Daily Parish Nature Update

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December 2003

A quieter month with fewer sightings of less species - Christmas obviously taking over from many other things, as usual! Of the things that were reported a couple of local lost-and-found rarities made the headlines: a Latvian Long-eared owl and a displaced Dipper. Unfortunately both of these were short stayers though crowds were attracted to both whilst they lingered. With the very mixed weather at present who knows what might follow these wanderers in!

birds were starting to become more evident in village gardens. A Grey heron was noted flying over Glebe Meadow and a Lesser black-backed gull over Berrydown.
a Fieldfare was in a Bridge Street garden.
a Long-eared owl at HART had been rescued from strawberry netting at Winchester Cathedral, on 5th, and was progressing well in care; this bird carried a Latvian ring, DT1386.
the Long-eared owl was released at Ashley Warren early evening, all the better for its' period of care at HART. A Brown rat was seen to sprint across the High Street mid-afternoon.
the Grey heron was again at Glebe Meadow, this time on the bank of the river.
a Pied wagtail was seen to go to roost in the decorated Christmas tree by the Community Centre.
the Grey heron was again on the riverbank at Glebe Meadow.
British dipper a Dipper at Flashetts, found during an OBS walk, proved attractive to many being the first in Hampshire for some years, unfortunately moving to private land shortly after being found and then far less easy to see for the birders travelling from all over Hampshire. Looking for this also turned up 2+ Kingfisher, Little owl, 2 Chiffchaff and a Marsh tit.
Right: British Dipper Cinclus cinclus gularis
the Dipper remained in the Station Road filtration pools area, as did Kingfisher and Water rail and an assortment of ducks including 7 Shoveler, the former still elusive and generally only being seen from private land. A good number of people from all over the county appeared to try and see this unexpected visitor for the second day. The monthly WeBS count, covering the Parish's wetter areas, had as highlights the Dipper, 2 Little egret, a Water rail, the feral duck Scaup, up to 5 Kingfisher and 5+ Grey heron.
the Dipper was heard late morning whilst 2 Kingfisher and a Chiffchaff were seen in the same area. A Song thrush graced a Hazelcombe garden.
at least one Great spotted woodpecker was putting in regular appearances at Southington Close.
the filtration pools area held 2 Chiffchaff, 75+ Gadwall, 3 Little grebe and single Teal and Grey wagtail. A Little grebe was amongst the wildfowl off the Bridge Street bridge and from here a Kingfisher was seen twice. A Small tortoiseshell was found inside a house - possibly the last to be noted this year?
a Kestrel was perched on top of a telegraph post by the B3400 at Turrill's Hill early afternoon.
a Treecreeper was with 7 Long-tailed tits in trees outside the Community Centre.
Green sandpiper and Grey wagtail were feeding in a stream flowing south into Flashetts, where 7 Meadow pipits flew westwards.
a Brown hare was in fields bordering the southern village edge.

Thanks are due to the following for their input to this report: James Andrews, P. Bond, Betty Bowden, Shirley Cardus, Kath Doyle, Mike Duffy, Brian Elkins, Margaret Elkins, Bob Gibbs, June Gibbs, Alison Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Valda Stevens, Adam Trickett.

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