Big Garden Birdwatch commenced today ? what did you see? A female Blackcap appeared in a Station Hill garden, the only one to be seen about the village during the month. The same garden also held 11 House Sparrow.
a Little Egret was in Flashetts. A flock of Herring Gull was seen to move over St. Mary?s Church. A small flock of Fieldfare was by Northdown Orchard. A Grey Heron was in a field east of the sewage works, along with four cock Pheasant. Both Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were about Turrill Hill.
Bramblingup to four Brambling continued to visit one lucky observer's garden. A pair of Tufted Duck was now on Southington Lane pools. Further plants in bloom included Lesser Celandine and Lesser Periwinkle.
Right: Brambling, Fringilla montifringilla
An 'orange Chaffinch' that arrives in changeable numbers during the winter, particularly in areas of Beech
the Canada Goose gaggle at Ashe had grown to 42 birds as February loomed. A flock of 105+ Jackdaw moved low south-west over the village mid-afternoon.
two doe Roe Deer were in Great North Field, that opposite Little Meadow.
a windy, wet and dull day to close the month.

Contributors: Jane Beckmann, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Adrian Lewis, & Margaret Rainford.

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