Local sightings

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July 2015

Scarlet tiger
a Scarlet Tiger was found in Winchester Street where a Red Kite moved east late afternoon, then lingered nearby A Buzzard was seen at St Mary's, perched in a Sycamore in the churchyard.
Right: Scarlet Tiger, Callimorpha dominula - Picture: Nick Montegriffo. www.hantsmoths.org.uk
Small Tortoiseshell were evident about the crops off Straight Lane, Meadow Brown about the pastures nearby, as was a Red Kite. A further Red Kite moved over the High Street late morning, another over Flashetts mid-afternoon.
Ringlet were on the wing about the path on the southern edge of the Great North Field. A Red Kite circled over Town Meadow mid-afternoon.
three larval Cinnabar were seen on Ragwort at Wyvern Cottage. A Red Kite headed south at Turrill Hill mid-morning and Lordsfield Gardens early afternoon. Cinnabar catepillars
Right: Cinnabar caterpillars, Tyria jacobaeae - Picture: Mike Wall. www.hantsmoths.org.uk
a Marbled White was seen at David's Wood, one of few noted locally this year. A Gatekeeper was seen at Wyvern Cottage, the first of the year for the observer. Raptors were again evident with Red Kite seen over the High Street and Lordsfield Gardens, as were c.20 House Martin, and a Kestrel hunting over the cricket pitches at the top of Overton Hill.
both Buzzard, two, and Grey Heron were seen over The Test east of the village whilst Red Kite were noted over Turrill Hill, two, Lordsfield Gardens, two, Overton Hill, the High Street, Town Meadow, Harvey's Field and Southington. A Chiffchaff was still in song by the Dellands Track.
further activity in the Great North Field area was seen, a Buzzard being harassed by two of the corvid clan. A Red Kite was nearby, moving north-east over Lordsfield Gardens early afternoon with further raptors seen including both Kestrel and Red Kite over Overton Hill, as were 30+ House Martin.
a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was a brief visitor to a Woodlands garden, a Comma, also flighty, being seen about pea plants in Lordsfield Gardens. The Rosemary Leaf-beetle was still ensconced on its favoured Sage. Two Red Kite lingered, and 'played', over the village during the afternoon. Small Tortoiseshell remained evident about many village gardens.
a Grey Heron over Glebe Meadows continued downstream.
a Signal Crayfish, an insidious invader of our waterways, was seen at Polhampton Mill.
a pair of Goldfinch was seen visiting a Greyhound Lane garden.
hedgerows at Polhampton were busy with butterfly, many Meadow Brown being joined by Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral.
a Green Woodpecker seen visiting, and feeding in, a Lordsfield Gardens garden was the first ever recorded there.
a Big Butterfly Count in one Lordsfield Gardens garden saw Red Admiral, a blue sp. and a Large Tortoiseshell visiting, another in Foxdown had a Purple Emperor alighting on a rubbish bin! The latter two sightings are exceptional, and not just locally.
Large Tortoiseshell Large Tortoiseshell
Left: Large Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis polychloros - A very rare but increasing visitor to our shores from the continent with the one today the first known of for the Parish!!! Note the lack of white on the leading edge of the forewing and the lack of 'black' on the inner part of the hindwing
Right: Purple Emperor, Apatura iris - picture: Rachel Hart. Another first for the Parish? This stunning butterfly, this one a male, has some surprisingly unpleasant tastes in food!
Marmalade Hoverfly the more autumnal conditions, early rain, grey clouding and milder temperatures, didn't put off many Marmalade Hoverfly being on the wing.
Right: Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus - The Marmalade Hoverfly is Britain's commonest hoverfly and gets its name from its banding which allegedly looks like thick cut marmalade! Many hoverflies have black and yellow bands on their bodies to mimic wasps and bees, but they do not sting. Hoverflies feed on pollen and drink nectar from flowers; their larvae eat aphids
a Slow Worm was seen on the footpath near the school mid-evening, the first reported for some time in the Parish, whilst a Red Kite was overhead nearby. Three Red Kite about Polhampton / Ashe included at least two immatures, further good news in the continued expansion of this once hear extinct species. More mobile than the raptors was the Grey Heron seen over the school.
a Big Butterfly Count in Woodlands, the 10194th carried out so far for Butterfly Conservation this year, saw Gatekeeper, Small and Large White visiting one garden, the Small White seen to be laying on Nasturtium leaves. Also noted, all overhead, during the count were Siskin, Stock Dove, Swallow, Red Kite, Buzzard, Swift and House Martin.
a female Sparrowhawk drifting west over Town Meadow early afternoon disturbed the House Martin still present about that part of the village. Swift were also still active over the main village, but for how much longer before they once again head south?
near continuous rain, but even that didn't stop the Collared Dove singing etc.! No wonder that they've spread so widely in a relatively short time, first being reported in Britain just 60 years ago
Harlequin variations three Harlequin and two Seven-spot Ladybird were found in one village garden.
Right: Harlequin Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis -Just a few of the 'varieties' of this increasingly encountered species. www.harlequin-survey.org
two Painted Lady were about the hedgerows by Straight Lane. The pair of Lapwing on meadows by The Test were seen to be aggressive towards local Red Kite, hopefully a sign of at least possible breeding taking place in the area; three of the kite being seen in the area. Both Grey Heron and Canada Geese were nearby, at The Source of The Test. Ragwort in Vinns Lane was now in flower, though no larval Cinnabar Moth were to be found there, yet.
a further Sparrowhawk was seen today, moving across the ORC at Bridge Street before settling on the roof of St Mary's.
a 14-spot Ladybird was found whilst harvesting Blackcurrant, further Harlequin Ladybird being seen abuot the same garden.
two Pied Wagtail were in Foxdown, a Red Admiral being nearby on Kingsclere Road.
a gathering of eight raptors over the fields between Polhampton and Ashe was notable, at least three being seen to be Red Kite whilst the handful unaccounted for were too distant for the binocular-less observers.

Contributors: Stephen Cooper, Brian Elkins, Margaret Elkins, Holly Flanders, Rachel Hart, Peter E. Hutchins, Sue Johnson, Veronique Kerguelen, Nick Montegriffo & Mike Wall.

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