Latest Sightings April 2021

Click on the link to send in your sightings to help us monitor Emm Brook wildlife.This type of ‘citizen science’ allows us to get a clearer picture of what is happening along the Emm.

For previous months sightings see Archive

The "Area Seen" refers to the 11 sections that the Brook has been split into for monitoring purposes (see Wildlife page under Monitoring ).

For what you can expect to see on the Emm this month, click here April

All sightings unless stated are from personal observations by Eddie Napper.

Click on any picture to see a larger image

What is this life if full of care , we have no time to stand and stare.

Leisure - W. H. Davies.


What is the Dawn Chorus

29/04/21 Cuckoo In Area 10 a Cuckoo has been calling for most of the day.Photo courtesy of Roger Stansfield.

26/04/21 Paul Bright Thomas was watching from his Area 4 garden again and reports a flyover Swift and Kingfisher . A Blackcap was feeding in a Blackthorn Bush.

25/04/21 Swift In Area 10, there were the first 20 Swift of the year seen by Brian Bennett and in Area 1 there were 3 Lapwing displaying in the fields.

23/04/21 An Osprey was drifting over the Emm Brook in Area 10.

21/04/21 A singing male Whitethroat was in the bushes by the Dinton Activity Centre bridge in Area 10.

20/04/21 Male Wheatear 2 male Wheatear were seen at the bottom of the car park field in Area 10 by Fraser Cottington.

19/04/21 Little Egret In Area 10, Fraser Cottington was skywatching for an hour at the car park field this afternoon with only 2 Swallow and a Raven heading North of note, for his efforts. After preening a Little Egret was showing off all its breeding finery for any one that was interested. Lots of Kingfisher action today, at Kingfisher bridge in Area 4 , including flying over Paul Bright Thomas's garden and at treetop height. Grey Wagtail An afternoon stroll around Areas 4 & 5 produced 4 Mallard on the pond 3 male and 1 female , singing male Chiffchaff , Blackcap , Robin gathering food to take back to the nest, Dunnock , Blackbird , Song Thrush , Magpie , Red Kite , Grey Wagtail and Wren

17/04/21 Oystercatcher At the car park field in Area 10 an Oystercatcher flew over calling noisily and a flock of 10 Lesser Redpoll put in an appearance.

16/04/21 In Area 4 a Ring necked Parakeet flew over Paul Bright- Thomas's garden calling, also a Mute Swan and a pair of Blackcap were feeding by the bird feeders . In Area 7A seen by Paul O'Neill was a maleKestrel and a Swallow .

14/04/21 In Area 4 a Willow Warbler was heard singing near Ripplestream Bridge by Paul Bright Thomas, meanwhile a Yellowhammer was on the fence by the A321 in Area 7A seen by Paul O'Neill.

13/04/21 Wood Pigeon Squab On the floor in Area 1 by Ludgrove School a young Wood Pigeon also known as a Squab, was waiting for something . Maybe one of its parents to return,

12/04/21 April Snow A crazy start to the day with a covering of snow all along the Emm, which quickly thawed .  Moorhen In Area 7 the age old question was asked" Why did the Moorhen cross the road".In Area 5 Song Thrush and Blackbird were feeding out of the snowfall. Song Thrush In Area 4 seen from Paul Bright Thomas's garden were a Grey Heron flying onto the Emm Brook,a flyover Sparrowhawk a male Blackcap and male Chiffchaff singing in the snow, and 2 calling Lesse Black-backed Gull .

11/04/21 In Area 7 a Little Egret was seen flying into the Emm Brook to feed and 2 Common Buzzard were circling high over the Ashridge Stream.In Area 10 a Kestrel was seen in the car park field by Suren.

10/04/21 Seen from his Area 4 garden by Paul Bright Thomas were Grey Heron , Siskin and 2 Kingfisher . The Kingfishers flew high over the house and garden, coming from the South, then noisy on Emm Brook. Later flew around at treetop height again. In Area 10 Patrick Crowley saw 2 Mistle Thrush one carrying food near the main car park, 3 Sand Martin and 15+ Swallow near the Dinton Activity Centre.

09/04/21 In Area 10 there were 4 Willow Warblers seen and heard by Fraser Cottington in and near the Car park field.In Area 5 Chiffchaff and Blackcap were seen.

08/04/21 In Area 10 the first Cuckoo of the year was heard calling by Richard Marsh. Fraser Cottington had a flyover Osprey that didnt stop.

07/04/21  Great spotted Woodpecker In the Car Park field in Area 10 a Great spotted Woodpecker was seen checking out the Telegraph pole.

05/04/21  Lapwing In Area 1 there were 3 Lapwing in the field waiting for the hairdressers to open. in the field waiting for the hairdressers to open. A Song Thrush was flying back and forth into a Bramble bush with beakfull's of nesting material.  Song Thrush In Area 10 by the Dinton Activity Centre 30 Sand Martin and a few Swallow .

04/04/21  Grey Wagtail The first returning House Martin was seen heading North in Area 10 by the Dinton Activity Centre and a Grey Wagtail was by the Emm.In Area 5 a Grey Wagtail was on the banks by the weir pool.By Kingfisher Bridge in Area 4 a male Blackbird  Blackbird was flying up from the Emm with beaksfull of nest building mud and diving into a nearby bush.12 Linnet were by the play area in Area 7 by Paul O'Neill.

03/04/21 In Area 10 a returning Swallow went through heading North .A Raven was seen chasing a Buzzard .

02/04/21  Ring necked Parakeet The feeders in Area 10 were invaded by 6 Ring necked Parakeet this morning. Song Thrush , Chiffchaff and Blackcap were all singing.

01/04/21 A Green Woodpecker was seen in Area 10 at the Car Park field by Richard Marsh .


26/04/21    Harlequin Ladybird In Area 7 again and another first a Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis was seen

25/04/21    Large Red Damselfly In Area 7 near Emmbrook School, my first Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula of the year was seen.It is the earliest damselfly to emerge in the UK, it is on the wing from the end of April through to August.    Syrphus ribesii Also seen was the Hoverfly Syrphus ribesii Whilst the current sunny weather, might not be good for the garden, it does bring the Insects out.

24/04/21    Frosted Green The moth trap was out overnight in Area 7A and emptied this morning.The days are warm but the nights are cold The total haul was just 1 moth . It was a Frosted Green Polyploca ridens. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released. There were how ever lots of Butterflies in the afternoon sun with male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines , Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni , Peacock Aglais io seen along the Brook.

23/04/21    Holly Blue In Area 7A the first Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus was seen.The holly blue is the first blue butterfly that emerges in early spring, from March to May, and then again at the end of the summer between July and September. The foodplants of the caterpillars are mainly Holly (for the spring generation) and Ivy (for the summer generation), although a wide range of other plants are used including spindle, bramble and gorse.

19/04/21    Comma A good Butterfly afternoon in the sun in Area 10 produced 3 male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines , 3 Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni , 8 Peacock Aglais io 2 Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria .   Peacock and Comma My first Comma Polygonia c-album and an uncooperitive and unidentified White Butterfly.This brings this years FOTEB Butterfly list to 6 species.

18/04/21    Lunar Marbled Brown Following a sunny day the moth trap was out overnight in Area 7A and emptied this morning.The total haul was a dismal 2 moths of 2 species. They were a Lunar Marbled Brown Drymonia ruficornis and a Frosted Green Polyploca ridens.   Frosted Green Nearby maybe lured in by the light was a Pill Woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

17/04/21 Butterflies seen in Area 4 & 5 in the afternoon sun were 2 male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines , 2 Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni and a male Green-veined White Pieris napi . The first one of the year.

10/04/21   Brindled Pug The moth trap was out overnight in Area 7A and emptied this morning.I was hoping for a better catch than my last attempt.It proved so with 25 moths of 6 species. They were 8 Small Quaker Orthosia cruda , 1 Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata, 2 Oak Beauty Biston strataria , 2 Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica ,1 The Chestnut Conistra vaccinii and 11 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

05/04/21   Dark Edged Bee Fly In Area 5 Dark edged Bee Fly Bombylius major can be seen close to the ground and is the largest of the UK's Bee Flies. This bee mimic has a long straight proboscis that it uses to feed on spring flowers like primroses and violets. Their larvae are nest parasites of ground-nesting and solitary bees, feeding on the bee grubs. The female bee-fly flicks her eggs towards the entrance holes of solitary bee nests to allow the larvae to hatch in the right place. Once a bee-fly egg hatches, the larva crawls into the underground nest cell of a host bee where, once large enough, it attaches itself and starts to suck out the body fluids of the host species…

04/04/21   Speckled Wood A lunchtime wander around Area's 4 & 5 in the sunshine on Butterfly watch. Seen were Peacock Aglais io and first's for the year of Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria . The year total now stands at 4 species.

03/04/21   Small Quaker Once again the moth trap was out overnight in Area 7A and emptied this morning.The temperature dropped quite low again overnight with a chilly wind and the results reflected it with 2 moths of 1 species. They were Small Quaker Orthosia cruda .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

Plants/ Trees

18/04/21 Garlic Mustard All along the Emm Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata is starting to appear. It is also commonly known as 'Jack by the hedge', it likes shady places, such as the edges of woods and hedgerows. It can grow to over a metre tall and has small white flowers that appear from April. The heart-shaped leaves of Garlic mustard are smooth and hairless, and rather like those of nettles; when crushed, they smell of garlic.

17/04/21 Cuckoo Flower In Area 4 & 5 Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis is now in full flower. A sure sign that spring has arrived. Cuckooflower, also commonly known as 'Lady's-smock', is a pretty, springtime perennial of damp, grassy places. Each flower has four petals, although double-flowered varieties do appear.

03/04/21 Marsh Marigold In the pond in Area 5 a Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris is now in full flower.


Amphibians and Reptiles

03/04/21   Tadpoles At the pond in Area 5 Tadpoles from the Common Frog Rana temporaria spawn are just startimg to emerge.


17/04/21  Red Fox In Area 7A a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes was seen in the fields at 11:00. It appears to have only one eye.

10/04/21   Muntjac 2 Muntjac Deer Muntiacus reevesi a male and female, were seen in the fields in Area 7A.

02/04/21   Roe Deer It was a productive morning for mammals in Area 10. Seen were a pair of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus , a solitary MuntjacDeer Muntiacus reevesi and a lot of Rabbit Orytolagus cuniculus .

Fish/ Crustaceans