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Nature Notes - Recent Sightings

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18th October 2013. Kingfisher seen near churchyard by the brook.
Allan Dale has been having siskins visit his garden feeders, as many as 6 at a time.
Mushrooms and toadstools are abundant. George Staniland told us about these ink cap mushrooms that appeared in the churchyard overnight.
1st October 2013. Little egret in brook.
29th September 2013. Clouded yellow butterfly seen in garden.
20th September 2013. 2 painted lady butterflies seen on buddleia.
23rd July 2013.  Emperor moth caterpillar seen by David Marshall in his garden.

Click the pictures to enlarge

 Painted lady butterfly on buddleia.

 Clouded yellow butterfly  Ink cap mushrooms Siskins with a house sparrow Emperor moth caterpillar

28th May 2013. Allen Dale saw 2 red kites over Butts Hill Crescent.
click the picture to enlarge Allen's picture of one of the red kites

11th May 2013. First sighting of a swift.

20th April 2013. The first warm day of the year was more welcome than ever this year after such a long cold winter, not only for us but also for the butterflies. When I opened the garage there were 3 peacock butterflies trying to get out through the window. There were several brimstones, a small tortoiseshell and an orange tip butterfly, as well as the peacocks on the wing in the garden during the day.

Buzzards are much in evidence at the moment. Your attention is drawn by their high pitched calls and at present, their swooping displays. Although rather late this year, it is characteristic of their courtship ritual.

We have seen 2 hedgehogs being flirtatious using our night camera. There is a video below of some aggessive behaviour between 2 hedgehogs when one was eating and another stumbled upon it. Click on it to run.

12th April 2013. A male blackcap was seen in Harpole, possibly a returned migrant.

The first reported swallow was seen on the road between Bugbrooke and Nether Heyford.

3rd April. A badger has been seen in a garden at the end of Pilgrims Lane at around 8pm.

20th March. The cold weather seems to be driving the less usual birds into gardens looking for food. Siskins and nuthatches have been seen and long tailed tits and coal tits have become more regular visitors.

8th March 2013. First outing of hedgehog seen with night camera. Looking very small but very active.

5th March 2013. First sightings of this year of brimstone butterflies.

1st December 2012. Many fieldfares seen feeing on hawthorn berries along the canal near to Rainbow's Crossing.

15th October 2012. Brenda and Jim Inch have seen a nuthatch on their feeders regularly during the past few days

6th September 2012. A grass snake was seen basking in the sun against a wall in West End.

6th October 2012. A dead grass snake was seen on Camp Hill just outside the village sign.

20th July 2012. There has been a report of 2 dead greenfinches in a garden. It might be a result of the disease that is attacking finches, Trichomonosis. Although it isn't caused by dirty feeders, a lack of cleaning feeders can help to spread the disease to otherwise healthy birds. To find out more..The RSPB: Advice: Trichomonosis in finches and other garden birds.

6th June 2012. Red kite flying over Pilgrims Lane.

24th April 2012. Legless tadpoles in garden pond.
Holly blue butterfly in garden.

22nd April 2012. Grizzled skipper butterfly seen amongst wild strawberry plants in Harpole.

Numerouse swallows and house martins seen over Fawsley lake.

20th April 2012. House martins on telegraph wires in High Street.

1st April 2012. Orange tip butterflies in the garden.

21st March 2012. Skylarks displaying in field beyond Littliff Farm on the footpath to Pattishall.

11th March 2012.  First flight sightings and evidence through droppings and food debris of bats.  This is early in the year for this. The droppings look like long eared bat droppings and a roost.

11th March 2012. First butterflies of the year brought out by beautiful weather. Sightings of brimstone, small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies. 

 January/February 2012

Little Egrets seen in the brook

Red Kites seen over Birds Hill

Since the 4th February snowfall, more birds have been coming into the garden.  Redwings in Chipsey Avenue, male and female blackcaps in Pound Lane.

December 2011

Sightings of a Red Kite, one over Baptist Close 09/12/11 being mobbed by rooks, and another 12/12/11 over the football ground.

November 2011- Roe deer sightings around Smith's Lane

Egret seen near the brook

March 2011

26th March, This morning John Mundy got up at 6.30pm and saw a Munkjack Deer in his garden. (Great Lane)

January /February 2011

See the results of the 2011 Bugbrooke Bird Survey to view bird sightings in January.

The little egret is now resident in the brook through Bugbrooke.  As many as 3 have been seen and they move around from Pattishall down to where the brook meets the Nene near Nether Heyford.  They are quite timid and you may stand more chance of seeing them flying over. Click on the pictures below to enlarge.

May -June 2010:

Small Copper butterfly and Reed Bunting in Charity Meadow on 11th May

Red Kite seen over Chipsey Aveue/Johns Road/Butts Hill Crescent for a week from 3rd May

Yellowhammers in gardens of Smitherway/Butts Hill Crescent

Holly blue butterfly in garden from 14th May

Moths becoming more frequently seen. Cinnabar and the tiny Small Purple and Gold moths seen regularly in gardens

Just thought you may like to know for interest following your bird watch in Bugbrooke - yesterday a Sparrowhawk descended into my garden in Ash Grove - like a rocket and swooped a little sparrow off the grass where it was pecking with another few and took it off like lightening into the air - I have never seen this happen in our garden before and felt it was quite unusual - as our garden is certainly not large and there is quite a high hedge at the back and a large fish pond which would normally restrict large birds coming into our garden ! E-mail received 26/05/10

An otter has been seen in the brook! Natural England are not surprised! 15/06/10

July-August 2010

Click on image to enlarge

Red Kite seen near Charity Meadow

American or Signal Crayfish seen in the brook Gatekeeper butterfly seen by the viaducts A Beautiful Damoiselle damsel fly by the brook Ringlet butterfly in Smiths Lane

A pair of Red Kites was seen near Charity Meadow 04/07/2010

Numerous Gatekeeper butterflies in gardens and in fields 01/08/2010

Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar        

An Elephant Hawkmoth caterpillar was found in a fuscia in a hanging basket in Chipsey Avenue. It was about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) long and as thick as a man's little finger. It is fairly common, but is only occasionally seen at this time of year. To see a better picture of the caterpillar click here, and to see the Elephant Hawkmoth, click here. 08/08/10

March-April 2010:

Allen Dale has had Siskins and a Reed Bunting coming to his bird table in Butts Hill Crescent, and he has heard of others who have too. The Reed Bunting is a wetland bird which has increasingly come under pressure from its loss of habitat, but has adapted to living and breeding in oilseed-rape and cereal fields. A hard winter has probably made it search further afield and it has found a good food supply in gardens. Don’t assume that all LBJs (little brown jobs) around the feeders are sparrows!

The first Swallow was seen on 23rd March over the meadow at the end of Smiths Lane. It seems to fit into a wider pattern for this year, as despite the exceptionally long, cold winter, Swallows have been reported in the national newspapers as arriving earlier than usual. The first reported Cuckoo was heard in the field at the end of Johns Road on 27th April, and Swifts were seen first on 28th April.


Many winter migratory birds have been in Bugbrooke during the winter, amongst them Redwings and Fieldfares. These are both members of the thrush family, the redwing about the size of a song thrush but with red patches under the wings and the fieldfare larger and greyer. They are often in mixed flocks and feed on berries such as hawthorn, holly and cotoneaster.  Another migrant I have seen is the Blackcap feeding on holly. Until recently, the Blackcap was only a summer visitor, but although the summer migrants still leave, eastern European Blackcaps have started to come here for the winter.


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