Month on the Emmbrook
What to look for if you are out and about in
January is just as harsh for wildlife as December so make sure you continue feeding the birds and providing water.
Winter thrushes can be seen rummaging through the leaf litter and flocks of Siskins and Goldfinches can be found feeding in the Alder trees alongside the brook on Riverside Walk to the rear of Morrisons.
Insects are few and far between in January. But a few active species can be seen on winter days, of which the most conspicuous are the gently dancing swarms of harmless Winter Gnats. In the winter sunshine swarms of male gnats make an appearance. If you see a dull brown gnat in winter, it will almost certainly be one of these. Cold doesn’t worry them – two of our common species fly at 0°C and can still walk about in sub-zero temperatures. Females even get on with laying eggs under snow, although males do need it a little warmer for swarming.
On a warm sunny afternoon in late January Red Admirals may come out of hibernation.
As the tree canopy is gradually lost Grey Squirrels can be seen moving through the branches looking for acorns.
Plants & Trees
All except the evergreen trees have lost their leaves
January is really a low point in terms of plant hunting. However there are some signs of things to come as Cuckoo Pint leaves are starting to emerge in a curled funnel formation, Lesser Celandine can also be found in flower.
The first of the Hazel catkins are starting to appear.