Local sightings

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May 2009

Poplar Hawk-moth a Slow Worm was in a Waltham Court garden. A House Martin was over Bridge Street / the High Street. Both Cockchafer and Orange-tip were seen at Little Meadow.
a Roe Deer was seen at Berrydown, another at Frost Hill. A Buzzard was high over the Family Fun Day at Little Meadow, a Cockchafer being found on dog roses there, with another at Ashe. The first hawk-moth of the year, a Poplar, was found during the ninth week of the Garden Moth Scheme.
Right: Poplar Hawk-moth, Laothoe populi
a Cuckoo was again calling, being heard from Southington.
two Little Egret were at Southington Mill early evening, an unexpected sighting considering the lack of records recently. A calling Cuckoo flew over Woodlands early morning. A White Ermine was the first to be attracted to light this year. Two Swift passed north over the village early evening. Jackdaws continued to strip hanging baskets of their lining for nest material. A Robin sang late into the evening, under the artificial lighting at the station. Bluebell were in flower, in some profusion, by Pilgrim's Farm and north of Berrydown.
five Swift were over Station Road / Lambs Close late morning, Swallow and House Martin also becoming ever more evident. The larval find from 18th April hatched today, a Plain Golden Y.
the / a Cuckoo was again calling in Southington. A Buff-tip was the latest addition to mothing locally this year. At least ten Brown Trout were in The Test off Bridge Street.
Red-legged partridge both Pale Tussock and Iron Prominent were the first of the year to be attracted to the gentle glow of an actinic tube.
Red-legged Partridge continued to be present on farmland south of the village.
Right: Red-legged Partridge, Alectoris rufa (Photo: Richard Ford, Digitalwildlife.co.uk)
an Orange-tip was in a Station Hill garden where bats were present later in the day.
a Holly Blue was in a Station Hill garden, 'replacing the Orange-tip of the previous day.
two Red Kite were at Frost Hill with another at Northington Farm.
two Red Kite were again at Frost Hill with another at Willesley Warren. Both Flame Shoulder and Buff Ermine appeared at moth lights for the first time this year.
a Cuckoo was singing in the Quidhampton / Polhampton area.
mothing in Station Road saw 20 new species recorded for the year, these including Maidens Blush, Chinese Character, Orange Footman and Cyclamen Tortrix.
a male Kestrel moved west over the Court Farm area mid-morning. An Ingrailed Clay was the latest moth species to be attracted to light overnight in Woodlands.
Slow worm a brood of Blue Tits hatched in a nestbox in Kerchers Field.
a Slow Worm was seen on the Court Drove track.
Right: Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis (Photo: Jay Hutchins)
Starling young were reported in good numbers about the village.
a Red Kite was seen heading west over Bridge Street while a Cuckoo was again singing in the Quidhampton / Polhampton area; the latter now by far the rarer local bird.
a very hot day, being particularly noteworthy as it was a Bank Holiday Weekend!
a slightly unusual record today &madash; Otter anal jelly being found at Polhampton, along with their spraint and Water Vole droppings! Many northward bound butterflies on this, 2nd, very hot day proved to be Painted Ladies, a huge invasion taking place throughout southern Britain; 20+ being seen in the Lower Whitehill area and hundreds at Station Hill; "Several per minute" moving through the latter. Lapwing were reported still just south of the village.
a Cormorant moved rapidly west mid-evening. The continued movement of Painted Ladies saw ten through a Woodlands garden in 20 minutes early afternoon. If this rate was repeated throughout the breadth of the village it would have seen 9000 passing through every hour!!!
Zebra spider a Stock Dove was with Woodpigeon at Longbelt Farm. Eight Gadwall graced Southington Lane pools.
Painted Ladies continued to be recorded in exceptional numbers, though the main 'flow' seemed to have dropped off somewhat. A Linnet moved over Nightingale Rise while a Zebra Spider was nearby in Waltham Road.
Right: Zebra Spider, Salticus scenicus
a Green Woodpecker was heard in / off Winchester Street.
a Red Kite circled low over Station Road late morning while nearby a Stock Dove and Blackcap sang in Copse Road woodland. A Green Woodpecker was heard from Kerchers Field. Two Song Thrush at Lower Whitehill were the only birds reported during the latter part of the month, three having been present there early on.
a Slow Worm was in the car park behind the veterinary surgery. Fly Orchid became the fourth orchid species noted in flower at Micheldever Spoil Heaps, the site also hosting Sticky Mouse-ear, Silver-ground Carpet, Lesser Treble-bar, a prey-carrying female Sparrowhawk and 'singing' grasshoppers. Among the newly recorded moths for the year in Woodlands both Green Arches and Pebble Hook-tip were notable, if only for their looks.

Contributors: Jane Beckmann, Ed Beckmann, Alison Cross, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Joy MacGregor, Jane MacKenzie, Margaret Rainford, Mike Scoggins & Janet Wigney.

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