Local sightings

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November 2013

a drake Gadwall was on the main pool off Southington Lane. Two Buzzard were drifting over the top of Overton Hill mid-afternoon.
the drake Gadwall was still on the pools at Southington. A Grey Wagtail was on the wing mid-afternoon, heard near Town Meadow. At least one wasp's nest was still very active. Rain once again fell from early afternoon, the wind then beginning to noticeably pick up.
a ringtail Hen Harrier was seen late in the day over farmland close to the village outskirts. Up to four Gadwall were on The Test off Southington Lane — a 'garden tick' for two!
Hen Harrier in flightHen Harrier
Hen Harrier, Circus cyaneus — Barry Stalker.
"The star bird of the day, and indeed the weekend, didn't show until late but it was well worth the wait! Hen Harriers (usually ring-tails) regularly winter in the district but are always a delight to see. Unfortunately it was almost dark when this one appeared so I only managed a couple of very poor record shots". http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/Basingstokebirding/
further frost appeared, resulting in early morning windscreen clearing for some.
a drake Mandarin was seen on The Test at Southington, a rare and colourful visitor to the Parish.
several Fieldfare were seen passing high over the village. Increased numbers of Starling about the residential areas were seen to be making the most of the rich Mountain Ash berry crop.
Redwing were obvious, if only vocally, in the early morning murk.
a further frost.
an HOS walk about The Test, Lower Ashe through to Polhampton and back, saw a Kingfisher, Red Kite, Water Rail, up to three Buzzard, 140+ Fieldfare, Marsh Tit, Lesser Redpoll and 115 Canada Geese as the most notable of birds recorded, dandelion sp. and White Dead-nettle seen to be still in flower, Beech to be in their autumnal colours and dramatically reduced leaf cover after the recent inclement weather.
a Red Kite was over the higher reaches of Kingsclere Road at commuter time.

Contributors: AJill Aburrow, Julian Aburrow,, Peter E. Hutchins & Veronique Kerguelen.

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