Local sightings

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July 2010

At least six Swift were over the village early morning while, unfortunately far less lively, a deceased Common Shrew was found in Foxdown. The Kingfisher partnership at Polhampton remained unabated with both parent birds persistently busy — something that we are all too familiar with!
Kingfisher on branch Kingfisher on branch
The parent Kingfisher — looking lovingly into each others eyes!
It had to be like this, or it would have appeared as if they had a lover's tiff!
Belated news was of a Stoat being seen at Polhampton.
Could the actions of this individual have any bearing on the reports of Otter in the Parish?
duck-type Tufted Duck
A Whimbrel was heard moving over St. Mary's Church, at 23:39, where ten Glow Worm were... glowing! A Little Owl was also vocal about this area close to midnight.
A Fanfoot entering a bathroom late evening was the first recorded locally this year whereas a duck causing confusion on The Test proved to be a duck-type Tufted Duck; this individual still lingering from greatly reduced wintering numbers.
Both Red Kite and Sparrowhawk circled over the northern part of the village later in the day, being seen by several observers. At least two Little Owl were vocal late evening.
A Little Owl was heard very, very early morning; the sky at this time being clear, star-filled and calm.
A presumed White Admiral was in flight close to the Steventon crossroads, Waltham Road. A Sparrowhawk circling over the High Street late morning had both Swift and House Martin in attendance. The wasp mimic Ichneumon sarcitorius visited a conservatory late afternoon. A Meadow Brown in Woodlands was the first reported in the village this year.
Right: The vast majority of Ichneumon species can be very difficult to positively identify by sight alone. Microscopic examination is usually required for positive determination. This is one of the exceptions. It has a unique combination of leg markings (see left image below), thorax and abdomen markings and wing venation (see right image below). Furthermore, the tip of the abdomen of the individual below shows that this is a female. The male, as above, is slightly larger than the 12mm female and has slightly different markings. Most ichneumon species are 'endoparasitic', i.e., their eggs are laid on and develop in the larvae of other insects. This species parasitises the caterpillars of certain noctuid moths — no wonder that my trap pulls in so little
Ichneumon_sarcitorius female
The orchard at Parsonage Farmhouse held 15 Southern Marsh Orchid, and their safe-guarding stakes; no mowing for them this year!
A Red Kite moving low over Bridge Street unknowingly passed over garden Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell and Large White. Two Buzzard were also seen over the village late afternoon.
Honey-bee were at last noted in good numbers in a Bridge Street garden.
Grey Wagtail were on the move, and vocal, about the village.
A Riband Wave was the latest moth to be found in a house.
A cock Blackbird almost met its maker as it bounced off a windscreen by Polhampton Stud.
Three Chaffinch on a seed feeder in Bridge Street constituted the largest such gathering for some time. A Buzzard was heard at 04:54, presumably the earliest to be noted about the village this year.
Kingfisher wiht fish Kingfisher flying
Left: Not a bad sized meal for the now ten week old young, or are there more on the way?
Right: "Having Giving Kingfisher priority over Farnborough Air Show, I thought I would try for an in flight picture"
A Red Kite moved low south-west late afternoon. A Mole had unfortunately joined two Woodpigeon as a 'flat mate' on Dellands.
Ten+ House Martin were on the wing from late afternoon, the largest number reported this year.
kingfisher on branchkingfisher on branch
The adult male — "After chasing off the juvenile and delivering the fish to the new babies, he went for a wash and returned to make sure the young female had not returned"
Marmalade Hoverfly were obvious about many of the garden borders while a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress was perhaps noted by even more as it moved over en route to Farnborough Air Show. Both Large and Small White were seen egg-laying, again in garden borders. The butterflies may have been egg-laying but for some this was a long time past.
A Green Woodpecker was vocal about Woodlands early morning.
The Green Woodpecker was again in Woodlands early morning, feeding on pathside verges.
young swallows in nest Parent swallow feeding young
Left: Have you ever seen such sad-looking youngsters?              Right: Dad's back!
Humming-bird Hawk Moth
A particularly small Poplar Hawk-moth made a guest appearance, being brought in from Basingstoke.
Many hoverfly and bee were to be seen about gardens.
A Humming-bird Hawk-moth was a brief visitor to a Woodlands garden.
Right: Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Picture Jay Hutchins) - This individual being unusual in that it's not humming-birding!
Swift appeared to have forsaken the village for another year, none having been reported for several days.

Contributors: Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Margaret Rainford, & Alan Willis.

All photographs in this Monthly Wildlife Summary are courtesy of Alan Willis, unless otherwise noted.

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