Latest Sightings February 2018

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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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25/02/18 In Area 4 by Kingfisher Bridge a Grey Wagtail was feeding by the river bed.My first for the year. A Nuthatch was calling from nearby trees.

23/02/18 3 Hawfinch were feeding in the Area 10 carpark field copse seen by Paul Bright Thomas this morning.An additional 2, also flew over S.

21/02/18 Mallard A small walk through Area 5 this morning. During which I saw a pair of Mallard on the pond,2 Siskin feeding off the Alder cones, by the pond.10 Redwing feeding off the grassed area, with 6 Blackbird . My pair of garden Dunnock were singing from first light, and a Nuthatch was visiting my garden feeders.

18/02/18 In Area 4 a Little Egret flew E along the Emm Brook, a Common Gull flew N, a Fieldfare flew low S and 5 Lesser Redpoll were all seen by Paul Bright Thomas.

17/02/18 A distant Tawny Owl was heard calling at 01:40, this morning in Area 5. Following an operation, I am reduced to looking out the house windows. Highlight so far 6 Lapwing flying East. A Barn Owl was seen sitting on the fence post in Lavells Lake car park field by Fraser Cottington.

16/02/18 Collared Dove In and aound my Area 5 garden feeders were Collared Dove , Goldfinch, Dunnock and a lot of Wood Pigeon .

15/02/18 A male Sparrowhawk was ween flying over the Car Park Field in Area 10 by Bob Bennett.

13/02/18 Grey Heron A visit to Area 1 around Ludgrove at Lunchtime was much as expected .Approx 12 Mallard and a Grey Heron were on the flooded fields. Jackdaw , Rook and Black headed Gulls were enjoying the fields with the Cows. Despite the rain, Red Kite were hunting overhead. 6 Redwing were moving between the field and the hedgerows.

12/02/18 4 Lesser Redpoll and a Green Woodpecker were seen in Area 4 by Paul Bright Thomas.

11/02/18 In the Area 10 car park field copse a Fieldfare and a Hawfinch were seen by Bob Bennett. A Great spotted Woodpecker was also seen to the left of the field.

10/02/18 5 Hawfinch were seen flying over the Area 10 (Lavells Lake) car park field with 3 landing in the copse. Seen by Fraser Cottington.

07/02/18 Paul Bright-Thomas was out and about again in Area 4 and saw a Lesser Redpoll with 3 Siskin a Song Thrush and a garden Goldcrest.

05/02/18 In Area 1 this morning a Little Egret was seen standing in the Emm Brook by Barkham Road Bridge, by Peter Burden. What was probably the same bird was seen later flying west along the Emm and 8 Lesser Redpoll were in the trees by the Balancing Pond both sightings by Paul Bright-Thomas .

03/02/18 Shoveller I decided to go to Area 1 and Heathlake in the drizzle this morning. On the lake, were Mallard, male and female Gadwall,male and female Pochard, Tufted Duck and a lone male Shoveller. In the picture you can see its spatulate bill. On the island were the usual Grey Heron and Cormorrant sitting in the trees . Great spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming. I then visited the area around Ludgrove School. On the flooded fields were 4 Canada Goose , a pair of Teal, 13 Mallard and an Egyptian Goose . A Green Woodpecker was heard calling in the woods to the rear.Ring necked Parakeet Along the path back towards Luckley Road numerous Jackdaw were in the fields and both Buzzard and Red Kite were on the wing. 2 Mistle Thrush flew over with their distinctive rattling call. A Ring necked Parakeet was calling from the treetops. In Area 10 a male Bullfinch was in the copse in the Lavells Lake car park field seen by Patrick Crowley.

01/02/18 Robin This Robin was singing away at lunchtime by Ripplestream Bridge in Area 4. In total 26 species of bird's were seen in Area's 4 & 5. Highlights were Coat Tit and 4 Greenfinch on my garden feeders. A Kingfisher perched on the bushes by the river at Kingfisher Bridge and 2 Lesser Redpoll were in the trees and a pair of Mallard were on the river. Down behind Morrisons, 10 Siskin Redwing were feeding in the grass and a Siskin was feeding in the Alders. A Stock Dove and a Mistle Thrush also flew over.A male Hawfinch was in the copse in the car park field in Area 10 seen by John McGowan.



Blue Bottle At this time of the year not many Insects are seen,but when the sun shone at lunchtime in Area 4, half a dozen Blue Bottle Calliphora vicina were warming themselves up on a fence panel.



Whilst looking out the window onto my Area 5 back garden, at lunchtime I saw what looked like a great cloud of smoke blowing across the garden. On inspection it turned out to be pollen, great billowing clouds of the stuff blowing off the Yew Taxus baccata.The Yew is one of only three of our indigenous conifers.


Loddon Lily Loddon Lily In Area 10 the Loddon Lily Leucojum aestivum patch is starting to bloom with at least 10 in flower. Female Hazel Catkins The arrival of Hazel Corylus avellana flowers is one of my favourite sights of spring , in amongst the bare hedgerows, there is something magical about finding a hazel heavy with catkins, as though somebody had been out and hung decorations upon a bare tree in the middle of nowhere. The hazel has both male and female flowers on each shrub, and the two flowers are quite different. The male flowers are gathered within the long, breeze-blown catkins and these are by far the most prominent. Each catkin is made up of many individual flowers these are the small green/yellow male flowers which produce the pollen. There are around 240 male flowers in each catkin and they form during the previous summer so that they are ready to open in the dead of winter and flower through the spring. The hazel is wind pollinated and the pollen from the catkins blows to reach the female flowers which you would never spot unless you looked carefully they are tiny individual flowers, visible only as red styles protruding from a green bud-like structure on the same branches as the male flowers. Hazels typically begin flowering in January and will go on into April. Once pollinated in the springtime, the female flowers set to work producing the hazelnuts which ripen in the autumn.


Crocus By Woosehill roundabout in Area 5, the annual Crocus Crocus sativus area is putting on a fine display. I'm not sure if they are garden escapees or have been deliberately planted ,but they still look good.

Other Wildlife



Squirrel In Area 4 by Kingfisher Bridge, 2 Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis were enjoying the lunch time sunshine.



Flavoparmelia caperata In Area 5 today was what I believe to be Greenshield Lichen Flavoparmelia caperata on an Ash tree .Lichens are made up of two tiny living things: a fungus and an alga. The fungus and the alga benefit from living together. The alga produces food, and the fungus gathers water. In this way a lichen can survive harsh weather that would kill a fungus or an alga growing alone. This type of relationship is called symbiosis.