Latest Sightings April 2016

Click on the link to send in your sightings info@foteb.org.uk

For previous months sightings see Archive

The "Area Seen" refers to the 10 sections that the Brook has been split into for monitoring purposes (see Wildlife page under Monitoring ).

All sightings unless stated are from personal observations by Eddie Napper

Click on any picture to see a larger image

Birds

28/04/16

Lesser Whitethroat In Area 10 at the bottom lefthand side of the car park field a Lesser Whitethroat was singing in the hedge.Photo courtesy of Fraser Cottington.It was also singing later in the afternoon.

27/04/16

In Area 10 where the Emm Brook meets the Loddon, Brian Bennett saw a Hobby flying low overhead.

23/04/16

House Martin In Area 10 this morning it was a bit of a hirundine fest with House Martin , Swallow and Sand Martin all flying around the Brook. Also seen was the first Swift of the year and the first Cuckooof the year was heard calling near the car park field.In Area 4 a female Mallard and at least 4 ducklings were in the Balancing pond.

18/04/16

Seen flying over Area 4 and 5 this afternoon on the way home from work a Buzzard was being harrassed by 3 Carrion Crow .

17/04/16

Green Woodpecker In Area 4 in the wildflower a Green Woodpecker was feeding amongst the grass.

15/04/16

Blackcap In Area 5 not quite so exciting just mainly singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

13/04/16

Ring Ouzel With migration now in full swing it was a double wammy in Area 10. The car park field had a Ring Ouzel found by Brian Bennett and a Lesser Whitethroat.Picture courtesy of Fraser Cottington. In Area 5 a Swallow flew over the Emm Brook at Woosehill Roundabout.

12/04/16

In Area 5 whilst looking for bats at 20:00 a Sparrowhawk did a flyby, probably late night shopping for any unwary roosting birds.

10/04/16

Willow Warbler A bit of a general stroll along the Brook today. In Area 4 a Grey Wagtail was in the Balancing pond channel. In Area 10 (Dinton Pastures) by the bridge over the Emm, my first Willow Warbler of the year was singing.A female Bullfinch was in the riverside bushes.

05/04/16

Fraser Cottington was at the bottom of the car park field off Sandford Lane in Area 10 today and saw a Willow Warbler , a Blackcap 1 Blackcap,and several Chiffchaff , this was followed by a bit of a Raptor fest with a lot of Red Kite and Buzzard , a pair of Kestrels ,2 Sparrowhawk , and then if it couldn't get any better a flyover, calling Yellow Wagtail .

03/04/16

Blue Tit Blue Tit In Area 10 (Dinton Pastures) by the kids park a Blue Tit was seen going in and out of a nestbox adjacent to the Emm. A Mistle Thrush was seen flying with its charesteric rattling call.Earlier in the day a male Blackcap was in Blackthorn bushes in the car park field off Sandford Lane.

Insects

27/04/16

Alderfly In Area 10 this afternoon a male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines and a Peacock Inachis io butterfly were seen.By the Emm Brook at the sailing club were Alder Fly Sialis lutaria The Alder Fly is a large, sluggish insect often found on vegetation near to water. The larvae are aquatic carnivores that live in the silt at the bottom of ponds and slow-flowing rivers. Adults live for just for a few days in order to mate. Mating takes place at night and the females lay their eggs on overhanging vegetation. The larvae hatch and drop into the water where they develop over one to two years. Adult Alder Flies are blackish-brown, with dark, lacy wings which they fold in a tent-like manner along the length of their body. They are distinguished from stoneflies by the lack of any 'tail' bristles.

20/04/16

Another sunny afternoon walk home from work and another new Butterfly for the year in Area 5. This time a male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines butterfly was out and about.The 5th Butterfly species seen this year.

19/04/16

The sun shone this aternoon and in Area 5 the first Comma Polgonia c-alum butterfly was on the wing. In Area 10 a Peacock Inachis io , Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni and the first unidentified White Butterfly of the year.

12/04/16

Small Tortoishell More of the same this afternoon in Area 5 . At least 4 Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae seen including these 2 who were involved in what I believe to be a courtship display which led who knows where, also seen flying over my garden later was a Peacock Inachis io butterfly .

10/04/16

Peacock In Area 5 this morning. Another Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae and the first Peacock Inachis io butterfly of the year was seen.

05/04/16

On my walk home this evening from work a Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae was seen on the grass by the Brook in Area 5.

02/04/16

Brimstone Small Tortoishell A good day for Insect sightings today in Area's 4 & 5 . Afternoon sun and the first Butterflies of the year were on the wing with several Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni and a Small Tortoishell Aglais urticae . Also seen were several Buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris . My morning stroll and in the sunny patches in Area 4 by Ripplestream Bridge was a Bee Fly Bombylius major The Bee Fly is a strange looking insect with its furry body and patterned wings. The long proboscis is used for drinking nectar and the fly is totally harmless. Bee Fly Tipula lateralis and in the Balancing pond the Cranefly Tipula lateralis was seen in the channel.Tipula lateralis is an early Spring Crane Fly. As with many Crane Flies, identification is not always straight forward, but this species can be identified by the combination of abdominal markings, wing pattern and venation.

Other Wildlife

Mammals

27/04/16

Rabbit In Area 10 by the sailing club a tiny Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus was in and out of the hedgerows

19/04/16

In Area 10 what I assume was a pair of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus were seen strolling across the landfill. The male had a fine pair of antlers.

12/04/16

Pipistrelle In Area 5 at least 3 Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus bats were seen feeding high in the tree tops over Ripplestream Bridge. At least 1 came down to feed over the Emm. One was also seen close to Dragonfly Bridge, with this or another one picked up over the pond with the Bat detector. This tiny non-native deer is the smallest in Britain and has copper-brown fur, with darker markings on the legs and face which vary depending on gender.

10/04/16

Muntjac In Area 10, not seen for while by me a pair of Muntjac Muntiacus reevesi were seen. The male was barking loudly . You can just about make them out in the undergrowth. This tiny non-native deer is the smallest in Britain and has copper-brown fur, with darker markings on the legs and face which vary depending on gender.

Fungi

27/04/16

Pixie Cup Not strictily a fungi but a lichen. These Pixie CupsCladonia pyxidata were on the car park field gate in Area 10' As a lichen this plant is composed of algae and fungus in a symbiotic relationship, where both plants gain benefit and neither are harmed by the relationship. The pixie cup looks like the name implies, a tiny cup (1/2 inch high) used by the pixies or wood fairies to sip the morning dew from.

10/04/16

Enteridium lycoperdon Although not technically a fungus anymore(but they used to be).In Area 5 on a tree by the pond was what I believe to be the Slime Mould Enteridium lycoperdon .

Molluscs

06/04/16

White-lipped Snail A very bad picture of a White-lipped Snail Cepaea hortensis on my garage door. This snail has a glossy, smooth shell, which is typically yellow in colour but may be pink, brown or red, with up to 5 variable spiral dark bands and nearly always has an obvious white lip around the shell opening. The body of the snail is usually greenish-grey becoming yellow towards the rear.

Fish/ Crustacean

Plant/Trees

23/04/16

On the bank of Emm in Area 5, Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata is out and in flower

17/04/16

Marsh Marigold Marsh Marigold By the pond in Area 5, in the marsh behind the spillway are Marsh-marigold Caltha palustris The large golden flowers of Marsh-marigold certainly look like the cups of kings and the Latin name Caltha is derived from the Greek for 'goblet'. Hence, Marsh-marigold is also commonly known as 'Kingcup'. Also by the pond is Green Alkanet Green Alkanet Pentaglottis sempervivens Green Alkanet was imported into Britain hundreds of years ago for use as a dye. It was particularly cultivated by monasteries because the roots of the plant produce a rich red that is ideal for ecclesiastical cloth. Its religious connections may go back as far as ancient Egypt where priestesses are said to have used it as a hair dye.

10/04/16

Cowslip Yellow Deadnettle At this time of the year there is a yellow theme to the flowers. In the wild flower meadow in Area 5 the first Cowslip Primula veris have just started to appear. By the pond Yellow Dead Nettle Primula veris , Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria and Dandelion Taraxacum officinale are all in flower. Himalayan Balsam In Area 10 you can just see the start of the Himalayan Balsam Impatiens glandulifera and the Loddon Lily Leucojum aestivum are still putting on a show with the Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta .

03/04/16

In Area 10 (Dinton Pastures),whilst out with the grandchildren Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara was seen growing on the banks of the Emm Brook. The flowers of Coltsfoot which appear between March and April are always out before the leaves.

02/04/16

Dog Violet In Area 4, several clumps of Dog Violet Viola rivinian were seen. Also seen was Red Dead-nettle Lamium purpureum .Red Dead-nettle is a common and familiar plant of cultivated ground and is one of the first to flower starting in March and carrying on right through until October.

01/04/16

Wood Anemone Wood Anemone In Area 5 Wood anemone Anemone nemorosa are still showing well.

For a review of the sightings along the Emm for the first 8 months of 2014 click here May - August 2014 Sightings

January - April 2014 Sightings