Local sightingsReturn to the list of reports
- several Red Kite were over the village mid-afternoon. The Hairy-footed Flower Bees continued to forage among the pulmonaria. A Stock Dove might just have entered the eastern side of the Parish, moving off in that direction from a Woodpigeon flock by the flood north of Ashe Park.
- both Canada Geese and Buzzard were moving over the village mid-morning, the latter also seen during the evening, though a male Swallow mid-evening was somewhat more notable; the first of the year locally perhaps? The warmest day of the month.
- two Grey Heron moved east over Town Meadow mid-morning, a Mute Swan still making the most of the flooded grasses there. At least one of the Peacock remained vocal in to the dusk, one of its butterfly 'relatives' being rescued from a conservatory earlier in the day. Further Saharan dust fell during the day.
- spring was in the air, for some locals at least!
Right: Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos — Flashetts, Doug. Kelson. "I cycled out to Overton and part of my route was along the river-side track. That was where I witnessed the gang-bang. There had been 6 drakes jostling and fighting for pole-position on the duck and I was genuinely afraid they were going to drown her; so much so, that I was tempted to intervene; make noise; chuck a brick to scare the sex-crazed rapists off her. Somehow, though, she made it to the shore where, eventually, one drake fought his way to a successful consummation. The others gave up, then, and the duck flew off with the winning drake."
- a duller day with some drizzle, the first rain for some days now and this time not filled with Saharan dust. Further nesting behaviour was noted in both Blackbird and Chaffinch, the former including a female foraging for nest material.
- three pairs of Tufted Duck on The Test off Silk Mill Lane had been present for several days, joining the long-staying Gadwall.
- three Buzzard were at Berrydown late afternoon.
- a Stoat was seen running along Nutley Bottom Lane. A Sparrowhawk was seen lingering over the village.
Right: Stoat, Mustela erminea
- an Orange-tip in a Woodlands garden was the first of the year there. Three Swallow and a Buzzard were seen moving low over the village late morning.
- the bee-fly Bombylius major made its first appearance of the year locally. Two Red Kite were also on the wing over the village.
- a light frost started the day, this clearing to allow both Orange-tip and Holly Blue on the wing at Turrills Hill.
Right: Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines. Here on Lady's Smock, or Cuckoo Flower if you prefer, which has the scientific name Cardamine pratensis!
- Swallow, Red Kite and Buzzard were seen moving over / through the village.
- a further light frost didn't stop the addition of Blue Peafowl to the dawn chorus! The lowest temperature of the month was recorded about dawn 0°C.
- five+ House Martin and 45+ Swallow were feeding over the floods off Burley Lane, a Blackcap singing in nearby hedgerows where Hedge Garlic was ever more obvious.
- a Swallow moved through late morning when five Buzzard were together high over the village, further records of both being added late afternoon. The highest temperature of the month was recorded late afternoon, 21.6°C.
- a Buzzard was once again seen over woodland at Ashe on several occasions. Both Red Kite and Lesser Black-backed Gull moved over the village during the early evening.
- a female Bullfinch was about hedgerows near the 'Cowslip field'. A Buzzard was hunting over fields off Station Approach, being seen to drop to one and presumably prey.
- Hairy-footed Flower-bees continued to visit garden pulmonaria.
- early morning saw half-a-dozen Yellowhammer on Parish roads, presumably gathering either foodstuff or grit to help in their digestion. Both the wettest, with almost 2cm falling, and coldest day of the month.
- a Mute Swan was again feeding on Town Meadow, the flooding yet to have relinquished its hold there.
- a Woodcock was on the wing near David's Wood pre-dawn.
Right: Woodcock, Scolopax rusticola. Now most likely to be seen as they 'rode' — this their crepuscular display flight
- some heavy showers dampened the day somewhat.
- at least one of the Blue Peafowl continued to ensure that all ewer aware of his presence!
- Hairy-footed Flower Bee were visiting the trumpets of Lungwort. Continuing the spring feel magnolia that had survived the recent rain and hail were now flowering, in fact glowing, in both the sun and gardens. Marsh Marigold were in flower on the pools off Southington Lane, where a Litle Grebe was intent on hiding from observers. Towards dusk both Peacock and Pheasant were vocal about the village edges. After night fall 'the' frog was out again in the same front garden.
Contributors: Jill Aburrow, Julian Aburrow, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, & Doug. Kelson.