Local sightings

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August 2010

many hoverfly in Station Hill gardens had a voracious wasp as company, this dismembering one of the Honey-bee.
Micheldever Spoil Heaps, early evening, produced the first Purple Hairstreak for the Parish. Other notable sightings there included up to four Silver-washed Fritillary, three Six-spot Burnet, flowering Cut-leaved Germander, Ploughman's Spikenard and Viper's Bugloss, three Swift and two Swallow, a family of Bullfinch, a Buzzard and immature Chiffchaff. A further Swift moved south over the village at 20:16.
25+ House Martin and a Swift were over the village late afternoon, perhaps gradually moving / migrating south-west. Gadwall remained on pools in Southington.
Small White caterpillar were seen 'tucking in' to Nasturtium leaves.
a Hedgehog greeted one local on their very early morning return to home. A party of 32 Long-tailed Tit heading south-west through Woodlands was the largest such gathering of this species recorded in the Parish.
both Raven and Green Woodpecker were vocal over Woodlands mid-morning where a Red Kite circled low eastwards a little later. Later in the day the same airspace held Sparrowhawk and Buzzard. Turnip Sawfly became the latest species to be identified in the Parish, frequenting gardens along with egg-laying and larval Small White, Marmalade Hoverfly, Gatekeeper and Scaevi pyrausti; another hoverfly recently identified locally.
Seven-spot ladybird
a Marsh Tit was in trees flanking Silk Mill Lane. Two Buzzard 'played' high over the village early afternoon. A Holly Blue moved rapidly through Woodlands gardens.
Brown Argus, Gatekeeper and Common Blue were in Bridge Street gardens, Comma, Pyrausta aurata, Scaevi pyrausti and Seven-spot Ladybird in one in Woodlands. Four Swallow moved through late morning.
Right: Seven-spot Labdybird on Cone Flower (Picture: Peter E. Hutchins)
a Swift was over Winchester Street mid-evening, 12 House Martin being over the Harveys Field area shortly afterwards. A Speckled Wood was about gardens off Bridge Street, a Brown House Moth about night-time windows in Woodlands.
a Red Admiral visited Woodlands buddleia.
a Gatekeeper once again visited Woodlands garden flowers.
a Red Kite very low over Bridge Street caused severe disturbance among the local Rook population. Up to 20 House Martin appeared as if on the move to far warmer quarters. Large White also remained on the wing.
a Fox was about Southington late evening, being seen to cross Southington Lane and disappear into the Turrill House gardens. Three Swift over Ashe Park mid-evening may well have invaded Parish airspace as they, presumably, migrated.
a Red Kite and Common Darter were both over the cressbeds at Quidhampton. A Buzzard was in a tree by the small 'dew' pond just west of the Burley Lane crossroads early morning.
Parasol Mushroom
a female Tawny Owl was vocal pre-dawn
a flock of seven House Martin were keeping low, and moving before another low pressure front pushed through the Parish, while seven Buzzard over Lordsfield Gardens was by far the largest count yet received this year. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth visiting garden flora proved to be the only one reported during the month, their numbers dramatically down on recent years, both locally and further afield.
four House Martin still lingered above the village while five Blackbird were in a Bridge Street garden, two Blue Tit there making the most of provided peanuts.
two Little Owl were 'talking' early morning about the village while a Buzzard was again on a tree by the Burley Lane crossroads. Both Brimstone and Great Spotted Woodpecker visited a Lordsfield Gardens garden.
a Buzzard moved north / north-west at Berrydown early morning and what may have been the same bird was seen to move east over Straight Lane during the afternoon, as did its retinue of corvids. Presumably a different Buzzard was also seen during the morning, this on the Parish boundary at Ashe Park Lodge. Parasol Mushroom were becoming ever more evident in gardens, meadows and light woodland.
Right: Parasol Mushroom (Picture: Bryer Hutchins)
a foraging party of Long-tailed Tit visited the copse at the back of the Veterinary Surgery in the afternoon. A larval Grey Dagger appeared to be enjoying a crop of garden-grown strawberries!
Grey dagger caterpillar Grey dagger caterpillar Grey dagger caterpillar
Grey Dagger (Pictures: Peter E. Hutchins)
another moth appearing for the first time this year was a Red Underwing, not trapped this time, just noticed in a garden. A Buzzard was in fields below Ashe Hill early evening, when ten+ Swallow moved west over the village.
Large White were still seen to be on the wing.

Contributors: Helen Harden, Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Jane MacKenzie, Ken MacKenzie, Margaret Rainford, Valda Stevens & Janet Wigney.

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