Local sightings

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April 2015

a light frost started the month, it however turning grey with some light rain falling later in the day. Birds of note within the Parish included at least one Little Egret remaining faithful to The Source of The Test and Red Kite being seen over Overton Hill, Berrydown and The Great North Field / Foxdown areas.
a Chiffchaff was in song off The Harroway; the observer's first this year. Both Pheasant and Canada Geese were seen on Town Meadow, at least one of the Blue Peafowl being 'in song' mid-evening to the south of here. Three Mallard were in the garden of Wyvern Cottage, having braved the crossing of the B3400.
Skylark, Alauda arvenis both Red Kite and Buzzard were over the woodland at Ashe crossroads. A Chiffchaff was in song by The Dog Field / the Dellands Track, two Blue Peafowl also 'singing', in the southern part for the village. A Yellowhammer was heard moving over the village, away from the more usual farmland haunts of this species.
up to three Little Egret were at The Source of The Test early afternoon. A Red Kite was over the football pitches on Overton Hill late morning.
both Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell were seen visiting gardens in Woodlands, a Brimstone in Sapley Lane. A Lapwing was on the declining floods off Burley Lane, a Grey Heron being seen to fly west over the nearby Ashe Hill. Further movement of birds through the Parish included a Red Kite south-east and three Meadow Pipit north, all seen over Woodlands. A further singing Chiffchaff was found, in the Bridge Street area. A Great Spotted Woodpecker continued to visit gardens off Sapley Lane.
a further light frosting today, fog also an issue early in the day. A Stone-curlew was seen to have returned to a local site north of the village.
Stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemust Stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemust
Stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus - One of the rarest of British birds that breeds within the Parish, less than 200 pairs being found nationally
Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines and yet more frost! A Little Egret was again at The Source of The Test. A Chiffchaff was still in song by the Dellands Track, another in the school grounds and another at Flashetts. The Quiet Garden at St. Mary's Church attracted in foraging bumble-bees.
a Brimstone butterfly visited Glebe Meadow gardens.
an Orange-tip visited a Lordsfield Gardens garden.
Right: Orange-tip, Anthocharis cardamines - One of the earliest of the local butterfly to be on the wing and one of the gaudiest, if seen well
the first Swallow of the year was seen today!!! Two Grey Heron were seen over the Sapley Lane Playing Field. A Buzzard was over woodland north of Frost Hill early morning. Red Kite were seen over Frost Hill and the fields north of Hill Meadow late afternoon. A Blackbird was seen collecting nest material, moss, from a Bridge Street lawn, Moorhen, Magpie and Dunnock, three, also being seen there.
a Kestrel in a skeletal Glebe Meadow tree continued the run of birds seen in and about the village; hopefully this showing an increase in local numbers rather than just improved observer coverage. A Peacock, butterfly that is, was an unexpected visitor to one house, being found in their garden waste recycling bag! The Large Bee-fly Bombylius major was seen visiting gardens, as were Small White.
Large Bee-fly, Bombylius major Large Bee-fly, Bombylius major
Large Bee-fly, Bombylius major
A bee mimic - the eggs are flicked towards the underground entrance of solitary bees / wasps nests by the female, on hatching the larvae move in to the nests and feed on the larval bees / wasps!
early afternoon saw a Swallow over Vinn's Lane; the second of the year locally? Further migrants came in the form of a Willow Warbler singing in Woodlands and a Blackcap, also singing, by the Doctor's Surgery. A Peacock, butterfly, visited flowering Blackthorn in Glebe Meadow.Wood Anemone were strongly in flower in woodland along the Waltham Road.
the Willow Warbler was still in song about Woodlands / Oak Close. Two Little Egret were in The Test at Quidhampton, a pair of Tufted Duck nearby on the disused cressbeds. A Song Thrush visiting a Bridge Street lawn was only an occasional occurrence.
Hairy-footed Flower-bee continued to make the most of the currently striking 'trumpets' of Lungwort.
a Stone-curlew was heard on farmland south of the village. A duck Mallard was with her brood of ten duckling on The Test off Town Meadow.
a / the Stone-curlew was possibly seen on farmland west of the village; hopefully a new breeding site for this unusual 'wader' Cuckoo on perch
both Greylag and Canada Geese were on the move over the village during another bright and sunny but breezy morning, a Red Kite being seen lingering later in the morning, a Swallow moving north early afternoon with a Red Kite then drifting north mid-afternoon. Peacock and Brimstone were again on the wing over and about gardens. A Cuckoo, the first of the year locally, was heard in song about Glebe Meadow / Town Meadow / Silk Mill Lane. Small Tortoiseshell were visiting Blackthorn about the hedgerows to the south of the village. A rather worn Peacock, butterfly, was seen sunning itself in a Woodlands garden.
Right: Cuckoo, Cuculus canorus
a Sparrowhawk attracted the attention of three Swallow as it circled over the Vinn's Lane / Southington Lane area. A further raptor, a Kestrel, was atop a telegraph pole at Turrill Hill mid-morning. A further Swallow, Red Kite, three Greylag, two Canada Geese and male Brimstone were seen over one garden. A pair of Lapwing was in fields between Quidhampton and Ashe, two Red Kite being overhead there. Two Blackcap were competing in song at Silk Mill Lane. A Red Kite drifted low over the High Street early evening.
a male Orange-tip brightened the The Harrow Way hedgerows. Mid-morning saw three Red Kite moving low over Lordsfield Gardens, another being over there mid-afternoon. A Chiffchaff was still in song by Town Meadow / Silk Mill Lane.Hazel / Common Dormouse, Muscardinus avellanarius
a hibernating Dormouse was an unexpected, but I'm sure welcome, find whilst gardening. A whitethroat was in song near the barn west of Jackson's Copse. At least one Swallow was still about the stables off Vinn's Lane, the Chiffchaff still singing nearby. A Blackcap was singing in the school grounds.
Right: Hazel / Common Dormouse, Muscardinus avellanarius - Picture: Jeff Smith. "I inadvertently disturbed the rodent whose picture is attached, while sweeping up leaves in my garden (which backs onto the Great North Field.) It was wrapped in a small ball like nest under leaves, unfortunately I only stopped moving the leaves when I saw the creature, I replaced the leaves around it as best I could. I intend leaving it undisturbed any further, from its near-absence of movement it appeared to be hibernating".
a Sparrowhawk flew to and settled on the chimney stack of The Old Rectory, Bridge Street. At least one Swallow was lingering about the Court Farm House area. Blackcap and Chiffchaff continued to sing on / off Silk Mill Lane as did one of the latter by the Dellands Track. A Common Plume was found on a garden fence in Woodlands.
Right: Common Plume, Emmelina monodactyla - Picture: Mike Wall www.hantsmoths.org.uk
Common Plume, Emmelina monodactylaa
a Cuckoo was heard at Polhampton.
two Red Kite lingered over the village early afternoon.
a Cuckoo was vocal about the Quidhampton / Polhampton area; perhaps a different bird to that previously heard towards the western end of the village.
two Song Thrush feeding on a lawn at Bridge Street was "Very rare!"
the Cuckoo was again in song about Quidhampton / Polhampton, another, presumably, being in song about Glebe Meadow; perhaps the first time that two distinct males have been confirmed in / about the village on one day in recent years. The Bluebell in Jackson's Copse were now beginning to carpet the woodland floor. A Red Kite was over the Turrill Hill valley early afternoon, two Buzzard being seen to drift over Sapley Lane a little later. Blackcap and Chiffchaff were still in song about the hedgerows south of the village where Greater Stitchwort, Red Campion and Herb Robert also added colour, Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Small White being seen on the wing there.

Contributors: James Andrews, Brian Chivers, Susan Chivers, Brian Elkins, Margaret Elkins, Deborah Heath, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Adrian Lewis, Jeff Smith, Valda Stevens, Mike. Wall, David Walker & Tamsin Williams.

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