Latest Sightings February 2016

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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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In an ivy clad tree by the pond in Area 5 a pair of Goldcrest were picking off insects. A pair of Mallard seem to have taken up residence, maybe ready for nesting.


A frosty start to the day and couldn't be bothered to scrape the car off. So I walked to work along Areas 4 & 5 of the Emm. By the pond in Area 5 a Great spotted Woodpecker was on the trees and near Ripplestream Bridge a Green Woodpecker was calling . Crossing Kingfisher Bridge at 07:50, I disturbed a Kingfisher from its perch.It flew upstream towards Meadow Road Bridge.


Area 5 highlights this morning were a Sparrowhawk looking for breakfast and a male Bullfinch calling from the bushes. In the afternoon a solitary Canada Goose flew over my house calling.


Grey Wagtail Grey Heron It was a sunny day so at lunchtime and againin the afternoon I visited Area's 1 & 2 to the rear of Tecco's. In the fields were 6 Lapwing , numerous Jackdaws and 3 Pied Wagtail . In the flooded field where the two areas meet a Grey Heron was sunbathing in a tree. The pair of Egyptian Geese were in the field with their 3 Goslings and a Little Egret was feeding amongst the cows.

Egyptian Goose Little Egret A Grey Wagtail was seen preening on a fence post. Approx 70 Redwing were also seen. In Area 5, 2 Cormorrant flew over heading N.


In the car park field in Area 10 a Great spotted Woodpecker was drumming and a Nuthatch was calling. Both sightings by by Fraser Cottington.


On Valentines Day in the car park field in Area 10 a Kestrel and a Mistle Thrush was seen by Richard Marsh. Meanwhile in Area 5 50+Redwing were constantly on the move. A Moorhen was on the Emm between Dragonfly and Ripplestream Bridges. Siskin were feeding on the Alder trees near the pond and 2 Stock Dove flew over. Later in the day a Buzzard was over Area 5 mobbed by Carrion Crows.


Grey Wagtail Long Tailed Tit A Kingfisher was seen flying downstream on the Emm from Meadow Road bridge by Malcolm Dunmore. Out in the rain this morning in Area 4 and 5. A Grey Wagtail was in the Balancing Pond. 2 Long Tailed Tit were feeding on the fat square by the pond. 2 Mallard were on the pond and a Red Kite was braving the rain .


A Barn Owl was seen in the box and then flying by the Emm at Lavells Lake by Fraser Cottington.


A Buzzard was seen by Linda Garner-Langham over the car park field off Sandford Lane at Dinton Pastures in Area 10.


In the car park field off Sandford Lane at Dinton Pastures Area 10. A Kestrel was seen by Fraser Cottington.


A stroll this morning alongside the Emm on the old golf course at Dinton Pastures Area 10. Seen was a 40 strong flock of Redwing & Fieldfare and 2 flyover Egyptian Geese On the footpath in the car park field was a male Bullfinch In Area 5 by the new pond a Goldfinch was at the new feeding station. Also seen in a brief 5 min watch, once I had topped the feeders up were Blue Tit , Great Tit , Blackbird , Robin and Magpie . In an adjacent Ivy clad Alder a Goldcrest was picking insects off the leaves. In Area 3 a Buzzard was seen over Molly Millars Lane by Paul Bright-Thomas.


A mid afternoon stroll around Area 4 produced 3 Red Kite effortlessly riding the thermals over Meadow Road .


Grey Heron An afternoon walk in Area 10 at Dinton Pastures alongside the Emm on the old Golf Course was very productive, A Grey Heron was stalking the banks, looking for a snack.Fieldfare A Fieldfare was sat in a riverside tree a first for the FOTEB list this year .A Green Woodpecker was yaffling as it flew from ground to tree another first . More average birds included Goldfinch and Long tailed -Tit . In a slightly strange moment a Mute Swan was sat in a ditch alongside Sandford Lane just down from the bridge over the Emm BrookMute Swan .


Other Wildlife



In Area 4 by Kingfisher Bridge a Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus was scurrying around in the leaf litter before disappearing into a small hole at the base of the tree.


In Area 10 numerous Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus were seen around the car park field.



Fish/ Crustacean



Lesser Celandine In Area 5 by the pond Lesser Celandine Ranunculus ficaria are just starting to emerge. This is one of the first wildflowers to bloom, its pretty, golden stars often blanket the ground.Its the floral equivalent of the swallow: both reappear around the same time and herald the coming of spring. In fact 'celandine' comes from the Greek chelidon meaning 'swallow' and it traditionally first blooms on 21st February.


Alder In Area 5 this morning the catkins of the Alder Alnus glutinosa tree were seen blowing in the wind. Alder is monoecious: it produces both male and female flowers on the same tree between February and April. The male flowers or catkins are a dark yellow brown colour, about 2 inches long when open. The female flowers are much smaller in size, cone-shaped and red. When fertilised, these become green fruits, which gradually become woody and eventually release small, reddish brown seeds.

Why do leaves change colour in the Autumn click here Autumn leaves

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