Local sightingsReturn to the list of reports
- the month started with a Little Egret remaining on the floods at Ashe and a Golden Plover, the first of the year, heading low east over the nearby Burley Lane / Waltham Road crossroads. Burley Wood held 60+ Fieldfare and ten+ Redwing in a very vocal gathering mid-morning.
Right: Golden Plover, Pluvialis apricaria - An irregular winter visitant, usually in flocks so an individual bird was atypical
- a Red Kite passed over Southington during the morning whereas a Kingfisher passed through the same area. An Oak Beauty to overnight light in woodlands was the first of the year.
- a large fall of hail took place early afternoon with some 'lumps' approaching 1cm across. Six Brown Hare were joined by 584 Woodpigeon in a stock field at Turrill Hill, three Redwing and a Fieldfare being in nearby hedgerows. A Grey Heron was spotted atop a fence at Ashe floods. The pair of Gadwall continued to linger at Turrill House. A Common Quaker in a Woodlands kitchen was the first of the year.
Oak Beauty, Biston strataria - Woodlands, Overton Overton (Photo: Jay Hutchins)
One of the more striking of the 'winter' moths to be noted locally
- a Little Egret was in the grounds of Southington Mill early afternoon while one remained at Ashe floods earlier in the day. A Rook was heard in flight at 04:34, some 2¼ hours before sunrise.
- a Little Egret was on Ashe floods early afternoon. A Kestrel was at Lower Whitehill.
In exactly the same area as last year
- a Common Quaker was the only moth attracted to a light on the first night of the Garden Moth Scheme. Two Brown Hare remained south of Southington Close.
- three Red Kite were between Northington Farm and Whitnal mid-morning, as were two Buzzard, nine Skylark, three Yellowhammer, six Brown Hare and flowering Primrose. A further Red Kite was at Berrydown late morning.
Right: Red Kite, Milvus milvus - Once incredibly rare, now almost taken for granted, as is also the case for Little Egret
- an Oak Beauty was attracted to light mid-evening.
- a Little Egret was on Ashe floods at midday, mid-afternoon and early evening.
- a Muntjac was again roadside on Rotten Hill early morning. A Brimstone butterfly was on the wing in Station Hill. Up to six Redwing were heard moving low over Woodlands in mid-evening misting / drizzle. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming in the Town Meadow area. Pairs of Mute Swan and Gadwall were on the pools at Turrill House.
- a Little Egret was on Ashe floods mid-morning with another at Southington Mill early afternoon; a Grey Wagtail being nearby Two Red Kite were over the school with another, perhaps, being then seen to fly from the Town meadow area towards Dellands. Two Brown Hare remained in Southington fields. New for the year, in mothing, were March Moth and Small Quaker. Late in the day a bat sp. was seen in Southington, a caddis fly sp. was the first of the year to be attracted to a moth trap and two Redwing were heard moving over in the misting. Frog spawn was becoming obvious in several garden ponds. Lesser Celandine were becoming apparent at Flashetts.
- a Grey Heron moved east over Bridge Street during the morning school run. Twin-spotted Quaker and The Chestnut were the first of the year to be attracted to a moth trap, an Early Grey then being added in the evening.
- two Red Kite were about the Parish boundary, north of Willesley Warren early afternoon with another being seen near Northington Farm later in the day and another at Lower Whitehill. A Clouded Drab was the latest addition to mothing this year, the same site seeing 37 Golden Plover heading rapidly south early evening. Two Brown Hare remained in fields at Southington, six in a field at Turill Hill. Between the latter site and Sapley Lane 1350+ Woodpigeon, 75+ Linnet and three Buzzard were seen late afternoon. Blue Anemone was in flower at White Hill.
- hints of spring included a peak of 16.9°C, the highest temperature so far this year and five Crossbill and two Meadow Pipit heading north over the Test Valley Golf Course area; 150+ Linnet, 380+ Woodpigeon, several Yellowhammer and Skylark also being in the area. This theme continued with up to two male Brimstone being seen in Silk Mill Lane and one in the Kerchers Field allotments. Of the wintering birds a Fieldfare at Whitehill House was most notable. A Little Egret was again on pools in Southington. 25+ Stinking Hellebore were still in flower on White Hill, as was Blue Anemone. A Tawny Owl 'singing' north of The Test in Southington finished the day off.
- another warm day with 16.5°C recorded. A Little Egret was in the grounds of Southington Mill late afternoon, a pair of Mute Swan also reappearing there, while up to three were in the Ashe / Lower Ashe area. House Sparrows were becoming more spring-like in Stain Hill!
- a 'black' shrew was seen in a Dellands garden. Ladybirds were noted on Rosemary in Southington.
- Wood Anemone were in flower in roadside woodland at Sapley Lane, Butterwort in the stream at The Lynch. A Small Tortoiseshell was in a Southington garden. Hebrew Character, Oak Beauty and Early Grey were among moths attracted to light overnight. Three Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk were circling over the village late afternoon.
- the first real migrant appeared, a Chiffchaff found singing at the western end of The Lynch. Four Little Egret were seen by several locals as they drove past eh floods at Ashe. Continuing good weather saw Buzzards circling over the sewage works and Woodlands early afternoon and numerous Brimstone on the wing.
- a female Tawny Owl called briefly mid-evening in / near Woodlands. Eight Small Quaker constituted the largest count of one species to a moth trap so far this year.
- two Red Kite were over Southington while both male and female Tawny Owl were calling in the Town Meadow area early morning. A Skylark singing over the track between Dellands and Lower Whitehill was the first of the year for the observer. Three Little Egret were on the diminishing floods at Ashe early evening.
- new record counts of five and then six Little Egret were noted at Ashe, the latter flushing westwards.
- an adult Grey Heron was by The Test at Southington, a pair of Gadwall being on a nearby pool and a cock Pheasant feeding on the road at The Lynch. A further Oak Beauty appeared overnight in Woodlands.
- two Little Egret and a pair of Gadwall were on Ashe floods.
- four Little Egret and a pair of Gadwall were on Ashe floods. A male Kestrel patrolled the fields about The Lynch, pairs of both Mute Swan and Gadwall being nearby.
- two Little Egret were on Ashe floods late afternoon, one early evening. A House Sparrow in a Kerchers Field garden was the first there for a month, this also the case for a visiting Song Thrush.
- a dead Polecat was on the B3400 near Ashe Park Lodge, just inside the Parish boundary, as were 31 Rabbit; the highest count reported to date. Following on with this theme, a possible dead Muntjac was seen on the 'wrong side' of Rotten Hill early morning; one of 'ours' gone walkabout? Two Little Egret were at The Source of The Test. A Buzzard was over the school mid-afternoon and both Kestrel and Grey Heron were seen moving west over Lordsfield Gardens, another of the latter being on Ashe floods.
- two Red-legged Partridge visited a Southington garden.
- a Grey Heron moved low over Southington early morning, possibly the same bird seen visiting a Dellands garden that day.
Contributors: Dave Atha, Ed Beckmann, Jane Beckmann, Nigel Giffen, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Joy MacGregor, Jane MacKenzie, Ken. Mackenzie, Mindy Noble, Margaret Rainford, Andrew Sheppard, Janet Wigney & Simon Yates. .