Village Wildlife Diary for January 2019

The County has had a great influx of winter driven migrant birds this month including, Merlin, Waxwing, Great Egret, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Ring-necked Duck, Great Northern Diver, Great Grey Shrike, Lapland Bunting, and Bittern.

Clay Digging
Tree Huggers

24th January, Terry sees a probable Chiffchaff on South Close, Richard reports one from Station Road and also sees a Snipe and Moorhen at the settling pond on the new estate. Barn Owl again noted from Foxhill Road. Thanks for the come-back of this beautiful bird along there in recent years surely most go to Trevor Moore, for his continuing efforts in providing habitat and nesting places for them.

19th January, I take Peter Spokes out shepherding, and we see 3 Hares off Lodge Lane, and lots of Thrushes and Gulls as well. Starling and Dunnock join the list of singers. Sue photographs Fungi, Lichen and a Jay, and reports Redwing and Pied Wagtail from her garden.

Lichen
Fungus

17th January, it rains, it sleets, it snows all before 0700, then is sunny and windy for the rest of the day. Collared Doves are singing (cooing) and their big cousins the Woodpigeons are still perched on my Ivy stripping the berries. Great Tit and Blue Tit are both vocal today.

15th January, mildness is bringing out the odd Ladybird, and other Flies. Tom reports a big Bumblebee, and I see a small presumably male White-tailed Bumblebee. At Spratton we see a soaring Peregrine, and over East Haddon a nicely coloured Red Kite.

12th January, Angela sees a Barn Owl, and then later a Tawny Owl along Foxhill Road

Jay
Dog Sick Slime Mould

11th January, at last, it had to happen eventually. I creep into the hide at CEP and carefully open the flap. And there it is. A Snipe, just sitting there. I normally only ever see them flying away. Singing birds include Wren, Great and Coal Tit, and Song Thrush. Alan has 100+ Fieldfares at the Wharf and a pair of Bullfinch in his garden.

6th January, at CEP I see a whitish clump of a porridge like mess on some old grass and on closer inspection decide it is the perfectly named fungi Dog Sick Slime Mould. Honestly that’s what it’s called. Vocal Tit of the day is Coal Tit, singing from the Conifers off West Street. At work on a garden lighting fault, I find a set of odd cup-like fungi. It looks like a set of white chocolate lined, milk chocolate Easter eggs half buried in the soil. They are Cedar Cup fungi and associate with any Cedar tree. I look around and 10 yards away in the neighbouring garden stands a Cedar.

Cedar Cup
Enjoying Myself

5th January, There something about Hedge-laying that is extremely rewarding. I continue on with my hedge at the bottom of Pytchley Drive, and get lots of encouraging comments from passers-by.

4th January, a decent Frost, -5 over Ravensthorpe causeway. But on the roadsides around the village are gatherings of defiant Snow Drops. Heads still tightly shut, making a silent stand. A Blue Tit comes out of one of our many nest boxes and song flights away, and a Great Tit is singing.

A touch of winter
Waiting

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