Local sightings

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March 2017

two Roe Deer were close to The Source of The Test during the afternoon, four having been seen in the '100 field' earlier. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was one of the 'early birds' to visit a Glebe Meadow garden this month, quite possibly the bird heard drumming recently in the nearby grounds of Court Farm House. Grey Wagtail perched
a Small Tortoiseshell was seen in St. Mary's churchyard. A Grey Wagtail was in song at Town Mill, another being heard at Lordsfield Gardens. Red Kite were seen over the school, Poyntz Road and Woodlands.
Right: Grey Wagtail, Motacilla cinerea - Picture: Dave Levy
seven Greylag flew over the Church Road area late morning, these far less regularly encountered about the Parish in comparison with Canada Geese. A Grey Wagtail was heard about The Test, Bridge Street. Red Kite were seen over Glebe Meadow, four, Lordsfield Gardens, Glebe Meadow, Poyntz Road, Woodlands, Overton Hill / The Green and Jackson's Copse. One of the Indian Peafowl was heard calling just prior to noon; presumed to be in the Dellands area.
Barn Owl was a welcome sight as it flew east over Kingsclere Road, by The Harrow Way. A Sparrowhawk over Glebe Meadow was seen to be harassed by four Pied Wagtail. Also hunting was a Kestrel by the Berrydown Lane / Straight Lane crossroads. A Kingfisher was patrolling The Test west of the Bridge Street bridge. Again, on the move, a Grey Wagtail was noted over Winchester Street, this or another then being seen at Town Mill, Bridge Street and Lordsfield Gardens, a male Brimstone also about the gardens at the latter site. Red Kite were seen over both the Winchester Street area and Bridge Street either side of noon and over Harveys Field later in the day, and over the fields north of Berrydown Court later still.
Skylark were again evident in the improved weather, the fields on the northern side of Overton Hill proving particularly productive for this declining species. A Sparrowhawk was hunting over / through Woodlands gardens mid-morning, being seen again through the Town Meadow car mid-afternoon. A pair of Mute Swan was to be seen on the shorn grass of Town Meadow. Red Kite were seen over Poyntz Road and Woodlands. Redwing perched
frogspawn was seen in the waters close to The Source of The Test. Nearby Yellowhammer were seen about the disturbed edges of the Overton Hill dog field. A hint of winter was also noted, three Redwing over Woodlands moving off to the north-east, perhaps en route to their breeding grounds. A Kingfisher was again about The Test off Bridge Street, being heard west of here about midday. Two Red Kite were joined by a further three over Poyntz Road early afternoon; two then seen to interact on the wing. Further kite were then over The Green, Town Meadow and Lordsfield Gardens. A Buzzard passed over Two Gate Meadow where a pair of Long-tailed Tit 'tutted' their way through the scrubbier vegetation. Another Buzzard was seen high over Sapley Lane. The hunting spider Salticus scenicus was seen on a Glebe Meadow house front door. The pair of Mute Swan remained on Town Meadow, the Canada Goose flock at The Source of The Test.
Redwing, Turdus iliacus. The most regularly encountered of the two non-local wintering thrush species
a Stock Dove was in song at Court Farm House. A male Blackcap was fly-catching from what little vegetation was left on the lower verges of Red Lion Lane. Several male Brimstone were seen on the wing, the brighter, though still cool, weather encouraging these on to the wing - a further hint of spring, perhaps! Kingsclere Road was again a focus of attention for local raptors, two Buzzard being seen atop roadside hedging. A Red Kite moved towards the Parish, over the '100 Field', mid-morning with others being seen over Harveys Field, Woodlands and north of Greyhound Lane later in the day. A pair of Mute Swan was again on Town Meadow.
Ground Ivy in bloom two Red Kite were over the fields at Ashe, Skylarks again obvious nearby, in the field east of Straight Lane. Further Red Kite were seen over the ORC, Bridge Street, Dellands, Lion Close, two, and Lordsfield Gardens. The Grey Wagtail about Town Mill were also in good voice. Ground Ivy were flowering in several gardens, their muted purple flowers breaking out in spikes above the rosette-like leaves. A Grey Heron was a brief visitor, being seen moving over Town Meadow. One of the Indian Peafowl was seen about Sapley Lane gardens. The Mute Swan remained on Town Meadow - just what did the local golfers think of these visitors and their lack of membership?
Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea. The earliest of the mint family to break in to bloom within the Parish
the fields off Court Drove held at least 28 Brown Hare early evening, as well as a Barn Owl, pair of Grey Partridge, three Lapwing, two Roe Deer and 15 Red-legged Partridge. Overhead a Raven, two Red Kite, two Buzzard, a Redwing and two Meadow Pipit were on the move whilst two pipistrelle sp. patrolled the hedgerows. The latter attracted thrushes in to roost, Song Thrush, Blackbird, 33 Fieldfare and four+ Redwing being seen to drop in for the night, perhaps three Tawny Owl being heard to prepare for the latter. A Brimstone graced Two Gate Meadow gardens, others being seen over the adjacent Overton Hill. Bullfinch were again reported from Silk Mill Lane hedgerows, one of their favoured sites locally. Up to five Red Kite, a Siskin and a Grey Wagtail were noted on the wing over the village. A pair of Mallard appeared to have set up residence on the school pond, a Woodpigeon nest being found at Court Farm House.
Brimstone Pigeon's nest
Left: Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni. The first butterfly to be seen by most each year - this the 'butter-coloured' male
Right: Woodpigeon, Columba palumbus. The familiar 'nest' of this widespread species
fields off Court Drove held several partridge and Lapwing whilst overhead four Red Kite were apparent. A vocal Kestrel passed over Lordsfield Gardens later in the morning, a Red kite being nearby over Silk Mill Lane, another being seen over Woodlands. A Buzzard was again sat atop the eastern Parish boundary fencing. A Grey Wagtail was heard on the wing over /near Town Meadow mid-afternoon. The Indian Peafowl continued to break any hint of silence about the village!
a Sparrowhawk was hunting through gardens at the top of Court Drove, three Fieldfare and two Redwing also on the move nearby, after leaving Lordsfield Gardens hedgerows / trees. A Kestrel was in trees by the Ashe crossroads. Yellowhammer, Skylark, Song Thrush and Chaffinch were all seen about the dog field / football field on Overton Hill. A Grey Wagtail was by The Test by The White Hart, presumably one of the birds noted regularly on / about the adjacent Town Mill. Further Brimstone were seen in Two Gate Meadow gardens, Harveys Field, Bridge Street, Woodlands, Southington and Turrill Hill, Small Tortoiseshell in Glebe Meadow and Woodlands, Peacock also in the latter area. Coltsfoot and Germander Speedwell were seen in flower. Two Red Kite were seen over the Kingsclere Road allotments, a further pair of birds, Long-tailed Tit, being seen at Polhampton. As they day progressed further kite were seen moving over Station Road, two, Court Farm House, Poyntz Road, Town Meadow, Overton Hill and Dellands. Indian Peafowl were again heard towards the southern part of the village, their vocalisations being heard as far afield as Winchester Street and Woodlands. A Meadow Pipit over the traffic lights mid-morning was not seen, the low clouding / misting ensuring that little was to be seen above rooftop height. A Buzzard was noted over Court Farm House later, a pair of Red-legged Partridge on the roadside wall by Southington Lodge.
Skylark and Pheasant broke the silence on the western side of the village on the rain stopping, Red Kite also moving on to the wing during the clearer periods of weather.
another day when male Brimstone were much in evidence about the village, counts of four in the more rural parts of Sapley Lane and three at Pilgrim's Farm an indication of how many were on the wing. The first 'woolly bear' of the year was seen, crossing a Station Road driveway. A Siskin was heard as it moved over the village, this perhaps the last of this winter visitor for many months to come. Red Kite were seen over Station Hill, two, Berrydown Court, the lagoons, Foxdown and from Woodlands. A Meadow Pipit moved high over Foxdown. A Blackcap at Station Road was the first to be heard in song this year; this perhaps a newly-arrived migrant; another songster then being located in Foxdown. Chiffchaff were singing at the lagoons and about Station Road gardens. A Small Tortoiseshell was visiting Hill Meadow gardens. Buzzard were over the fields east of Station Hill, two, Station Road and Southley Farm.
Stock Dove a pair of Stock Dove was in the Copse Road copse; an unusual record for the more urban areas of the Parish. A Kestrel was hunting near the Polhampton Lagoons. Red Kite were seen over Southley Farm, two, Berrydown, The Green and the lagoons, also two; the latter site also holding a singing Chiffchaff. Nearby a further Chiffchaff was singing at Flashetts and a Grey Wagtail was heard off Station Hill, perhaps moving to or from the mill.
Right: Stock Dove, Columba oenas. Note the lack of white on the neck and wings, the black markings on the wing and the iridescent markings on the side of the neck - all indicators as to why this isn't the much more familiar Woodpigeon
male Brimstone were on the wing in many places about the village, sometimes to be seen in small 'gatherings' about the more colourful / bloom-filled gardens; a single moth, an Emmelina monodactyla, was reported, in Poyntz Road. A Blackcap was in song in Red Lion Lane, Chiffchaff within the school grounds and at The Old Rectory. The Ivy on a telegraph post in Red Lion Lane provided a pair of Woodpigeon with a nesting site. A Red Kite moved over Lordsfield Gardens, soon to be joined by another with further birds seen over Poyntz Road and Woodlands. A Grey Wagtail was by The Test on the northern side of Town Meadow. One of the Hide Hill Plantation Buzzard was on the wing mid-afternoon.
Dotted Border two Roe Deer were in the field holding The Source of The Test mid-morning. Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Little Grebe were singing at the lagoons, a Grey Wagtail moving off east from there. A further Chiffchaff was in song off Station Hill, a Blackcap heard nearby in the, appropriately, copse off Copse Road. Two Red Kite were seen to linger over Foxdown early afternoon, another and a Buzzard being over Pilgrim's Farm mid-afternoon, a further bird moving south over Berrydown. The lights of the O.B.S. A.G.M. drew a Dotted Border to the main entrance of the Community Centre.
Right: Dotted Border, Agriopis marginaria - Picture: Mike Wall www.hantsmoths.org.uk
Red Kite were seen over fields north of the village and Station Road, up to three then moving over Woodlands with a Buzzard over fields between The Harrow Way and Hilltop Road. A further air frost with the temperate dropping to 0°C pre-dawn!
Long-tailed Tit the Great Spotted Woodpecker returned to Glebe Meadow gardens. Also vocal were the Skylark seen over fields by The Harrow Way, singing Chiffchaff at the lagoons and singing Blackcap at Lambs Close and Station Road. A Kestrel drifted across Station Road towards the lagoons. Red Kite were over Hill Meadow and Lower Whitehill, a Buzzard over Foxdown. A pair of Long-tailed Tit had an active nest in a Foxdown garden, further Woodpigeon nest being found at Station Road and Quidhampton.
Right: Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus. One of the most remarkable of bird nests likely to be encountered locally
a Long-tailed Tit was gathering nesting material in a garden where a pair of Chaffinch were seen to be foraging.
Red Kite were seen over Sprents Lane, Court Farm House and Court Drove / the school. A Grey Heron moved low west over Silk Mill Lane later in the morning. A Giant House Spider venturing inside one residence was the first to be reported this year.
a Salticus scenicus was hunting at Court Barn. Mid-morning had a Buzzard over the village, west of The Orchard where a male Kestrel moved west. Another Buzzard was over Winchester Street early afternoon, a further bird over Hide Hill Plantation a little later. A Red Kite was seen over The Green, another over Lordsfield Gardens. Chiffchaff were in song off London Street and at the school.
a Chiffchaff was in song at Flashetts with both Song Thrush and Bullfinch being seen nearby, off Station Road.
Right: Chiffchaff, Phylloscpus collybita. "The usual wintering Chiffchaff could be found at Overton; this one was flitting about close the water during my monthly WeBS count"
Nuthatch a further singing and migrant Chiffchaff was reported, this at the school early morning. To the north of here several Song Thrush were about Court Drove, to the south a Nuthatch at The Lynch. Red Kite were seen over Red Lion Lane, the High Street, Glebe Meadow and Court Drove, perhaps four+ at the latter site. Three Buzzard were over Hide Hill Plantation mid-morning, six on a Court Drove field mid-afternoon.
Right: Nuthatch, Sitta europaea. One of the less frequently seen of the Parish residents
a Chiffchaff was in song at Two Gate Meadow. Nearby a Bullfinch was also heard, this at the southern end of Straight Lane. Also vocal, as usual, was one of the cock Indian Peafowl, towards the southern side of the village. A Little Grebe and small numbers of Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Canada Geese were seen at The Source of The Test, as were a singing Chiffchaff and two Red Kite. Late afternoon saw a Red Kite over the Overton Hill playing fields, where a male Kestrel moved north, later still a Red Kite was over the Overton Hill play area.
the eastern side of the Parish proved productive, Skylark on the wing either side of Straight Lane where Yellowhammer kept to the hedgerows. A Kingfisher flew along the ever-increasing Test between Polhampton and Ashe, two Red Kite again being seen over the field about The Source of The Test. Nearby four Roe Deer were close to the Ashe Park polo field.
Large Bee-fly a Raven low over farmland adjacent to Dellands Track was unexpected, though this species is presumably now breeding locally on an annual basis. Nearby a Chiffchaff was in song whilst another migrant, a Meadow Pipit, was seen moving northwards. A Comma was seen on the wing over the Dog Field off Dellands Lane, a Peacock over flowers at Straight Lane, another in Woodlands, male Brimstone however being, again, seen in several locations / gardens. Greater Stitchwort were now in flower in hedgerows south of the village, Ground Ivy, White Dead-nettle, Germander Speedwell and banks of Lesser Celandine also brightening these areas. Three Red Kite were circling over the village mid-afternoon, other birds being seen, later still, over Hide Hill Plantation, Turrill Hill and Woodlands. A Forest Shield Bug was also seen in Dellands Lane whilst the Large Bee-fly was seen nectaring in several areas of garden and less urban blooms. A Buzzard was in the company of the aforementioned kite over Hide Hill Plantation mid-afternoon.
Right: Large Bee-fly, Bombylius major. Sun-warmed areas beneath hedgerows and sheltered corners of gardens are good places to look for this bizarre-looking 'fly'
a Little Egret, Buzzard, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone were all see about The Source of The Test and adjacent fields and hedgerows. Two Peacock butterfly were joined by a male Brimstone in a Glebe Meadow back garden; hopefully a further sign of the impending 'spring'. A Meadow Pipit moved north over the village early afternoon. A Coal Tit visited a Two Gate Meadow garden.
Scarlet Tiger a larval Scarlet Tiger Moth was found feeding on pulmonaria in a Woodlands garden. The same garden also held Large Bee-fly and Hairy-footed Flower-bee. The Coal Tit reappeared in a Two Gate Meadow garden. A Red Kite was over the centre of the village mid-afternoon, a Buzzard in woodland near Micheldever Spoil Heaps early evening.
Right: Scarlet Tiger, Callimorpha dominula - Picture: Mike Wall www.hantsmoths.org.uk
Chiffchaff were in song behind the vets., at Riverside Close and in the riverside vegetation off Glebe Meadow / Town Meadow. A further northbound migrant, a Meadow Pipit, was heard over Lordsfield Gardens. The Test and its contents, off Silk Mill Lane, attracted the attentions of a Grey Heron. A heron, possibly the same, was seen moving west over the High Street mid-morning. A female Blackbird was gathering nest material in Winchester Street, where a further Woodpigeon nest was found. A Red Kite was seen over Court drove fields.
a singing Chiffchaff made its presence obvious in Two Gate Meadow.
18-spot Ladybird an 18-spot Ladybird was the latest over-winterer to appear in village gardens. A Chiffchaff was again in song by The White Hart, a Grey Wagtail nearby at Town Mill. A further Chiffchaff, again in song, remained off Bridge Street / Glebe Meadow. Red Kite were seen over St. Mary's Church and Court Drove. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was again drumming in the copse at Court Farm House.
Right: 18-spot Ladybird, Myrrha octodecimguttata. One of the smaller of the British ladybirds - identification being confirmed by the rounded 'M' on the pronotum

Contributors: Mike Duffy, Brian Elkins, Margaret Elkins, Deb Heath, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, & Dave Levy.

April offers ?..

The month when migration of birds becomes ever more evident locally with the likes of Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler joined by more welcome visitors such as Cuckoo, Swallow and perhaps even Nightingale. Every day during the month will see new birds arriving or moving through the Parish, early morning wanderers sure to come across these before the more sedate parishioners stir.

The more clement weather should allow both butterflie and moths out on the wing more regualrly, including blues, browns, whites and the vanessids, Peacock, Red Admiral, Comma and Small Tortoiseshell, brightening the verges, gardens and parks about the Parish. The stunning male Orange-tip will highlight the flowering of Hedge Garlic, its favoured larval feeding plant. Migrant Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow may join the resident species.

Many other invertebrate will becomer ever more evident with bees, bumble-bees, hoverflies aongst these; garden pulmonaria sure to draw in Hairy-footed Flower-bee. Dragon and damselfy will appear about the wetter areas, Large Red perhaps the first to be seen of the latter.

The larger occupants of the Parish will also become more readiuly availabel, Brown Hare especially so as they 'box' in more rural fields. Fox, Badger and the local deer will also be be seen more frequenlty, again especailly to those up and out early or trvaeeling about the Parish later in the day, bats sure to be seen over a great many of the village gardens earlier in the evening as they days lengthen.

So, April, a time of burgening life, the commnencing of spring proper and the time to really get out and make the most of the Parish, even if only in your garden!

Threll be plenty to report, so do please keep us informed as the month progresses.


Early bird breakfast PS don't forget the Birds & Breakfast event on Sunday 23rd!!!

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