Latest Sightings August 2017

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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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29/08/17 Paul Bright Thomas was out in Area 4 and had a Buzzard moving high to the East, in amongst a mobile Tit flock were a juvenile Willow Warbler and 4 Chiffchaff . Paul O'Neill was checking out Area 8 and Old Forest Road Meadows. Seen were 2 Stock Dove with at least 60 Wood Pigeon in the stubble field. A Blackcap was also seen in the hedgerows. In Area 5 a solitary Mistle Thrush flew over calling. Meanwhile in Area 10, 13 were seen by Fraser Cottington flying over the Activity Centre.

28/08/17 Back to Lavells Lake car park field in Area 10 again this morning. The weather was very similar but unfortunately thats where the similarity ended.A solitary Yellow Wagtail flew over calling, approx 20 Swallow were heading south and a Kingfisher flew across the landfill. Then despite a long wait nothing in the way of migrants appeared.

27/08/17  Whinchat With migration now in full swing again , birds head South as Autumn approaches, I visited the reliable Lavells Lake car park field in Area 10 this morning. Needless to say I was not dissapointed.There were at least 6 Yellow Wagtail flying over calling and 2 Whinchat were found by Fraser Cottinton in the hedge near the Lea Farm Balancing pond.A bit later that morning both Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart were seen in the same hedge. 2 Wheatear were also seen on the landfill. On the resident bird front Sparrowhawk, Red Kite, Jay, Ring necked Parakeet and Grey Heron were seen. In Area 8 Old Forest Road Meadows 3 Chiffchaff were seen by Paul O'Neill. These included one juvenille and a singing male.

26/08/17 In Area 10 this morning at the Sandford Lane car park field a male Whinchat was seen by Fraser Cottinton briefly, before flying off.

24/08/17 A Little Egretwas seen in the Emm Brook in Area 8 (Old Forest Meadows ) by the M4 Bridge by Anna Alborough.

21/08/17  Great spotted Woodpecker In Area 10 at Sandford Lane car park field a small group of Swallow and House Martinwere feeding overhead.A Great Spotted Woodpecker was investigating a fence post. In Area 1 in the Cattle fields around Luckley Oakfield School a Little Owl was heard calling, and 20 Swallow were weaving between the Cows feeding on flies.

20/08/17 Pre Balsam bashing to the rear of Lidl at Ashville Way, 3 Swallow and 2 House Martinflew over heading S.A Kingfisher was heard calling as it flew downstream of Ashville Way.

19/08/17  Blackcap Out and about in Area 5 this morning at 06:45 to the rear of Morrisons a female Blasckcap was enjoying the early morning sun and the Elderberries. Calling nearby Great Spotted Woodpecker were Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker . My garden feeders had visiting Goldfinch and Blue & Great Tit .A Blackcap and Garden Warbler were in the Area 10 Sandford Lane car park field seen by Fraser Cottinton.

18/08/17 A female Kestrelwas seen flying in the Sandford Lane car park field today by Richard Marsh.

15/08/17 Paul O,Neill was out in Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows a juvenile Sparrowhawk an adult Buzzard and 4 Stock Dove were seen at lunch time.

13/08/17 This morning in Area 10 a Ring necked Parakeet flew over the car park field calling.At Old Forest Road Meadows a Whitethroat and Chiffchaff were seen and at my garden feeders a Coal Tit popped in for some sunflower hearts.At lunch time Paul Bright Thomas was in his Area 4 garden and saw a distant Hobby a Cormorrant flying high W, 2 Swift a juvenile Chiffchaff and the Kingfisher was heard flying up the Emm Brook.

12/08/17 After the recent spell of wet weather I had been expecting to see a White Dove with an Olive Branch at the garden feeders, however more normal fare was there.A Nuthatch put in a brief visit and the ever present Goldfinch were stripping the feeders. Canada Geese and Herring Gull were heard flying over in the dark before sunrise.

06/08/17  Great crested Grebe Back to Area 1 and Heathlake this morning, not a lot different . The Great crested Grebe was still there and the Black headed Gull numbers were now in double figures.  Black headed Gull . An adult and 3 juvenile Mute Swan were different, and a calling Hobby flew over.In Area 8 by the Motorway bridge the Kingfisher was seen again by Steve Reed whilst walkimg his dog.

05/08/17  Juvenile Coot In Area 10 at the car park field, this morning a Sparrowhawk flew over. Meanwhile at Heathlake (Area 1), on the lake were numerous Coot , many with juveniles, a solitary Great crested Grebe , 6 noisy Black headed Gull and Moorhen . A Cormorrant was seen resting in a tree on the island. A Nuthatch , Great spotted Woodpecker and Grey Wagtail were also seen. In Area 4 at 00:30 a Tawny Owl was heard by Paul Bright-Thomas.In Area 8 by the Motorway bridge the Kingfisher was seen by Steve Reed.

04/08/17  Wood Pigeon In Area 9( Bluebell Meadows) the remains of a Wood Pigeon egg was found in the grass. I'm not sure if its successful breeding or predation.

02/08/17 There have been many indications that this has been another succesfull Bird breeding season along the Emm. Not least of which is the number of juvenile Goldfinch that are currently appearing at my Area 5 garden feeders along with the regular juvenile Great Tit and Blue Tit . A Ring necked Parakeet was seen over the car park field in Area 10.


28/08/17  Common Hawker The ealy morning sun was warming up the bushes in Area 10 and taking full advantage was a male Common Hawker Aeshina juncea dragonfly. Juniper Shieldbug In a slightly stranger moment, when I opened up the boot of my car at Tesco (Area 2) to put the shopping in a Juniper Shieldbug Cyphostethus tristriatus was sitting on my waders. I've no idea if it from the last lot of Balsam clearance or has just flown in through the window. A fuzzy photo was taken.

27/08/17  Common Blue Damselfly In Area 10 in the car park field, things were a bit quiet, seen however were several Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and another Common Green Shieldbug Palomera prasina .

26/08/17  Large White All along the river there seems to be Large White Pieris brassicae butterflies everywhere.

24/08/17  Common Green Shieldbug Another day another patch of Netlles. In Area 8 (Old Forest Road Meadows) a Common Green Shieldbug Palomera prasina was out in the afternoon sun.

23/08/17  Scorpion Fly In Area 4 by Kingfisher Bridge a Scorpion Fly Panorpa communis was on the riverside Brambles. It can be identified by its patterned wings and sturdy beak. The scorpion-like tail is only seen in the male and is in fact its genitalia - and doesn't sting!  Dock Bug Seen nearby on the Dock Leaves was, not suprisingly aDock Bug Coreus marginatus A large and mottled reddish-brown squashbug with a broad, oval abdomen. The two small projections between the antennae are diagnostic.

21/08/17  Ptychoptera contaminata In Area 10 this afternoon on the riverside vegetation at the Activity Centre was a Ptychoptera contaminata This small and distinctive family only has about seven species in it. The scientific name Ptychoptera refers to their 'folded' wings, i.e., a crease in the wing that can make the wing appear very narrow.  Old Lady Seen earlier in the day in my Area 5 garage was an Old Lady Mormo maura moth. They seem to be attracted to the recycling boxes. Who knows why.

19/08/17  Silk button Spangle Gall On the underside of the Oak leaves near Dragonfly Bridge in Area 5 are the Galls of the Gall wasp Neuroterus numismallis .This Gall known as the Silk button Spangle Gall is truely spectacular when looked at closely.The raised edge of the cup appears to have been embroided with silky golden hairs. Green veined White Also seen warming its self up in the early sunshine was a Green veined White Pieris napi . It is often mistaken for its cousin, the Small White.

18/08/17  Dicranopalpus ramosus Resting on the bridge in Old Forest Road Meadows was a Harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus . Dicranopalpus ramosus is a harvestman everyone is capable of identifing, especially when it is resting. The animal sits flat on the surface of a wall, fence or trunk of a tree. All legs are spread out along and very close to each other to the sides. The enormous and forked palps are stretched out forward in full. In this position the animal can spend the entire day.It is a Mediterranean species and it was discovered in Britain (Bournemouth, 1957). Dicranopalpus ramosus is a common species all over Britain nowadays.

13/08/17 Walking up the river this morning Balsam pulling in Area 8 numerous Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens and Beautifull Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo Damselflies were sitting on the riverside vegetation a Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum Dragonfly was seen on the path. Disturbed during the pulling were Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis one of the largest of Britain's so-called 'micro-moths'. Common Spangle Gall On the underside of the leaves of Oak trees in Area 8 were the Common Spangle Gall each one houses a larva of the Gall Wasp Neuroterus quercusbaccarom .

06/08/17  Crab Spider In my Area 5 garden was the Crab Spider Misumena vatia . It can change colour from white to pale green to yellow to match the flower it is hiding on.I would like to see it try with this Buddelia. By the pond in Woosehill Meadow a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis dragonfly was seen.

05/08/17  Black tailed Skimmer I visited Heathlake today in Area 1. Between the showers Dragonflies were ejoying the sun.Seen on the banks was a  Common Darter Black tailed Skimmer Orthetrum concellatum sitting on the fence on the way out were 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum .

02/08/17  Red Admiral Seen in the car park field in Area 10 were Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta , Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Large White Pieris brassicae .

Other Wildlife



Common Toadflax Flowers were in bloom around Area 8 (Old Forest Meadows )this afternoon. Seen were Common Toadflax Linaria vulgaris , Tufted Vetch Vicia cracca , Corn Cockle Agrostemma and Vipers Bugloss Echium vulgare .


Horse chestnut leaf miner Horse chestnut leaf miner Cameraria ohridella was originally found on horse chestnut trees in London. The larvae of this tiny moth forms burrows within the leaf tissue, with heavy infestations resulting in leaf browning and drying and, over time, leaf death The leaf miner was first observed in Macedonia, northern Greece, in 1985 before appearing unexpectedly in Austria in 1989.Since then it has spread throughout central and Eastern Europe It was first found in Great Britain in 2002 in the London Borough of Wimbledon.Over the last few years its range has expanded north, travelling between 40 and 60 km annually; the speed of this suggesting that some moths have been carried inside vehicles


28/08/17  Hedgehog Despite recent fatalities on the nearby roads I was happy to see that "my" Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus appears to be safe.It was caught on the trailcam wandering around my garden at 21:30. Also seen earlier in the day in Area 10 on the edges of the landfill was an adult Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus with a fawn.

24/08/17 2 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus were seen in the fields around Area 8 (Old Forest Meadows ) by Anna Alborough.

21/08/17 Seen by Steve Day, in Area 10 at the spillway from Black Swan Lake, were 2 American Mink (Neovison vison sitting on the weed from the lake.

19/08/17  Hedgehog At 01:30 this morning a Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught on the trailcam wandering through my garden in Area 5.At 2045 by Ripplestream Bridge Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellis bats were flying over the Brook also 2 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus were seen hugging the hedge line to the rear of Windmill School.

018/08/17 Running through Old Forest Road Meadows (Area 8 ), at 16.45 was an adult Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus with a fawn .

13/08/17  Roe Deer To the rear of Old Forest Road Meadows in the corn field (Area 8 ), this morning were 2 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus keeping a close eye on me.

04/08/17  Rabbit In Bluebell Meadows (Area 9 ), this evening numerous European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus were seen hugging the vegetation at the edges of the field.

01/08/17 At least 2 Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus are visiting my Area 5 garden in the evenings.


18/08/17  Black Slug Following the afternoons rain numerous Black Slug Arion ater agg of both the Red and Dark form were seen crossing the path in Old Forest Road Meadows. The photo shows a Red form. The slugs pneumostome (or breathing pore) is clearley visible. This allows air to enter into the animal's single lung. It opens and closes in a cyclical manner.


06/08/17 At Heathlake in Area 1 , several small Common Roach Rutilus rutilus were seen close to the bank.


27/08/17  Pleated Inkcap Near the gate by Old Forest Road was Pleated Inkcap Parasola plicatilis .

06/08/17  Reticularia lycoperdon Not quite a fungus, but a slime mould. I think that this is Reticularia lycoperdon seen on a tree in Area 1 Heathlake. Slime Moulds are a strange class of amoeboid protozoa, previously thought to be fungi but now known to be Myxomycota, which are organisms which prey on microbial food webs.