Local sightingsReturn to the list of reports
- two Little Egret, a Grey Wagtail and two Grey Squirrel were at The Lynch, the nearby Southington Mill 'garden pond' holding three Tufted Duck. Eight Lapwing were amongst a mixed flock, that also included 28+ Fieldfare and 40+ Redwing, in the field west of the sewage works. Four Brown Trout were in The Test off Southington Lane. Buzzard, Pheasant, Mallard and Magpie were good 'garden birds' to start the year off.
- Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits visited feeders in Woodlands. Heavy frosting once again, the temperature dipping below -5°C at either end of the day.
- a stock field at Turrill Hill held all five of the wintering thrushes, two Lapwing and nine Red-legged Partridge. A Green Woodpecker was flushed from Dellands Track. Another day of heavy frost as a huge high remained over the village, there also being a sprinkling of snow late evening.
- three Roe Deer were on the move at Caesar's Belt mid-afternoon. Further snow fell, sporadically throughout much of the day.
- a Little Egret was in the garden of Southington Mill early afternoon, nearby waters holding a family party of Mute Swan and a pair of Gadwall; a Green Woodpecker being in the adjacent garden of Mulberry Cottage. Two Kestrel interacted over the allotments at oak Close late afternoon. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming in the lower reaches of Court Drove. A Roe Deer was in Silk Mill Lane mid-morning. The coldest day yet this winter with, locally, -9.2°C being recorded!!!
- a Little Egret was in The Test at Southington Mill mid-afternoon, a pair of Gadwall remaining on nearby pools. A Goldcrest visited Woodlands gardens, perhaps due to the continuing cold weather and, at the time, snow.
- a Little Egret was in The Test east of Southington Lane mid-afternoon.
- a Bullfinch was in scrub off Kingsclere Road. Five Lapwing remained in fields by the sewage works on a day when the temperature may not have risen above 0°C. A Coal Tit was amongst many birds visiting garden feeders in Woodlands. A hen Pheasant was seen on the school field.
- the Lapwing flock at the sewage works has increased to ten. The weather produced a day of continuous frosting, much fog and, again, little wind to move either on.
- a ring-tail Hen Harrier moved north through Turrill Hill mid-afternoon where Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing and Brown Hare joined stock on pasture. A Red Kite moved Quidhampton Bridge whilst nearby a Little Egret was seen in Flashetts, another being at Ashe. Four Brown Hare were in fields at Turrill Hill. Three Yellowhammer flying low south-west over Woodlands were an unexpected mid-winter 'garden' addition. News from our ex-leader, Kath Doyle, included a Buzzard 'adopting' her road and both Bullfinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker visiting her Dorset garden.
Right: Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus (picture: Shay Connolly).
The sort of view you may obtain of this rarer local raptor — note the slim wings, rich brown upperparts colouration and obvious white rump banding on this female bird.
- a Little Egret was in the grounds of Southington Mill early afternoon, a Red Kite, Kestrel, Lapwing, Pheasant and Carrion Crow all feeding nearby in the field west of the sewage works.
- a Buzzard was at Jackson's Copse. A spider on a front door frame very early morning was eventually identified as Amaurobius similis; the first arachnid reported this year.
Right: Amaurobilis similis - Also known as the Lace Web Weaver, here an example of its handiwork
- up to two Kestrel were in the sewage works / The Lynch area early afternoon, as was an immature Grey Heron. A Buzzard was again about Jackson's Copse.
- a Little Egret was again in trees, late afternoon, off Southington Lane.
- two Brown Hare spent several hours in fields south of Southington Close, once again. A pre-roost gathering of Yellowhammer continued to take place on the western edge of Pond Close. Further Lesser Periwinkle were flowering in Vinns Lane, Snowdrop now being in bloom at Southington House.
- at The Source of The Test early afternoon a Little Egret was joined by 13 Canada Geese and six Gadwall. A Brown Hare remained in fields at Southington.
- an intriguing report of unidentified birds in Southington was received: "What might we have seen this morning... 3 birds a bit smaller than a pigeon, if I'd been in Sydney I would have said they were parrots, not from their colour (hard to see against the sky) but from the flying (up down up down) and their chatter while flying, a bit like a wind-up tin bird clattering and then quiet when stopped. They were flying over our garden between the higher trees". What do you think? A Cormorant battling east / north-east over the village was the first to be noted in the Parish this year.
- a flock of 21 Lesser Black-backed Gull drifted gradually north-east late in the afternoon, circling and interacting for some time over the village as they moved to roost.
- two Little Egret were in flight over Silk Mill Lane during the morning. A Little Egret was in The Test off Southington Lane mid-afternoon, a female Bullfinch was nearby at The Lynch and a pair of Gadwall was on the Southington House pool. A Brown Hare continued to linger in Southington fields.
- a Kingfisher, drake Tufted Duck, two pairs of Gadwall, a Green Woodpecker and the resident pair of Mute Swan were about Southington Lane / The Lynch early afternoon. Three Reed Bunting at a feeding station in Papermakers were the first reported this year. Three Buzzard and 30+ Fieldfare were on fields south of Frost Hill later in the day. The Big Garden Birdwatch was carried out this weekend, a summary of local sightings to appear on the website soon.
- a real autumnal-style day — the weather mild, wet, grey and dull from the south-west.
- a Little Egret was about The Test in Southington early afternoon. Pre-roost counts included 140+ Jackdaw over Court Drove with 13+ House Sparrow gathering in a nearby hedgerow, and a 'v' of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 71+ in total, moving north-east late afternoon.
- a pair of Gadwall was on the pool at Southington House, two Buzzard were in a field at Ashe crossroads and Kestrel were seen by the sewage works, Bell Meadow and Ashe Hill.
- a Little Owl was an unexpected find at Berrydown, by a Postman late morning. A Little Grebe joined the regular wildfowl by Bridge Street. A Grey Heron moved west and Lesser Black-backed Gull east mid-afternoon while Yellowhammer, Cormorant and Meadow Pipit moved towards roost late afternoon. Three Brown Hare were seen off Court Drove where woodland held fungi including King Alfred's Cake and Jew's Ear. Elm on Overton Hill was another pleasant surprise.
- perhaps up to 50 Pied wagtail were at the railway station early evening in a pre-roost gathering. The Black Poplar remained standing at Polhampton, the Caucasian Wingnut off Kingsclere Road and the Chilean Pine in Woodlands, the only known sites for each of these trees in the Parish. A Little Egret, Cormorant and Grey Heron were at The Source of The Test, ten+ Redwing being nearby at Lower Ashe Farm. A Lesser Redpoll moved over the filtration pools where ten Shoveler, eight Teal, 38 Gadwall, two Little Grebe and an Eel were otherwise of most note.
Contributors: Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Steven Lavender, Jane MacKenzie & Mindy Noble.