Latest Sightings May 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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26/05/13 Todays sightings are all from Paul Bright Thomas and Area 4. 2 Bullfinch were seen. 3 House Martin flew N and another 2 flew over E on the 25th. A Common Tern was seen heading W. Birds

26/05/13 Its that time of the year. The Starlings have fledged and gangs of noisy juvenilles are being shown the ropes by their parents. A RedKite making good use of the thermals was todays raptor to be mobbed by the Carrion Crows . The Blue Tits feeding young in the nestbox are starting to look more disheveled each day.

25/05/13 Mistle ThrushNot a lot to report today a Common Buzzard was being mobbed by Carrion Crows at 07:30 in Riverside Walk (Area 5), and what I assume was the same individual was suffering the same fate at 16:15. This Mistle Thrush was constantly returning to its Area 5 nest with food.


SwiftGarden Warbler The morning started in Area 5 and at 06:10 a Grey Heron was being harrased by 2 Herring Gull's and a Carrion Crow as it tried to land on a neighbours roof. Later in Area 10 Dinton Pastures, a calling Ring necked Parakeet flew over the car park field on Sandford Lane. A Garden Warbler was singing from bushes near the sailing club and flying over the Emm and Black Swan Lake were Swift, Swallow & House Martin .

17/05/13 13 is obviously lucky for some as the Blue Tithas taken up residence in Bird Box 13 near Kingfisher Bridge (Area 4). Just above in a natural nesthole a pair of Nuthatch are busily going back and forwards. At 14:00 23 Swift were over Area 4 Meadow Road.

16/05/13 2 Swallow were seen heading N over Area 5 this morning.

15/05/13 Yesterday’s trailblazer was replaced by 5 Swift over Area 5 at 06:15 this morning.

14/05/13 The first Swift of the year were seen this evening over Area5.

10/05/13 A suprise for Paul Goulbourn when he found a pair of Mandarin on the Emm at the bottom of his Area 6 garden.

08/05/13 In the bushes in Area 10 by the sailing club at Dinton Pastures a singing male Reed Warbler was singing happily for 10 mins this morning.

07/05/13 A late night visit was required to Gorrick Woods in order to catch up with churring male Nightjar . They were first heard at 20:50 followed by a calling male Tawny Owl.


Willow Warbler The day started early with a visit to Area 1 and Gorrick Woods arriving at 06:30. The usual early singers, Blackbird,Song Thrush, Wren & Robin were all in full song. Blackcap,Chiffchaff and this confiding Willow Warbler were also seen. Despite visiting Area 5 to the rear of Morrisons and Area 2 to the rear of Tesco's the only excitement was a male Sparrowhawk.

04/05/13 A male Willow Warbler was singing near the Balancing pond this morning. A Mistle Thrush was pulling worms from the heaps of earth from the excavation for the new school.

03/05/13 Not much new recently in new migrants, but those that have arrived are setting up territories and trying to find a mate. Chifchaffs and Blackcaps can be heard singing from the bushes most days. In Area 4 near Kingfisher Bridge, a Nuthatch appears to have taken up residence in last years hole in a nearby tree. In Area 10, 2 Ring necked Parakeets were seen flying over the car park field by Fraser Cottington. Other Wildlife

Reptiles & Amphibians


Tadpoles The tadpoles of the Common Frog are still growing and surviving in Area 4 .



The first Pipistrelle Bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus was seen flying around Gorrick Woods at 21:00 .


Insects & Spiders

25/05/13 The first Oak Apple of the year was seen this morning in Area 5 to the rearof Morrisons. Carrion Crows at 07:30 in Riverside Walk (Area 5), and what I assume was the same individual was suffering the same fate at 16:15.


Peacock Caterpillars In Area 10 this morning in the sun a Small White Pieris rapae and a male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardaminesbutterfly were seen. flying. In Area 8 Peacock, Orange Tip & Comma were on the wing. Caterpillars of the Peacock butterfly were munching their way through the bankside nettles. A Scorpion Fly Panorpa germanica, Solider Beetle Cantharis pellucida and 2 Shieldbugs Coreus marginatus were also seen.


Holly Blue The Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus butterfly was again seen in Area 5 and with the weather warming up it was no suprise that the hoverfly Syrphus ribesi was also seen. The leaves of Ivy are always a good place to look for basking Insects warming in the sun. My favourite patch held Green Bottle Lucilia caesar,Bluebottle Calliphora eerythrocephala a Red Mason Bee Osmia bicornis in Area 2 the first Shieldbug Coreus marginatus was seen.


In Area 5 near Brookside a Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus butterfly was seen .


Green Dock Leaf Beetle EggsGreen Dock Leaf Beetle In Area 4 in the Balancing Pond I noticed these eggs on the underside of a Dock Leaf . On the adjacent leaves were male and female Green Dock Leaf Beetle Gastrophysa viridula . The male has a typical leaf beetle shape, but mated females become grossly distended, with their wing cases perched saddle like on top of the shiny black abdomen. The green dock beetle's breeding season is from March to October. There are 2 to 4 broods per year, with the last brood hibernating as an adult. The female lays over 1,000 eggs, laying them in clusters of 20 to 45 on the underside of the food plant's leaves. The eggs are oval in shape, and are cream to yellow, turning orange prior to hatching. After about 3 to 6 days, the larva hatches from the egg. It varies in colour from greenish grey to dark brown. Its body is segmented, and will reach a length of 8 mm. Young larvae will drop to the ground if disturbed while feeding, while older larvae secrete a substance which repels competitors from eating the food plant leaves. After three instars, the larva pupates in a burrow about 2 cm underground. The adult emerges 6 to 9 days later.


Episyrphus balteatus In Area 5 a female Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines butterfly was seen and my first Hoverfly of the year Episyrphus balteatus . was on the wing.





Wild Garlic I was suprised this morning to find this Wild Garlic Allium ursinum amongst the Bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta near Kingfisher Bridge. These plants also called Ramsons are a good indicator of ancient woodland. They have White, starry flowers with pointed petals and up to 20 flowers in a cluster at the top of the stalk.


Cuckoo FlowerCuckoo Flower Cardemine pratensis and Garlic Mustard Alliara petiolata are starting to appear all along the Emm.


Cowslip numbers are increasing in the Area 5 Wildflower Meadow



For a review of 2012 sightings click here 2012 Sightings