Latest Sightings June 2013

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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

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27/06/13 Oystercatcher Fraser Cottington was out and about early this morning in Area 10. A Barn Owl was seen quartering the car park field at 05:20, a Nuthatch was also heard calling. On the Dinton Pastures golf course adjacent to the Emm an Oystercatcher was seen.

23/06/13 A Red Kite was up early this morning seen inspecting rear gardens in Area 5 at 05:30 .

20/06/13 Heading NW, this morning were 3 Cormorrant.

18/06/13 Swift numbers have now swelled to 3, patrolling the skies over Area 5.

17/06/13 Cormorrant Garden watching before work in Area 5 included a flyover Cormorrant , a busy Coal Tit at the feeders and unfortunately a casualty in the shape of a juv Coal Tit into the neighbours window. A quick look in the evening produced 2 Swift feeding over Brookside.

15/06/13 For the last few days a juvenille Robin has been putting in an appearance around my Area 5 birdtables. More breeding success.

13/06/13 A ragged looking Coal Tit has been coming backwards and forwards to the sunflower heart feeder in Area 5.

08/06/13 A Grey Wagtail was on the weir by Woosehill roundabout, this afternoon .

08/06/13 There was evidence of successfull breeding (of an avian kind) to the rear of Morrisons in Area 5 this morning. Feeding juvenilles in the Alder tree were Long tailed Tit and Nuthatch. High in an adjacent tree young Great spotted Woodpecker were calling nosily for their parents from a nest hole. The warm afternoon proved ideal for raptors with 3 Red Kite on the thermals over Emmbrook School in Area 6.

06/06/13 A male Sparrowhawk plunged into a tree this morning in Area 5, clearly with breakfast on his mind. All the assembled Starlings & Goldfinches seemed to escape safely. Over Paul Bright Thomas's Area 4 garden this evening 6 Swift and a Common Tern flying E calling.

01/06/13 The start of a new month always brings a sense of eager expectation of what might be to come. Halfway through the year, the new arrivals slow down and the residents get down to breeding. In Area 4 & 5 today it was pretty much as last month left off. Juvenille Starling's were noisly begging adults for food. Seen foraging for food and then flying off presumably to waiting chicks, with full beaks were Blue Tit , Great Tit, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush & Song Thrush . Still singing and possibly looking for a mate were male Blackcap & Chiffchaff A Red Kite was hunting over Area 5 to the rear of Morrisons. On the Emm itself were Moorhen & Mallard . Not seen for a few days, but with the weather warming up, a party of Swift's were screeching over my Area 5 garden. Other Wildlife

Reptiles & Amphibians



Roe DeerRoe Deer In Area 9 Blackberry Gardens at lunchtime, I was suprised to see this Roe Deersitting in the grass. .



Chicken of the woodsChicken of the woods Seen in Area 4 by Tamara Parnell was Chicken of the Woods Laetiporus sulphureus One just starting and the other in all its glory . The large one is by Meadow Road bridge , the small one near Snowberry Close.

Chicken-of-the-woods is a bracket fungus that usually grows in tiers of up to twenty brackets. It has a fan shape with rounded edges that become more in-curved as it gets older. The colour is a deep orangey-yellow to lemon on top with sulphur yellow undersides when the fungus is young fading to pale yellow or white as it ages. The bracket edge feels like velvet or suede and the pores of fresh brackets give off pale-yellow watery droplets.

Chicken-of-the-woods may be found in broadleaved woods where it grows on dead and living trees. Its hosts are usually oaks and sweet chestnuts. As its name suggests, chicken-of-the-woods has the texture and flavour of chicken. It is one of the few edible bracket fungi and is eagerly looked for on mushroom forays.

Insects & Spiders

22/06/13 Stag Beetle Seen wandering around Area 5 early evening was this female Stag BeetleLucanus cervus .

22/06/13 Green Shieldbug Another first for the year in Area 5 a Green Shieldbug Paalomena prasina .

10/06/13 Azure Damselfly Another day and another Damselfly. Area 9 this time and Blackberry Gardens produced a fine male Azure DamselflyCoenagrion puella . Also seen was a small Roesel's bush Cricket Metrioptera roeselii on a dock leaf.

09/06/13 Banded Demoiselle At stroll around Area 8 at lunch time produced the first Banded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens of the year. Also seen were Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. Only one butterfly was seen, thankfully another new one for the year a Large Skipper Ochlodes sylvanus Large Skipper. This is one of the largest of our “golden” skippers and, like these other skippers, the male has a distinctive sex brand on its forewings containing specialised scent scales. The butterfly is on the wing in June and July. There is one generation each year.

08/06/13 Tipula oleracea Seen today the Cranefly Tipula oleracea This is possibly our most common cranefly with a brown front edge and a brown stigma to its wings. It also tends to be seen earlier in the year. As with all craneflies, the females, prior to egg laying will be plump (they can carry several hundred eggs) and have pointed abdomens - all the better to insert eggs into damp soil. The males tend to be slim with squared off or club shaped abdomens.

02/06/13 /Common Blue Damselfly Another good day along the Emm, once the sun came out. The Crab Spider Xysticus ulmi was waiting on a leaf for prey. An Orange Tip , Large White & Small Tortoiseshell butterfly were on the wing. Harlequin, 7 spot & Propylca 14-puncata ladybirds were on the Nettles. Sawflies were out and about in the shape of the Turnip Sawfly Athalia circularis and Bramble Sawfly Arge cyanocrocea . Another year first Damselfly today a Common Blue Damselfly Enallagmacyathigerum

01/06/13 Large Red Damselfly With the sun returning along the Emm, today was a good day for Insects. A male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardaminesbutterfly was seen. On the vegetated banks of the Brook was the spider Tetragnatha extensa . . My first damselfly of the year Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula was sunning itself, Speckled Bush Cricket and a very small Speckled Bush Cricket Leptophyes punctatissima was in my Area 5 garden. Spiderlings Also in the garden were Spiderlings of Garden spider Araneus diadematus. On the Nettle patch Cuckooo spit covered the Common FroghopperPhilanenus spumarius .




16/06/13 A large veteran English Oak Quercus robur was uprooted in the wind this weekend in Area 4 near Ripplestream Bridge. The Oak 2659 on the Wokingham Veteran Tree database , now lies across the Emm and will shortly be removed by Wokingham Borough Council.

15/06/13 The first Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus are just starting to appear along the Emm.

02/06/13 Common Comfrey Along the Emm the bankside vegetation is now growing quickly. The main plants involved are the Umbellifers Cow Parsley Anthricus sylvestris , Hemlock Conium maculatum & Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium cardamines. Also Common Comfrey Symphytum officinalis can be seen in all its colour forms pink-purple and cream white.

. The Rosebay Willow Herb Epilobium angustifilium whilst not yet in flower is at least a metre tall.



01/06/13 White lipped Snail On the Nettles are White lipped Snail Capaea hortensis and Amber Snail Succinea putris can be seen.

For a review of 2012 sightings click here 2012 Sightings