Nature Notes Extra - 2017


Welcome to the companion to the Basinga Nature Notes section.  This section will be updated from time to time with additional information referred to from articles in the magazine.  You can contact me at

We are now creating a new page for each year.  To see last years page click on "2016" in the main menu.

Black Death visits Old Basing!

The following photo was submitted by Brian Etheridge, from Padockfields.  The Cormorant's nickname given by anglers who see their fish stocks disappear when these guys arrive.

Bullfinch and juvenile Great Tit

Terry McAnish writes:

"One of a pair of Bullfinches coming to my window feeder and the male only 4ft away from me. An enormous racket as a family of Great Tits arrived today with some only just learnt to fly."

Rick replies:

"Many thanks Terry, you certainly did get some good shots of these guys again.  But with such ample food around you’ve found the answer to luring them in.   We have recently added some insect and berry miniature fatballs into our feed offerings and have been rewarded with prolific sightings of GSW and juvenile, plus families of Great and Blue tits, Goldies and young Starlings.  Looks as if the breeding season has gone better than last, probably because the crucial last two weeks of May have been generally warm and dry."

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Helen Snow writes:

"Not sure if this is of any interest, but a great spotted woodpecker comes and feeds on the red hot pokers in my garden every day at around the same time. I managed to get a picture of it...hope the file size isn't too big!"

Rick replies:

"Many thanks Helen, I've never known that they're interested in RHP for food or liquid but there is something good about that plant for sure!  We've recently had a pair or mum/junior in the garden a lot feeding on fatballs, peanuts, etc and being quite brave when we moved some feeders closer to the house.  I need to get a good camera!"

Blue Tits

Terry McAnish writes:

"Much better year for Blue Tits with at least six close to fledging possibly the 10th May.

In the last photo I had to look twice at this photo to make sure what it was. I caught the adult right before landing to feed the youngsters. Really pleased with it."

Orchids and Canada Geese

Phil Males writes:

"A couple of recent observations from my walks around the area. The spotted orchids were snapped in Great Sorrell Copse, Chineham on the 20th April 2017. Very early I think for these orchids. Surprisingly I have not seen any orchids yet on the Millfield. Maybe the scrub clearance by SSE has affected their appearance this year.   The Canada Geese were spotted on the Loddon by the Railway bridge below the Mill on the 2nd May 2017. I just hope they are passing through rather than hoping to set up home as they are big messy birds."

Rick replies:

"many thanks for the photos. Timely addition for me as notes will be sparse in June otherwise! Don’t know if you're keen on birdsong or early mornings but I note a 730am walk for this purpose from play area on Millfield this Friday and have a mind to go if weather isn't inclement."

Wood pigeon

Stephen Thair sent in these photo's of birds feasting on windfall apples, which were taken with his remote camera.


Bird Photo Session

Tony Fendall sent in the following photo's.

Another Wildlife Photo

Penny Bourne's close encounter with fox on Millfield 29th December. Story is in Februarys nature notes. 

Some Wildlife Photos

David Freeman writes

"I just saw and photographed this in our front garden today, 31st December. I am not much of an expert on this and would hope to get better but an internet search suggested that this may be a female sparrow hawk. If you look closely you can see she has a blackbird under her claws. She waited a while and then flew off carrying the blackbird"

And also

"This reminded me of another event back in September when these three inquisitive chaps came to visit. I enclose those photos too in case they are of interest."