Local sightings

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October 2013

a Chiffchaff was seen as it passed through a Woodlands garden on migration.
a female Tawny Owl was vocal pre-dawn in Oak Park, appropriately in an oak!
an angry Grey Squirrel was vocal off Dellands Track, harassing passers-by with its 'growlings'.
a Small Copper was seen in one garden.
a Redwing was heard low over the High Street in light drizzle mid-evening; the first of the late year within the Parish.
the mid-afternoon fungal foray found about a dozen out in the autumnal weather with highlights found including Frosty Funnel, Blushing Bracket, Common Bonnet, Blue Roundhead, Deer Shield, Turkeytail and Dead Man's Fingers.
Frosty FunnelBlue RoundheadTurkeytail
From left to right: Frosty Funnel Clitocybe phyllophila; Blue Roundhead, Stropharia caerulea; Turkeytail, Trametes versicolor
ladybirds were the most noteworthy of local denizens today, many being on the wing in the more clement weather including "Well over 100" noted by one Lordsfield Gardens resident: "They were on our clothes, in our hair, everywhere".
a Dark Bush-cricket was 'chirruping' in a Woodlands garden.
the Dark Bush-cricket continued to rasp after dark.
rain, in a big way!
"Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening", well, it certainly had a go at this during the evening!
Emperor Dragonfly and Common Darter on Station Hill may well prove to be the last of the dragons and damsels to be seen this year. Also in gardens there were an immature Slow Worm, Red Admiral, Red-tailed Bumble and Common Carder Bee and further wasps.
a Brimstone was seen in Station Hill gardens.
both Red Admiral and bumblebees were still on the wing at Station Hill.
The overnight blow brought down several mature trees at Berrydown. Both Fieldfare and Redwing were heard / seen over Woodlands mid-morning.
Tawny Owl were again vocal about Southington during the late evening. There were still all too obvious signs of the wind-related damage today, the 'tidying' of the Berrydown area still particularly apparent.
Two Red Kite, three Buzzard and, perhaps more surprisingly, a male Brimstone were on the wing over the village early afternoon. A further butterfly, a Red Admiral, was joined by Lily Beetle, a queen bumblebee and wasps in Station Hill gardens, a Red Kite also being seen overhead there. The 'growling' Grey Squirrel was again vocal off the Dellands Track. The first notable frost of the late year greeted those up early enough to see the effects of the first clear night for much of Britain for some time.
A Grey Heron was standing in the River Test by the bridge on Kingsclere Road.

Contributors: Alison Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Jane MacKenzie , Ken MacKenzie & Margaret Rainford.

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