Local sightings

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April 2013

of the bigger birds being reported Little Egret, Red Kite and Grey Heron were the most obvious, though not to everybody!
big was not necessarily big in the popularity stakes, especially when it came to some of the local spiders!
a Sparrowhawk made the most of a visiting Collared Dove in a Winchester Street garden!
a flock of c.100 Lapwing was seen to the north of the village several times during this week.
Red Kite, Buzzard, Brown Hare and Roe Deer were all active on or over fields between Frost Hill and The Harroway mid-afternoon. Blue Tit continued to visit nest boxes in at least one garden while another regular garden visitor, perhaps however not quite as appreciated, was a large Brown Rat!
a Raven moved low east over the filtration pools mid-afternoon where a Chiffchaff was in song
at least eight Yellowhammer continued to visit for food in a Winchester Street garden.
a Red Kite was seen to drop down to scoop carrion from the road at Frost Hill. Sun!
a pair of Nuthatch continued to visit Lordsfield Gardens feeders.
the puddling caused by yet more 'April showers' was not anywhere near as surprising as the Sparrowhawk seen stood in one at Frost Hill.
Swallow were seen over farmland at Frost Hill and between The Harroway and Hilltop Road. Brimstone were again on the wing as the temperature moved up to the mid-teens. A Chiffchaff was singing in Silk Mill Lane.
a Swallow was again seen over the village, just briefly. One of the drake Mallard came to an untimely end on Bridge Street — will they ever place signs here to alert road users to the potential victims? A Chiffchaff was in song off Dellands Track.
five+ Swallow and a Red Kite were over the village mid-afternoon, the former moving north, the latter west. A pair of Blackcap visiting Lordsfield Gardens gardens became just a widower, the female being taken by a Sparrowhawk
three female Hairy-footed Flower Bee were nectaring on Lungwort in a Greyhound Lane garden while good numbers of bees were to be seen about pussy willow. A Cormorant headed high south-west over the village early afternoon. The Peacock remained in good voice!
heavy rain and thunder from early afternoon, and then hail a little later! A count of three Dunnock in one garden was unusual — though if you read up on their sex life it's perhaps not so unexpected! A Jay was seen in Dellands Track where a Chiffchaff was in song. Yellowhammer were in song nearby, in the hedgerows about the 'dog field'.
Elder were seen to be in bud, this also being picked up on, literally, by the local Woodpigeon. Ground Ivy was at last in flower.
Tawny Mining Beea 24-spot Ladybird, Peacock, the butterfly, and Brimstone were about one garden, the former the first to be seen by the finders. Peacock and Brimstone were also seen in a Glebe Meadow garden on a day when the sun was almost continuous — spring at last, perhaps?
the Dawn Chorus walk about the village saw 18 attending and c.30 species of bird being recorded, including Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Grey and Pied Wagtail; this all before the important part of the 'event', breakfast! Peacock was again seen in a Greyhound Lane garden, this time however the visitor being one of the local, vocal and sadly unpaired lotharios. Red Kite were again obvious over the village.
a pair of Mallard and their ten duckling were on The Test off Kingsclere Road.
Orange-tip was the latest butterfly to be added for the year. Tawny Mining Bee were visiting at least one garden. A further female Blackcap was at feeders in Lordsfield Gardens, as was a male; both perhaps now migrants rather than over-wintering birds. Further duckling were seen off Kingsclere Road, the adult in attendance this time however being one of the Aylesbury.
Right: Tawny Mining Bee, Andrena fulva. - Picture: Mike Duffy
a Lapwing was harassing a Buzzard over its territory late afternoon, a Red-legged Partridge nearby lingering where its mate had become the latest Parish road casualty. A Red Kite over Foxdown was not appreciated by the residents of the local rookery, being 'encouraged' on its way by them.
two Swift were seen over the Greyhound Lane / Red Lion Lane crossroads area at midday, the first of the year. The warmest day of the year yet, the temperatures perhaps even topping 20°C.
two Red Kite and a Buzzard were lingering about the Hill Meadow area early evening. Both Chaffinch and House Sparrow were seen in the allotments off Kingsclere Road — have you seen anything there since the redevelopment of this site? A Seven-spot Ladybird at Foxdown was one of very few as yet found this year. A Red Kite was over Sapley Lane during the afternoon.
frost and rain today, just for a change!
a Red Kite reappeared over the northern side of the village, only to be yet again mobbed by the Rooks from the Copse Road rookery. A Moorhen was on The Test by the tennis courts. Further frost, though this not, as yet, destroying the grandiflora-type Magnolia blossoms.
two Lapwing were harassing a Red Kite north of the village late afternoon.

Contributors: Jill Aburrow, Julian Aburrow, David Backers, Helen Backers, Mike Duffy, Brian Elkins, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Ken MacKenzie & Tamsin Williams.

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