Local sightings

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January 2016

a Red Kite drifted north before lingering over Town Meadow, where Moorhen were again gathered in the north-western corner of the golf course. A Buzzard was about the fields off Dellands Lane whilst across the road Ivy-leaved Toadflax was in flower on the walls of Dellands House. Daffodil opened their blooms for the first time in one garden.
Esperia sulpherella as might be expected at this time of year, Robin were the earliest of songsters about the village.
further rain, and lots of it! A Peacock butterfly inside St. Mary's Church was the first of the lepidoptera in the Parish this year. An Esperia sulpherella in a bathroom however became the first moth of the year noted within the Parish, this a very unseasonal record. The Green Hellebore were still obvious on the eastern verge of White Hill. A Little Egret headed over near St. Mary's Church, taking a shortcut to return to The Test further west. The best of the other avians noted: a charm of eight Goldfinch visiting gardens off the High Street.
Right: Esperia sulpherella - Picture: Bryher Hutchins - www.hantsmoths.org.uk/species/0649.php
both Blue and Great Tit were seen to be investigating nest boxes. A Red Kite drifted west over Kingsclere Road late morning.
Tawny Owl were heard about the Dog Field at dusk.
Grey Wagtail a small Bombus terrestris was seen in a Station Hill garden, the first bumble-bee noted this year. Yarrow was in flower in Dellands verges. Both Red Kite and Grey Wagtail moved south over Waltham Road.
Right: Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea. One of the most colourful of our riverine birds
a flowering buttercup brightened a Dellands verge whilst Ground Ivy was seen with blooms in several areas, Ivy-leaved Toadflax on walls in Dellands Lane. An adult Red Kite lingered about the residential areas in the south of the village, where a Linnet flew over.
Yellow Corydalis was still in flower in Dellands. Both Red Kite and Buzzard were seen about the Kerchers Field area allotments, where a Yellowhammer flew over.
Red Kite and Buzzard were on the wing about the village, as were Grey Wagtail and two Little Egret, the latter moving west to their roost later in the day.
Short-eared Owl a juvenile Peregrine was reported over Kingsclere Road mid-morning by a visiting birder. An HOS* walk taking in Court Drove, Willesley Warren and part of The Harroway from mid-morning attracted 14 attendees, some from as far afield as Ringwood. Of most note of that seen was a Stoat, hunting about the edges of Court Drove, a Short-eared Owl, over fields further north, a flock of 320+ Golden Plover, north of the Warren, a Fieldfare and half-a-dozen Redwing, a Jay, several Brown Hare, including two 'boxing', strings of bryony berries, singing Skylark, up to two Sparrowhawk, a handful of Buzzard and perhaps upwards of nine Red Kite! However, of even more note was the lack of rain and some warming sun! A Bombus terrestris was again seen to visit a Station Hill garden, as was a possible 'cuckoo bumble-bee'. Further Red Kite were seen over the village later in the day, a Cormorant moving west over Town Meadow early afternoon. Two Muntjac were seen in the Two Gate Meadow Play Area!
Right: Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus. The locating of a local roost was one of the local birding highlights of last winter
a Red Kite circled / drifted east over Bridge Street early afternoon, where Brown Trout were below the assorted 'Mallard' on The Test. A pair of Coal Tit was seen to visit a Glebe Meadow garden. Yellow Corydalis was still in flower in the High Street, Snowflake, Snowdrop and cyclamen also still evident in several gardens.
a bumble-bee was seen braving the wintery weather. Two+ Red Kite were lingering about the village about noon, making the most of the increasingly windy conditions. A hunting Sparrowhawk moved rapidly through Harveys Field, disturbing all of the Starling in the trees by Town Meadow, whereas 20+ Redwing through the same area were somewhat less hurried.
an active Wren made one garden a little brighter than the surrounding weather. Robin were in song well before dawn.
a Winter Moth was found outside the Winchester Street flats. A caterpillar of the Ruby Tiger Moth was found on another flat, this time in Harveys Field. A Red Kite was seen over many gardens off Sapley Lane from early afternoon.
early afternoon saw a hunting Sparrowhawk flushing all in its way as it passed over Charledown Road. A Red Kite was over Overton Hill mid-afternoon.
a further Winter Moth was found roosting on a Mede Close flat. A hunting Sparrowhawk sped southwards through Harveys Field late morning. The flock of Moorhen feeding out on Town Meadow had grown to eight birds. A Magpie was seen at the Railway Station early morning, this species seemingly on the increase about the more urban areas of the Parish; though perhaps now just being recorded more by Parishioners.
Song Thrush a Song Thrush was the most notable of avian visitors to Station Hill gardens. A Red Kite lingered over the southern side of the village late morning. The Moorhen flock on Town Meadow numbered seven today.
Right: Song Thrush, Turdus philomelus. Not perhaps the expected view of a Song Thrush, but there again, who sees then nowadays!
about this date a Barn Owl was seen on the wing near the Test Valley Golf Course.
a Song Thrush was seen at Foxdown, one of very few reported recently.
a pair of Mute Swan was again grazing on the golf course, Town Meadow.
a Red Kite was over ???? ????. One of the now somewhat more resplendant Blue Peafowl was feeding on the verge of Sapley Lane / Dellands early afternoon. The pair of Mute Swan was still on Town Meadow.
a Red Kite lingered over the southern extremes of the village early afternoon. The pair of Mute Swan continued to keep the fairways trim on Town Meadow. The earlier part of the day was spent in a soaking mist.
a Red Kite moved low west through the village in the mid-morning murk. Coal Tit were amongst the songsters noted, also during the morning.
two+ Red Kite were visible about the village for much of the day - just how many are there about at present?
c.20 House Sparrow were joined by a Robin, Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tit about a Station Hill garden. A Red Kite was seen over The Green mid-morning. Emmelina monodactyla
an Emmelina monodactyla was found at roost on a front door in The Green. Both Red Kite and Blue Peafowl were seen about Dellands, now in their spring finery, unlike the weather! A Magpie was a less regular visitor to Little Meadow, though perhaps becoming ever more obvious about the village.
Right: Emmelina monodactyla, www.hantsmoths.org.uk/species/1524.php Also now referred to as the Common Plume
the Sun appeared! The pair of Mute Swan remained about Town Meadow, where a family party of seven moved west. A Red Kite was over the Primary School grounds mid-afternoon.
a Little Egret was in the stream near Town Mill later in the morning. A Sparrowhawk was seen circling over Red Lion Lane. Perhaps four Red Kite were seen over the village, no more than two however seen at any one time.
Hazel catkins, flowering daffodil, singing Robin and sun; it could have been a spring day - except for the just above freezing temperatures! An 'exploding' cock Pheasant in Harveys Field was a surprise to the finder! Two Lapwing moving north over the same area were as close to winter weather-related movements as had yet been seen locally. Red Kite continued to be seemingly ever-present about the village, one possibly dropping in to gardens to 'prey' on a fatball! Long-tailed Tit
the Big Garden Birdwatch survey in one garden produced three House Sparrow, three Robin, two Dunnock, two Blackbird and single Coal and Long-tailed, a Great and seven Blue Tit. Another garden had just Wren, Robin, Blackbird and two Blue Tit...
Right: Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus - Picture: Stewart Woolley - This image, from a once local, recenlty highlighted as a 'notable image' on the Birdguides 'photo of the week'

Contributors: Mike Duffy, Brian Elkins, Margaret Elkins, Deborah Heath, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Doug Kelson, Veronique Kerguelen, Ken MacKenzie, Nick Montegriffo, Nick Parnell-Smith & Margaret Rainford .

* Hampshire Ornithological Society.
Species recorded on the walk (10th) were as follows:
Yellowhammer / Short-eared Owl / Carrion Crow / Jay / Rook / Carrion Crow / Mapgie / Jackdaw / Skylark / Meadow Pipit / Pied Wagtail / House Sparrow / Bullfinch / Chaffinch / Woodpigeon / Racing Pigeon / Buzzard / Dunnock / Golden Plover / Goldfinch / Greenfinch / House Sparrow / Linnet / Pheasant / Red Kite / Red-legged Partridge / Robin / Sparrowhawk / Wren / Blue Tit / Coal Tit / Great Tit / Marsh Tit / Long-tailed Tit / Blackbird / Song Thrush / Mistle Thrush / Fieldfare / Redwing / Lesser Black-backed Gull and Stoat / Brown Hare / Grey Squirrel.

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