Local sightings

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May 2014

Swallow in flight 17+ Swallow were over the floods off Burley Lane, perhaps encouraged down to feed by the less than clement weather.
Right: Swallow, Hirundo rustica
one of the Blue Peafowl remained vocal late in to the day. Early morning saw the temperature dipping to 0°C!
the searching of one Greyhound Lane garden produced 10-spot, Cream-spot, Harlequin and 7-spot Ladybirds. The first local Swift of the year was seen, over Sapley Lane early afternoon. Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff were in song about Turrill Hill. A Buzzard was over Jackson's Copse where Yellow Archangel was in flower.
Little Owl a White-shouldered House Moth was an unexpected late night visitor to one shower. Swallow were still to be seen over the floods off Burley Lane.
a Little Owl was calling early morning in Woodlands.
Right: Little Owl, Athene noctua
two Swift were over The Test at Kingsclere Road, where six Brown Trout were in and an Aylesbury duck and her eight duckling were on the waters. A Sparrowhawk moved north over the village mid-evening. A Blue Peafowl was heard early morning.
hail, rain, strong winds, sun and rainbows today!
a 2-spot Ladybird was the latest find in a Greyhound Lane garden.
Herb Robert three Swallow were about the stables off Vinns Lane and two Swift over the Woodlands area late afternoon; no House Martin however being seen about the western side of the village. Herb Robert, Herb Bennet, Columbine and Hedge Garlic were among hedgerow flowers brightening the roadsides.
Right: Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum
one+ Greylag Geese were heading moving over the village early morning.
two Swallow lingered on roadside wires by Polhampton Farm.
a Red Kite was seen over Nutley Bottom, perhaps one of those regularly seen about Frost Hill. Two Grey Heron slowly moved eastwards early evening. Blue Peafowl continued to be strident both early morning and late evening.
further sightings about Nutley Bottom included Cuckoo and Skylark in song and a pair of Orange-tip enjoying the spring weather, and each other! Four House Martin were on the wing over Winchester Street, one of very few reports of this seemingly ever-decreasing species locally. Both Sparrowhawk and Swift were over the village early evening. The highest temperature of the month was recorded late afternoon, 29.1°C.
Rookery Starling were unfamiliar visitors to a Station Hill garden where Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove and Jackdaw were also seen. Nearby the rookeries at both Hilltop and Copse Roads were seen to be very active.
Right: An appropriately named rookery!
the wettest day of the month with almost ½ inch of rain falling.
pair of Goldfinch visited a front garden, others pairs / family parties being recorded elsewhere on an increasingly regular basis.
Stone Curlew Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Red Kite were about the Pond Close area during the morning, as were the two Blue Peafowl, a brief Swallow and almost as brief House Martin. Both Red Valerian and Columbine were particularly evident in and about gardens in the southern reaches of the village. A Common Pug visited one porch. Goldfinch were again seen visiting village gardens. News received from the County Recorder was of at least four pairs of Stone-curlew in the Overton area this year — some good farmland birds at last!
Stone-curlew, Burhinus oedicnemus. Also known as dikkops or thick-knees when encountered elsewhere in the world — seven species being recognised in the tropical and temperate zones, a further two in Australia
Song Thrush and Blackbird both continued to sing early and late in the day.
the many showers recorded did not stop a Red Kite moving north over the village mid-morning.
at least one Stone-curlew was still to be seen on farmland north of the village, as were Lapwing, Brown Hare, Skylark and Rabbit.
bees in a Lordsfield Gardens roof / loft appeared to be Tree Bees, the first 'nest' of this recently arrived visitant to this country noted locally. 2-spot Ladybird, two, were seen in the Kingsclere Road allotments. Two Lapwing were active north of the village.
a Stone-curlew, pair of Stock Dove, two Lapwing, Linnet and Skylark were on and over fields north of the village. A visitor to the area walking The Harrow Way and nearby farmland found a singing Cuckoo, pair of Grey Partridge, four Lapwing and a Kestrel. The on-going House Martin Survey had found just three active nests in the village, these all being on Lordsfield Gardens residences. Immature Goldfinch were seen in a Greyhound Lane garden, the first recorded there this year; their parents presumed to be not too far distant.

Contributors: E. Butler, Peter Foley, Nandita Hoyes, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Margaret Rainford & Adam Trickett.

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