I wanted to update you on some of my recent observations walking around the area.
I was lucky enough to catch a brief look at a Kingfisher fishing from the bridge by the Millstone pub last Sunday afternoon. It was downstream and perched on a thin overhanging branch and made one dive before it went out of my sight. Whether it was successful or not I do not know. But great to see but only the third sighting for me in 70 years all have been on the Loddon locally.
Last Tuesday morning at the same bridge hoping for another glimpse of the Kingfisher, I was surprised to see a large adult mink swim nonchalantly under the bridge and downstream. It was almost black and about 16 inches long in the body with a tail about a further 8 inches. Not at all nice to see these alien predators again in the area.
Having seen the mink, I continued through the village and up Pyott’s Hill to the Park Pale path and was treated to a pair of Roe Deer grazing in the fields between Park Pale and the Chineham Incinerator. Crossing the A33 by the Toll House and walking into Tollhouse Meadow a red kite put on a fabulous aerial display for about 5 minutes soaring and turning looking for a good thermal. It was quite exhilarating to see the Kites white banding and russet colouring against the clear blue sky.
Obviously the colder weather is bringing the wildlife closer to us.