Latest Sightings January 2022

Click on the link to send in your sightings to help us monitor Emm Brook wildlife.This type of ‘citizen science’ allows us to get a clearer picture of what is happening along the Emm.

For previous months sightings see Archive

The "Area Seen" refers to the 11 sections that the Brook has been split into for monitoring purposes (see Wildlife page under Monitoring ).

For what you can expect to see on the Emm this month, click here January

All sightings unless stated are from personal observations by Eddie Napper.

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What is this life if full of care , we have no time to stand and stare.

Leisure - W. H. Davies.


31/01/22 A Little Egret was seen flying downstream on the Emm Brook, between Kingfisher Bridge and Ripplestream Bridge in Area 4 by Paul Bright-Thomas. In area 10 the Tawny Owl was seen in its usual tree near the Green Bridge by Roger Stansfield.

29/01/22 A Kingfisher flew from a branch by the footbridge over the Emm Brook in Area 10. In area 1 a possible Lesser spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming on the path to Gorrick Woods by James Carson.

27/01/22  Tawny Owl I finally managed to catch up with the Area 10 Tawny Owl opposite the Green Bridge as it sat out at its roost tree at 16:30. In the car park field a pair of Bullfinch were seen flying towards the central copse. Photo courtesy of Alan Jackman.

24/01/22 A Little Egret was seen flying up and down the Emm Brook, downstream of Kingfisher Bridge in Area 4 by Paul Bright-Thomas. In area 10 a Kingfisher was seen near the Green Bridge by John McGovan.

23/01/22 In Area 1 a Little Owl was heard calling at dusk by Paul Bright-Thomas at Ludgrove and a male Bullfinch was seen in the Area 10 car park field by Anne Cronin.

22/01/22 In Area 8 a Kestrel was seen hunting over Old Forest Road Meadows and a Green Sandpiper was seen in the balancing ponds at the junction of Old Forest Road and Toutley Road by Paul O'Neill.

21/01/22 A Tawny Owl was heard calling from inside the "holey tree " near the Green Bridge in Area 10 by Brian Bennett, also seen were a mixed flock of 100+Redwing and Fieldfare on the landfill.

19/01/22 In Area 4 Paul Bright-Thomas heard a Tawny Owl calling at 00.30,a pair of Stock Dove calling from a nearby Oak, a Wren in his garden, a Nuthatch in his garden Sloe tree, 2 Great spotted Woodpecker and a flock of 20 Siskin flying West along the Emm Brook. Paul O'Neill was in Area 7A and saw a Fieldfare in the bushes at Copsewood, a Little Egret in Ashridge Stream and a female Kestrel in Ashridge Meadows. Finally in Area 10 a Kestrel was seen over the landfill by John McGovan.

18/01/22 5 Blackbird were feeding on Paul Brioht-Thomas's frosty lawn this morning in Area 4.

16/01/22  Redwing Again in Area 1, but this time with Robert Godden, were 2 Raven , 2 Bullfinch ,1 Stock Dove , 2 Ring necked Parakeet , 3 Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen in the morning.  Ring necked Parakeets Paul Bright Thomas visited in the afternoon and added a possible Siberian Chiffchaff . It was clearly the place to be as I was also there adding 4 Redwing , Red Kite and Common Gull to the list. In Area 10 a Tawny Owl was seen in the "holey"tree by the Green Bridge at dusk by Peter Scudamore and the Barn Owl was seen briefly at the entrance to its box byPaul M mid afternoon.

15/01/22 In Area 1 a Little Owl was seen at lunchtime, initially sitting on the base of an oak about 200m west of Ludgrove School before flying up into the branches by Peter Kendall.

14/01/22 A Little Egret was seen high in the oaks along Emm Brook, downstream of Kingfisher Bridge by Paul Bright Thomas. In Area 5 at least 3 singing male Song Thrush were duelling it out for territory from the tree tops by the pond.

13/01/22  Starling I was working from home today and lunch time was spent admiring the iridescent plumage of the Starling who were enjoying the sun in my garden. After work I went to Area 10 and saw a Green Woodpecker feeding in the Car park field,  Green Woodpecker on the landfill were a large flock of Canada Goose and Greylag Goose which also contained 18 White fronted Goose a first for the FOTEB list.  White fronted Goose Photo courtesy of Fraser Cottington and seen sitting in the entrance to its box was a Barn Owl . The nightly murmuration of Starling above Lavells Lake was approx 3,000 birds at dusk today, they put on a spectacular display.

12/01/22  Barn Owl Seen sitting in the door way of the Owl Box in Area 10 by Rebecca Rees was a Barn Owl . Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rees.

10/01/22 Paul O'Neill was around Ludgrove in Area 1 and saw 70 Redwing in the Cattle fields . A Gooseander was seen in Area 10 near the Dinton Activity Centre (DAC) by Nick Kightly.

09/01/22  Tawny Owl Following yesterdays rain it was good to see the sun.In Area 10, there were 2 Tawny Owl sat in a hole in an old tree near the Green bridge, enjoying the sun.Photo courtesy of Andy Hubbard.  Buzzard In Area 7A, 2 Green Sandpiper flew over Ashridge Meadows , calling a Buzzard was sat on a telegraph pole near Ashridge STW. In the hedge on the East side of the meadow was a female Stonechat . Female Stonechat 7 Red Kite were on the afternoon thermals. The colloctive noun for kites is a kettle.

07/01/22 Robert Godden was in Gorrick Woods in Area 1 at dusk and saw 2 Woodcock ,leaving their daytime roost.Woodcock are a large, bulky wading bird with short legs and a very long straight tapering bill. It is largely nocturnal, spending most of the day in dense cover. He also heard a calling male Tawny Owl and the harsh 'fraank' or 'kaark' call of a Grey Heron in flight .

06/01/22 Area 10 again today and a Green Woodpecker was in the Car park field seen by Rebecca Rees.A Grey Wagtail was on the beach by the Dinton Activity Centre (DAC), seen by Andrew Curd . 6 Fieldfare ,a Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush were seen on the old golf course by Bruce Irvine.

05/01/22  Male Gooseander In Area 1 a Mistle Thrush and Redwing were seen feeding in the fields around Ludgrove ,a Tree Creeper was also spotted by Andy Tomczynski . A Sparrowhawk was seen making a low level charge towards the roosting Redwing, but was onsuccesfull. In Area 10 a male Gooseander was sitting on the beach near the DAC, photo courtesy of Alan Jackman and a Woodcock was seen flying over the Wet Meadow at dusk by Fraser Cottington. From his Area 4 garden Paul Bright-Thomas reported a Bullfinch , a flyover Fieldfare and a Buzzard seen with a Red Kite .

03/01/22 A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was in Area 1 this morning seen by Robert Godden. I went to look for it later in the day but was not succesful. However whilst waiting I did see Nuthatch , Great spotted Woodpecker , Ring necked Parakeets , Red Kite , Kestrel and Common Gull .

01/01/22  Peregrine & Parakeet The majority of the day was spent in a very mild Area 10. A Kestrel was sat on the wires in the Car Park Field about 20 Redwing flew over and a Great spotted Woodpecker was seen and heard drumming with flyovers by seversl Ring necked Parakeets . Later in the day a Peregrine was seen flying off with one in its talons. Photo courtesy of Mark Lauri. A Little Egret flew over the Emm. More Redwing,Fieldfare and Mistle Thrush were on the old golf course. Finally in Area 7A a Little Egret was seen flying over the Twyford Road towards the Ashridge Stream.


As you may have noticed its that time of year when Insects seem to disappear. Where do they go?, What do they do? Find the answers Where have the Insects gone? .

30/01/22  Pale Brindled Beauty Lured in by a mild/sunny day , I put out the Moth trap overnight (29/01/22) in my Area 4 garden and emptied it this morning. The temperature was again near -0.9C by dawn but there were still 4 moths in and around the trap, most arrived before midnight. The moths caught were 2 male Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia , Pale Brindled Beauty Phigalia pilosaria and a Light Brown Apple Moth Agriopis leucophaearia both new for the year  Light Brown Apple Moth This brings the 2022 FOTEB moth year list to 5. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

28/01/22  March Moth Not one to be discouraged I put out the Moth trap overnight (27/01/22) in my Area 4 garden and emptied it this morning. The temperature dropped sharply overnight but I caught 2 moths , thankfully both new for the year . The moths caught were a male March Moth Alsophila aescularia and a suitably named male Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia . Both of the females of these species are flightless and climb trees and wait for the male to appear for mating to take place.  Spring Usher This brings the 2022 FOTEB moth year list to 3. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

22/01/22 My success rate for moths caught in the trap this month has been pretty dismal, with 3 nights with no moths so far . However ,without hope ,what do we have I'm sure that there is a moral to this story, but I'm not sure what it is. I will keep trying as already mentioned, without hope ,what do we have?.

10/01/22  Dark Chestnut At last my first Insect of the year.Following a sunny day I put out the Moth trap overnight , (09/01/22) in my Area 4 garden and emptied it this morning.Not however overly productive Caught was just 1 moth of 1 species. The moth caught was a Dark Chestnut Conistra ligula . Not many moths fly at this time of the year ,so I guess I should be grateful. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

Plants/ Trees

09/01/22  LCommon Gorse In Area 7A at Ashridge Meadows Common Gorse Ulex europaeus is in flower its covered in needle-like leaves and has coconut-perfumed, yellow flowers . A good source of early nectar for any insects.

03/01/22  Lords and Ladies In Area 10 today the emerging shoots of Lords and Ladies Arum maculatum were coming through the leaf litter. White Dead Nettle Lamium album,  Loddon Lily are still in flower and the first Loddon Lily Leucojum aestivum are just coming into flower. Photo courtesy of Pat Taylor

01/01/22  Hazel Catkins Probably as a result of the recent mild weather , the catkins of Hazel Corylus avellana have appeared early in the hedgerows around Morrisons in Area 5. The catkins are the male flowers and they produce copious amounts of powdery yellow pollen. Each catkin actually consists of 240 individual flowers arranged on a dangling stem, and when fully ripe it only takes the slightest touch to release a cloud of microscopic pollen grains.

Fungi Do not eat any fungi that have not been properly identified by a qualified professional, some are DEADLY when ingested (all species MUST BE cooked). -

Amphibians and Reptiles


28/01/22  Red Fox In Area 1 this morning 2 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes were seen enjoying the sun ,they were eventually disturbed by 2 noisy dogwalkers

19/01/22  Roe Deer A brief gaze across an Area 7A field at lunch time produced a grazing Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus  Red Fox and a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes . Not bad for a 10 minute look.

16/01/22 Another tragedy to report , in Area 5 a dead Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was on the centeral reservation of Woosehill Spine Road opposite Morrisons.

13/01/22 I'm not sure how it happened , but I was saddened to find a dead Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus underneath the Ice in my frozen Bird Bath, when I went out to clear it out.

10/01/22 Woken at 01.20 this morning to find 2 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes fornicating on the pavement outside my house.I'm not sure why I was shocked, it is that time of year.

09/01/22  Roe Deer In Area 10 a female Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen on the landfill.

04/01/22 At sunrise in Area 1 a male Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen running through the woods.

Fish/ Crustaceans