Local sightings

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December 2013

the pair of Mandarin was again on The Test in Southington.
a Water Rail was seen in Flashetts, the first record of this all too secretive bird in the Parish in the late year period. The pair of Mandarin remained on The Test in Southington, Gadwall numbers peaking at four there recently.
a Red Kite was seen over the Edward Kursley Playing Field.
seven Mallard were on The Test, just behind the tennis courts — just how many are there about the river between The Source and Southington?
a Grey Heron was fishing in The Test while 16 Canada Geese moving east nearby were presumably heading for the grazing at Lower Ashe.
a Little Egret was seen in flight over Flashetts during the morning.
a Robin was heard in song by the O.R.C., several Woodpigeon also crooning there. The gathering of Mallard, just off Kingsclere Road, had increased to eight, a Wren being seen on the adjacent riverbank.
a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was visiting a Lordsfield Gardens garden, as did a flock of c.10 Redwing. Further rain increased the already noticeable flooding about the roads leading to and from the village. Belated news was of a further Lesser Spotted Woodpecker being killed earlier in the year on colliding with patio doors, this again in Lordsfield Gardens.
Buzzard, Mute Swan, Redwing and Black-headed Gull were all seen moving through / about the village late morning / early afternoon. The Redwing flock again visited gardens in Lordsfield Gardens.
strong and gusting winds and heavy rainfall saw nothing being reported, except damage and destruction!
early morning saw extensive flooding and much vegetation still covering many of the more rural Parish roads, part of Southington still being blocked by a fallen tree. Redwing were obvious low over the village late afternoon while an occasional Blackbird signalled the dusk chorus.
Fox in the garden Happy Christmas!!!
And from our ex-Chair., Kath. Doyle, a reminder that it's worth looking ever closer to home, even out in to your back garden in fact, at this time of year!
Right: Fox, Vulpes vulpes — Kath Doyle, Sandford, Dorset
news from one 'Christmas walk' was of both Teal and Gadwall being about the pools at Quidhampton.
a Little Egret flew west along The Test at Town Meadow early afternoon. Both Fieldfare and Redwing were becoming more evident in village gardens / trees.
the future for OBS? "You will be pleased to know that Fynn can identify about 10 birds from photos or drawings in both English and German! I showed him ivy a couple of days ago and to my amazement he identified a rough drawing of ivy in his animals book the next day!"
bright and sunny after a noticeable and lingering frost. Redwing remained obvious about the village.

Contributors: Jill Aburrow, Julian Aburrow,, David Backers, Helen Backers, Kath. Doyle, Peter E. Hutchins, Veronique Kerguelen, Jane MacKenzie, Ken. MacKenzie & Jenny Squillaci.

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