Local sightings

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April 2009

a Red Kite was low over Station Road late morning, two Buzzard being in the Whitehill area and a Kestrel at Southley Farm. A moribund female Slow Worm was in a Station Road garden, presumably having suffered at the paws etc. of a local moggy. Harlequin Ladybird were at Polhampton House and 24 Copse Road. A Skylark sang high over Woodlands gardens. Brimstone butterflies became obvious in more clement weather. Blackthorn was heavily in flower and Hawthorn was now in leaf.
a Little Egret was on Ashe floods early evening, but not later. A Brown Hare was again at Southington. A male Orange-tip at Keepers Cottage, Lower Whitehill was the first noted this year while Peacock and Brimstone visited Southington gardens. The plume moth Emmelina monodactyla was found on a Lambs Close window. Yellow Corydalis, albeit a pallid form, was in flower at Quidhampton Farmhouse.
Chilean Pine a Red Kite moved over Kerchers Field and a Skylark sang once again over Woodlands. A Fox was seen south of Dellands, as was a singing Song Thrush. Only the second known of Chilean Pine in the Parish was found at Southley Farm, the other being in Woodlands. A Black-headed Gull over the village late morning was an unexpected visitor.
Right: Chilean Pine (Monkey Puzzle), Auracaria auracana
a Little Egret and Mute Swan were at The Source of The Test. A Brown Hare was at Southley Farm. A Siskin moved low over Woodlands gardens, the first recorded there this year. A Red-legged Partridge was in North Field gardens. A Meadow Pipit moved over Foxdown, one of very few noted this spring, being followed by another over Woodlands late afternoon. An immature Blackbird visited Woodlands gardens. Honesty was flowering in Hilltop Road.
two Little Egret were on Ashe floods while, nearby, six Canada Geese and a pair of Gadwall were at The Source of The Test. Three Brown Hare were between Dellands and Lower White Hill.
a newly arrived migrant was the first Willow Warbler of the year, singing at the filtration pools. A Harlequin Ladybird was on Hilltop House, North Field. A Kestrel was over Great North Field, a Buzzard over Jackson's Copse.
Buzzard, perched a female Sparrowhawk visited Woodlands gardens.
a Swallow moved over Woodlands where a Skylark again sang.
Right: Buzzard, Buteo buteo (Photo: Doug Kelson)
c.200 Golden Plover were mobile north of the village late in the day while Swallows were seen south to the south. The plume Emmelina monodactyla was new for the year in mothing circles.
the previous days Golden Plover flock remained to at least mid-morning. Greater Celandine were flowering in gardens, the local 'wild' ones still to show themselves.
a Meadow Pipit moved over, the first of these as a returning northward bound migrant. Both Honey Bee and Pebble Prominent were new for the new.
the first House Martin of the year appeared during the evening.
a Diamond-back Moth was a migrant carried in by southerly winds from the continent whereas Fieldfare south of the village were migrants heading north under their own impetus. Two Buzzard, two Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Swallow were seen to move over the village during the afternoon / evening.
a House Martin lingered over Winchester Street. A Buzzard was at Ashe early evening, again using the fencing to survey the rapidly disappearing waters. A Chocolate-tip was the first of this moth species to appear this year.
two Red Kite were over the village late afternoon, one possibly with a Slow Worm. Two Swallow were at Court Farm House. Lunar Marbled Brown was the latest moth to appear.
a duck Mallard was accompanied by her 12 young on the 9th tee at Testbourne Golf Course. Three Buzzard were seen, also to the south of the village. A Green Woodpecker was on lawns in Southington. A Bright-line Brown-eye was the first of this moth species to be attracted to light this year.
three Grey Heron moved low over Southington while five Lesser Black-backed Gull moved north-east mid-morning. A Jay was at Polhampton. The best mothing night of the year to date with Lunar Marbled Brown, Bright-line Brown-eye and Brimstone being most notable.
a Plain Golden Y larva was found by 'sweeping' at Micheldever Spoil Heaps. Shuttle-shaped Dart was the latest addition to the mothing year.
Frosted Green moth Leopardbane was now in flower by the B3400 on the western side of Southington, is usual and only site in the parish.
a Slender Groundhopper was at Whitehill House. Frosted Green was new for the year, another moth!
Right: Frosted Green, Polyploca ridens - (Photo: Mike Wall, http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/newhome.htm )
Skylark and Yellowhammer were at Testbourne Golf Course, a Linnet at Copse Road. Mosquitoes were becoming ever more evident on Station Road houses in the morning.
House Martin were at Lampole House and Copse Road. Three+ Orange-tip along a hedgerow at Polhampton was the first 'group' recorded this year. Bullhead continued to show well, for those wading in The Test. Several Herb Robert in Red Lion Lane held white flowers, unlike those blooming elsewhere about the village.
a Slow Worm remained resident in Waltham Court, the first lively one reported about the village recently. Cabbage Moth was another moth added for the year. A Blackcap was newly arrived at Town Meadow.
a Hornet was briefly on fencing at Sapley Lane Playing Field. House Martins appeared to be prospecting for future nest sites.
a Song Thrush singing in Station Road included fragments of both Reed Warbler and Corn Bunting song in its repertoire. A Common Wasp joined moths at a light in Woodlands, a White-shouldered House Moth appearing in a bathroom. A Rhinoceros appeared at The Source of The Test, surely new for the Parish!
a Red Kite passed over Burley Wood late afternoon and two Kestrel were about Lower Whitehill. The now annual Dawn Chorus Walk had 14 attendees recording 30 species of bird before breakfasting in the Community Centre. A Cuckoo singing at Quidhampton and singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff at Flashetts were the only migrants noted on a frosted morning. A black Rabbit was seen in the filtration pools 'enclosure'. A Grey Heron was again on the almost non-existent floods at Ashe. The Rhino. remained at Lower Ashe.
Swift in flight the first Swift of the year moved over the village centre late morning, accompanied by many wet fronts.
Right: Swift, Apus apus - Something to look forward to (!) in the evenings over the coming months
a Buzzard was harassed by crows as it moved high over Waltham Road. A Kestrel circled high over fields east of Sapley Farmhouse, another, male, being seen at Quidhampton. Cow Parsley was noted in flower.
a Brown Hare reappeared in fields at Southington. Nests with immature Starlings in were now obvious, vocally at least, in several parts of the village. Swallow were now easily found on the northern side of the village, though House Martins were still generally not about their previous nesting areas.
a record count of Grey Heron was noted in the evening, three being on the 'floods' at Ashe and a further two moving east over Town Meadow a little later.

Contributors: Dave Atha, Ed Beckmann, Jane Beckmann, Alison Cross, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Joy MacGregor & Janet Wigney.

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