Local sightingsReturn to the list of reports
- the month started with several flurries of snow, Little Egret in Southington and at The Source of The Test, a Red Kite west mid-afternoon, a Kingfisher off Bridge Street, six Little Grebe on the disused cressbeds at Polhampton, two Chiffchaff, four Shoveler, six Teal and an Eel at the filtration pools, Velvet Shank in Dellands Lane, Strawberry Snail in Silk Mill Lane and Common Field Speedwell flowering in Southington. A Blackcap visited Kerchers Field gardens. The day finished with 75+ Pied Wagtail moving to roost at the railway Station. Belated news was of a Little Egret being in The Test near Quidhanpton Mill on January 31st.
- a very heavy overnight fall of snow slowed many as soon as they ventured out. The weather may have helped encourage a Blackcap to continue visiting Kerchers Field gardens.
- a Sparrowhawk at Lowe White Hill was one of just a handful, if that, of sightings during the month. This now being the least frequently recorded of the four 'common' raptors about the Parish.
Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto - Woodlands, Overton (Photo: Dave Atha)
The first immature birds of the year?
- a pair of Collared Dove in was found to have two well-grown young, the presumed time for egg laying having been close to the New Year. A Little Egret was in Flashetts. The Blackcap again visited Kerchers Field gardens.
- a Little Egret was showing well in Flashetts. Two Woodcock at Micheldever Spoil Heaps were not unexpected considering the prevailing weather conditions and time of year whereas a Brown Hare in the middle of woodland there was definitely out of place, Treecreeper and Goldcrest also being see there. Four further Brown Hare were in fields south of Southington Close. Stinking Hellebore was flowering strongly on White Hill. Further overnight snow greeted locals as they left for work / school.
- three Roe Deer moved north from the scrub above Shadwells after dark.
Right: Stinking Hellebore, Helleborus foetidus - Whitehill, Overton. (Photo: Mike Duffy)
In exactly the same area as last year
- Barn Owls were seen at Willesley Warren and off Station Hill late afternoon whereas a 'singing' Tawny Owl was heard early morning from Woodlands, both male and female being heard there in the evening. Up to 14 Brown Hare were at the former site, with at least two still being at Southington, as were three Roe Deer, three Red Kite, three Buzzard, two Kestrel, 368+ Skylark, 1000+ Woodpigeon, 13 Yellowhammer, 14 Linnet, five Grey and 38+ Red-legged Partridge, a Fieldfare and a huge police presence! One of the local Little Egret was seen to fly east late afternoon near Quidhampton Mill.
- a group of 12 Brown Hare were in a stock field at Turrill Hill. The O.B.S. Tree Walk from mid-afternoon had Little Egret, Buzzard, Brown Trout, Cormorant, Fieldfare and Linnet as non-tree highlights. Caucasian wing-nut, Hornbeam, Crab Apple, Corsican Pine, American Sweetgum, Whitebeam, Elm, Turkey Oak, Walnut and Western Cedar being amongst the trees noted. A Little Egret flew west over Town Meadow early evening. c.30 Canada Geese moved west over the village mid-morning. Ground Ivy was in flower in Dellands. A Blackcap reappeared at Kerchers Field feeding stations.
- much rain today, just for a change! A Little Egret was again by The Test at Southington Mill.
- wind today! Two Wood or Yellow-necked Mice were in Silk Mill Lane mid-evening. Snowdrop and Winter Aconite continued to flower in The Lynch.
- three Brown Hare were east of David's Wood, two south of Southington Close. A male Sparrowhawk visited a Lordsfield Gardens garden. Kestrel waited in trees for prey at Ashe and David's Wood. At least one Linnet was over farmland north of the railway at Quidhampton.
- a Little Egret was in the grounds of Southington Mill early afternoon, a Red Kite, Kestrel, Lapwing, Pheasant and Carrion Crow all feeding nearby in the field west of the sewage works.
- a Little Egret was at Southington Mill where two pair of Gadwall were on The Test. A pair of Mute Swan spent part of the day on Town Meadow. A Brown Hare remained in Southington fields.
- a Little Egret was in Flashetts while the adjacent stream / pools held a Kingfisher, two Chiffchaff, one in song, two Grey Wagtail, eight Shoveler, six Teal and the first Siskin recorded this year. Six Roe Deer were north of New Barn, these certainly livelier than the decapitated Brown Hare found nearby!
- a pair of Bullfinch was in Hawthorn in a Southington lane garden.
- a Common Frog escorted across Red Lion lane was the first amphibian recorded this year. The / a Little Egret was again Flashetts.
- a Red Kite gave stunning views over the footpath between Dellands and Lower White Hill.
- a Muntjac was in The Test off Bridge Street, before heading into the Old Rectory garden.
- a Little Egret and Grey Heron were making the most of flooded fields close to Ashe crossroads.
- a Common Frog 'emerged' at Southington Lane. A deer was even more of an unexpected surprise for one local, it leaping out in front of their car near the railway bridge at Ashe. A Redwing was heard moving over Woodlands mid-evening, two Grey Heron and a Lesser Black-backed Gull having moved over there earlier.
- a Little Egret flew west over the village early evening, a Canada Goose heading the opposite direction minutes before. A Little Egret and an immature Grey Heron was again on the Ashe crossroads floods. 50+ Linnet in the White Hill area constituted the largest flock noted this winter, a Red Kite being seen nearby. Procumbent Pearlwort was the latest plant noted to have poked its 'head' above ground level. Overnight mothing in Woodlands produced a Spring Usher.
- a Grey Heron was again on the floods at Ashe late in the day whereas it and two Little Egret had been present mid-afternoon. A Little Egret was by The Test at Town Meadow mid-morning. A Skylark singing over the 'dog field' was the first such record this year. Late night mothing in Woodlands produced a Tortricodes alternella and a Redwing, the latter overhead at 23:58!
- six Tortricodes alternella and the first ichneumon, a Yellow Ophion, of the year appeared overnight in Woodlands. A Little Egret was again on the floods at Ashe. Bluebell were already above ground in the scrubby woodland flanking The Harrow Way. Five Stock Dove and two Jay were both new for the year off The Harrow Way at Nutley Lane while the area also held four Brown Hare, two Treecreeper, three Buzzard, three Fieldfare and two singing Marsh Tit.
- a Little Egret remained faithful to Ashe floods. The Satellite was new for the year for moffers. Five Red-legged Partridge joined Brown Hare and Rabbit in Southington fields. The cranefly Limonia nubeculosa was attracted to light overnight in Woodlands.
- a female Blackcap was seen in Kerchers Field. A 'bumble-bee' was seen off Southington Lane.
- a Little Egret was about the pool behind Southington Lane houses mid-morning.
- the female Blackcap was again about Kerchers Field. Primrose were flowering near the reservoir on White Hill.
Contributors: Dave Atha, David Backers, Jane Beckmann, Ed. Beckmann, Alison Hutchins, Bryher Hutchins, Jay Hutchins, Peter E. Hutchins, Adrian Lewis, Veronique Kerguelen, Steven Lavender, Jane MacKenzie, Ken. Mackenzie, Margaret Rainford, Lynne Ridler-Wall & Janet Wigney.