Local sightings

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March 2008

belated news from February was of up to two Red Kite being seen north of the village on several occasions. Today however saw one over the School / Lordsfield Gardens area.
the / a Red Kite was again over School grounds whilst nearby at least one Goldcrest was noted in Lordsfield Gardens, Long-tailed Tit were seen to grace a Station Road garden.
a single Brambling in another local garden was one bird that escaped the February summary.
a Little Egret was on the River Test, near Flashetts. A Skylark was heard in song over Woodlands.
two Great Spotted Woodpecker were coming to peanut feeders in Station Hill. Roadside banks of Court Drove held flowering White Dead-nettle, Primrose, Lesser Celandine and, escapee, Stinking Hellebore as well as the remnants of 2007's Honeysuckle flowerings.
raucous Rooks were calling many hours before dawn.
Dunnock put in one of their sporadic appearances in Station Road.
a Barn Owl was on roadside fencing near East Lodge early morning.
Grape Hyacinths were seen in flower. A Goldcrest was in a Station Road garden. A pair of Mallard was again using the rooftops in Woodlands as a vantage point. Some rain during the afternoon and evening hinted at the big blow on the way. Otter face
seemingly a very quiet day, no reports being forthcoming.
House Sparrows and Woodpigeons continued to visit many gardens about the village.
an Otter in Winchester Street mid-evening, seen by several observers, may well turn out to be the most important wildlife sighting in the Parish this year.
Right: Eurasian Otter, Lutra lutra
The beast and its footprints, left the fore, right the hind.
If you are carrying out Water Vole Survey work later this year, be prepared!
Otter footprint
a Skylark was singing over Overton Hill whilst a Goldcrest serenaded in the Pound Road / Highfields area.
another very quiet day it would seem, again nothing being reported.
a Skylark was again singing over Woodlands. Both Comma and Peacock butterflies were seen in Station Road gardens.
a very windy day did not stop Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Grey Heron from moving over the village./dd>
a Comma on a front door several hours before dawn was most unexpected, it became the third species of butterfly to be recorded in the Parish this year. At least six House Sparrows in Station Hill gardens just would not stay still long enough to be counted accurately! The same gardens had held at least ten in early February.
a Fox was seen in the Southington Lane / Silk Mill Lane / The Lynch area early evening and a Sparrowhawk again flushed many garden birds in Woodlands. A Chiffchaff was singing off Dellands track.
up to two Buzzard were seen about the northern side of the village.
a Goldcrest was seen to be visiting Station Road gardens this week./dd>
Great Tit were noted for only the second time this month in a Station Road garden.
an obvious snow fall in the morning even threatened to settle and stay at times. A vocal Coal Tit was in Harveys Fields and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was again visiting Station Hill gardens.
snow again, to at least mid-morning.
a Moorhen was seen investigating a cotoneaster, perhaps as a viable nesting site.
a pair of Mandarin Duck low south over Woodlands early evening were the first to be noted in the Parish for some years. One of the partially albinistic cock Blackbirds reappeared in Woodlands and a male Tawny Owl was heard calling there late evening, seemingly in the neighbourhood of Court Drove / Glebe Meadow. Further north of here Skylark were regularly in song.
Mandarin drake in flight Mandarin maleMandarin female
Mandarin, Aix galericulata - A drake in flight and then a pair in less active mode
a Tawny Owl was in a Yew over the Waltham Road mid-evening, just east of the Burley Lane junction. Hail, rain, thunder and lightning were just some of the weather conditions massed over the village during the afternoon.
a Red Kite was seen over Lordsfield Gardens / Overton Primary School. The inclement weather continued apace. Further belated news from February included a Yellow-necked Mouse seen in a Station Hill attic, with another towards the end of the month and the same house attracting a Brown Rat to a garden feeder!
further rain with flooding of local roads and some fields. Up to 30 Linnet were seen in pre-roost flocks about Station Hill / Station Approach.
a Common Frog was reported as a road casualty, perhaps a sign of local movement. A cock Pheasant was in Southington / Southington Close gardens and nearby, on the pools off Southington Lane, three Gadwall were all that remained of wintering wildfowl. A partially albinistic cock Blackbird, perhaps a third bird showing this aberrant plumage feature, was present in Woodlands.
a Brimstone was seen near the station, two having been seen in this area on 9th February. Two Buzzard were taking advantage of the thermals produced by the better weather on the northern side of the village. A Carrion Crow west 'along' the High Street was a surprisingly infrequent visitor to the village. A vocal Coal Tit was the first in Woodlands gardens for some time.
the month ended quietly - two Great Spotted Woodpecker were however again back in gardens on Station Hill, as were two Song Thrush.

Contributors: 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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