Local sightings

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March 2007

a Little Egret was in Flashetts. An adult Common Gull drifted east over the village late in the afternoon, though in fact not at all a common sight locally and the first noted this year. A Little Owl was very vocal off Station Hill early evening. A flock of 15 Starlings moving west over Lordsfield Gardens was one of only a few report of numbers, or movements, received for this species.
a Brimstone in the village was the first noted this year.
Brimstone at restheavy rain into the 6th caused a fair amount of damage to local trees. Not withstanding this, Lesser Celandines were seen blooming at Station Approach.
both Brimstone and Peacock were on the wing, as were many bumble-bees and flies. A Skylark sung south of Highfields and a Goldcrest visited Lordsfield Gardens gardens.
Right: Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni (photo Mike Duffy) - One of a small number of butterfly species that regularly overwinter in Britain
a Little Owl was in the grounds of Court House Farm early evening. Collared Doves were seen to be inspecting nest sites.
a Brown Hare was seen north of The Harrow Way. A Butterbur was in flower by Quidhampton Bridge, Lesser Celandines were particularly obvious at the southern end of Red Lion Lane and Cowslips were also noted blooming. 14 Starlings comprised the third largest flock noted this month. An unusual first for the year was noted - a mosquito bite!
a Speckled Wood in Pound Road was on the wing unexpectedly early. The duck Scaup was on the pool by Southington Mill, with her Tufted Duck suitor, early evening.
Speckled Wood butterfly at rest Speckled Wood butterfly wings open
Speckled Wood Pararge aegaria (photo Mike Duffy) - The British sub-species being noticeably less orange-spotted than those on the continent
both Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell were on the wing in Lordsfield Gardens.
several Goldfish were reported in The Test off Bridge Street. Canada Geese moved low west over the village early evening.
three Buzzards circled over Upper Whitehill Farm early afternoon with another over the village shortly afterwards. 20 Starlings were in Lordsfield Gardens, the largest gathering noted.
a Little Owl was vocal late in the evening, again in the area of the church. A Nuthatch was attracted to garden feeders in Southington Lane. Another bright and sunny 'spring' day, encouraging the magnolias to almost open up.
a Red Kite consorted with six Buzzards over the village early afternoon. Six+ Eels joined a pair of Grey Wagtails and 59 Tufted Ducks at the filtration pools early evening. A Skylark was heard singing from Woodlands and the Nuthatch continued to visit in Southington Lane.
the duck Scaup remained on pools off Southington Lane.
a Red Kite off the Waltham Road was soon put in its place by a local Buzzard. Long-tailed Tits ventured into a Station Road garden. A brief flurry of snow broke up the 'spring' weather early afternoon.
huge hail stones were dropping from mid-afternoon, these to be followed up by early snow!
a Marsh Tit was calling in gardens off Southington Lane.
another obvious frost with snow falling for some time early morning.
a 'falcon' over the High Street early evening was presumed to be a Kestrel, a Grey Wagtail also being noted in flight nearby. A Buzzard was over Berrydown late afternoon.
Barn ownl in flighta Barn Owl was quartering at Willesley Warren mid-evening.
Right: Barn Owl Tyto alba - One of the best known, and recognised, of local birds, though all too rarely encountered
four Chiffchaff were singing in the village late morning / early afternoon. The filtration pools held, amongst others, four Shoveler, a pair of Kestrels, an immature Grey Heron and two Eels. A Little Grebe was just east of Quidhampton Mill and three Grey Wagtails were in nearby fields.
a Great Spotted Woodpecker was a nice garden bird for one observer. A Buzzard moved south over Rotten Hill early evening.
the duck Scaup was again on the Southington Mill pond, a Grey Heron being on the adjacent stream. A Little Egret was again feeding in Flashetts. A Chiffchaff was singing in / near Woodlands whilst a Grey Wagtail was heard overhead there. A Pied Wagtail was in gardens towards the north of the village.
House Sparrows continued to be the most regularly noted birds in a Station Road garden.
Tawny Owls were once again vocal early morning.
a Fox was in the roadside vegetation opposite Parsonage Farm House very early morning.
a possible Linnet finished off the month nicely for one.

Contributors / observers: David Cluett, Malcolm Dixon, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Adrian Lewis, Margaret Rainford, Terry Robinson & Sue Teagle.

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