Latest Sightings July 2021

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 July

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

Click on any picture to see a larger image

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

Leisure - W. H. Davies.


What is the Dawn Chorus

31/07/21 With no sighitings of any Swift for 4 days I assume that they are on their way back to overwinter in Africa, south of the Saraha.

29/07/21 In Area 5 both Green Woodpecker a

27/07/21 The 3 local Swift are still patrolling the skies over Area 4 occasionally "screaming" to let me know that they havent gone yet. In Area 7A a singing male Yellowhammer was seen by Paul O'Neill at Ashridge Meadows and in Area 10 a Barn Owl was seen at the Boxin the Wet Meadow by Ralph Watts.

26/07/21 Nuthatch Not a great nights sleep as I was woken at 01:50 this morning by a calling female Tawny Owl in the nearby woods and then at 03:22 by Herring Gull that were flying over my house again calling Seen bathing in the Area 4 Balancing pond channel by Paul Hopcraft was a Nuthatch .

24/07/21 Blackbird At 03:00 Herring Gull were heard calling as they flew over my house. Seen on my Area 4 decking was a Blackbird which I have great empathy with as apparently its avian " alopecia. " is caused by stress due to a lack of success during the breeding season.

22/07/21 A Little Egret was seen in the Wet Meadow in Area 10 by Fraser Cottington. Meanwhile seen in Area 7A by Paul O'Neill a circling Hobby and at least 30 Swift .

20/07/21 In amongst the weeds near the construction site in Area 7A a Garden Warbler was heard calling and then seen by Paul O'Neill.

18/07/21 It was a good day for Raptors, riding the thermals were a Common Buzzard over the Balancing pond in Area 4 and 3 Red Kite over my Garden. 8 Swift were screaming over my garden all day.

15/07/21 In the carpark field in Area 10, both male Chiffchaff and Blackcap were heard singing from the hergerows.

13/07/21 A calling Oystercatcher was heard as it flew over Area 7A by Paul O'Neill.

12/07/21 Barn Owl Obviously a successful breeding season as 4 Barn Owl , 1 Adult and 3 Juvenile were seen at the box in Area 10. Photo courtesy of Ida Attias-Groot.

11/07/21 Male Yellowhammer A male Yellowhammer was calling from the riverside trees in Area 7A. Nearby a Whitethroat was catching Insects for its young. Also seen were Goldfinch and Skylark .

09/07/21 Swift 2 Swift were feeding over my Area 4 garden this morning at 06:00 later in the afternoon peaking at 6. A juvenile Jay was visiting the bird table. In Area 10 a Green Sandpiper was in the Wet MeadowGreen Sandpiper . before moving to Tern Scrape where it landed on a post, seen and photgraphed by Alan Rymer .A Barn Owl was again showing in its box seen by Ida Attias-Groot.

08/07/21 Great Spotted Woodpecker . 2 Raven were seen flying over the car park field in Area 10 and roughly parallel with Emm Brook by Fraser Cottington, heading low WNW calling.Also seen was a Barn Owl near its box in the Wet Meadow. Meanwhile down by the Emm in Area's 4 & 5 during an afternoon stroll in the rain Mistle Thrush . a Little Egret was seen flying upstream and then feeding in the river by Kingfisher Bridge. A Grey Heron was being mobbed by Crows, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was investigating a dead tree, a Mistle Thrush was probing for worms in the soft ground and a Moorhen was gathering worms around the pond.

04/07/21 Flying up the Emm Brook in Area 4 was a Grey Heron seen by Paul Bright Thomas.

03/07/21 A Hobby was seen feeding as it flew by Lavells Lake heading over the landfill seen by Tim James.

01/07/21 Juvenile Robin . In my Area 4 garden this morning a Blackbird was picking up beakfulls of worms and Insects before returning to a nearby nest to feed its brood and a Juvenile Robin was exploring the garden, Juvenile Moorhen . In Area 10 by the main carpark a juvenile Moorhen was on the pond.


29/07/21 Single-dotted Wave With the overnight temperature dropping to 12.3°C Moth numbers were affected with just 28 moths of 17 species. Highlights were a Single-dotted Wave Sphinx pinastri another first for the year, and a Uncertain Falcaria lacertinaria Uncertain The name Undcertain refers to its being similar to and confused with 2 other moths, The Rustic and the Vines Rustic. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released. In the afternoon 5 species of Butterflies were seen in Area 5.

27/07/21 Golden ringed Dragonfly Allthough seen yesterday by Paul Hopcraft in the Area 4 Balancing pond, I didn't have a chance to post his sightings due to the moths . It was a bit of a Dragonfly fest. Seen were a male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum , Brown Hawker a male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis seen feeding on a Wasp and for me the highlight of the year so far a Golden Ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii A voracious predator that will even eat other dragonflies, the Golden-ringed dragonfly is the UK's longest species and a first for the FOTEB list. Male Common Darter . also seen was a male of the Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens Damselfly.

26/07/21 Scalloped Hook-tip The moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden again and emptied this morning. It proved to be the best moth catch of the year to date with 112 moths of 40 species. Highlights were a Pine Hawk Moth Sphinx pinastri another first for the year, and a Scalloped Hook-tip Falcaria lacertinaria its wings are held in a tent-like resting posture ,the supporting cast included the Micro Moth Hypsopygia glaucinalis, Pine Hawk Moth Early Thorn Selenia dentaria , 5 Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor Early Thorn . and 1 Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

24/07/21 Common Green Lacewing . One of the by-products of moth trapping is that other insects are also attracted to the light. Caught in last nights trap were Orange Ladybird Halyzia sedecimguttata , 10 spot Ladybird Adalia decempunctata and the Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea.

23/07/21 Rosy Footman . Once again the moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. A good nights trapping produced 81 moths of 36 species. Highlights were 9 Rosy Footman Miltochrista miniata a first for the year, 2 Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi , the Micro Moth Argyresthia goedartella, Maidens Blush Maidens Blush Cyclophora punctaria , European Corn Borer Ostrinia nubilalis Ruby Tiger . and 2 Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

19/07/21 Puss Moth Caterpillar Another warm day and in an Area 5 garden was the caterpillar of a Puss Moth (Cerura vinula seen and photographed by Pat Taylor. Sphaerophoria scripta In my own Area 4 garden the hoverflies Sphaerophoria scripta and Episyrphus balteatus were busy visiting the flowers.

18/07/21 Ringlet . With the temperature peaking at 30.6°C it wasn't a day for being out in the field,however to the strains of Noel Cowards "Mad dogs and Englishmen "I went out in the mid day sun to the Area 4 Balancing pond with my sweep net to see what was about. Among the Butterflies seen was my first Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola and Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus of the year, along with Large White Pieris brassicae , Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria . Long winged Conehead .Also seen was the Common Red soldier beetle Rhagonycha fulva also misleadingly known as the bloodsucker beetle, and popularly known in England as the hogweed bonking beetle. In the grass was a female nymph Long Winged Cone-head Conocephalus fuscus . Essex Skipper . On the flowers were Honey Bee Apis mellifera and the Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius

17/07/21 Black Arches . Coming to a lit window in Area 5 was a Black Arches Lymantria monacha . Photo courtesy of Fran Stickler.

16/07/21 Carcina quercana . My moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. Trapped were a minimum of 48 moths of 26 species, some still to be ID'd. Highlights were 4 Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor , 2 Box-Tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis , the Micro Moth Carcina quercana, Yellow Shell Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata , 5 Bird Cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella Beautiful Hook tip . and a Beautiful Hook-tip Laspeyria flexula Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

11/07/21 Roesel’s Bush-cricket . I was out with my Sweep net in Area 7A this morning , Bug hunting in the grass.It proved to be worthwhile with my first Grasshoppers and Crickets of the year, Roesel’s Bush-cricket Metrioptera roeselii , a female nymph Long Winged Cone-head Conocephalus fuscus and Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus . Butterflies seen were, numerous Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina , Marbled White Melanargia galathea Marbled White Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris,a Large White Pieris brassicae Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet - Comma Polygonia c-album and a day flying moth , Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Zygaena lonicerae .

10/07/21 Elephant Hawk Moth Moth . My moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. Trapped were a minimum of 55 moths of 30 species. Highlights were 2 magnificent Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor , a Dark morph Box-Tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis , Broad -barred White Hecatera bicolorata , Box-Tree Moth (Dark Morph) the Micro moths Acrobasis repandana and Bird Cherry Ermine Yponomeuta evonymella Bird Cherry Ermine . Buff Ermine Spilosoma lutea .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

08/07/21 Rosemary Beetle . Seen on Lavender in Area 5 was the beautiful Rosemary Beetle Chrysolina americana Not a gardeners friend the Rosemary beetle is a reasonably recent pest in the UK. It attacks the leaves and flowers of rosemary, and lavender, sage and thyme, causing extensive damage.

05/07/21 Spotted Longhorn . Paul Hopcraft was out in the Balancing pond in Area 4 and saw a Spotted Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata on Hogweed and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis in Larva and Pupae form.

02/07/21 Swallowtail Moth . My moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and due to an electrical fault was switched off ealier that usual. It was emptied this morning and the catch , reflected this. Highlights were Swallowtail Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria , Box-Tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis , The Snout Hypena proboscidalis , Box-Tree Moth . and Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

01/07/21 Harlequin Ladybird Larvae . A quick visit imto Area 10 today at lumchtime. Checking a Nettle patch proved dividends with numerous larvae of the Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis in various stages of its life cycle. Scorpion Fly Lycaena phlaeas was also seen along with Common Blue Damselfly Thymelicus lineola and a Beautiful Demoiselle Pieris rapae .

Plants/ Trees

11/07/21 Common Chicory In Area 7A is a solitary Common chicory Cichorium intybus plant. The light blue flowers of the chicory plant stand out, not only because of their unusual colour, but also because they are held aloft on stems that can be more than a metre high

08/07/21 Common Knapweed Down by the pond in Area 5 is Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra This thistle-like, vibrant-purple blooms attract bees and butterflies. Their seed heads provide food for birds.

01/07/21 Common mallow Once again in Area 10 and this time Common mallow Malva neglecta were in flower, also seen were Hedge Bindweed Calystegia sepium


Amphibians and Reptiles

22/07/21 Grass Snake Seen swimming in Lavells Lake,near the Emm Brook in Area 10 by Grant Evans was a Grass Snake Natrix natrix .Photo courtesy of Grant Evans


26/07/21 Red Fox Seen by Paul Hopcraft in the Area 4 Balancing pond was a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes .

24/07/21 Woken again by a very noisy Red Fox Vulpes vulpes that proceeded to stand in the road outside my my house in Area 4.

13/07/21 Woken from my slumber at 03:00 by a barking Red Fox Vulpes vulpes in the road outside my house in Area 4.

11/07/21 A Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen running alongside the Asnridge Stream in Area 7A.

10/07/21 Wood Mouse I was wondering what had nibbled the bag of Sunflower Hearts in my garden shed. Thankfully using the trailcam, its only a Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus .

09/07/21 Squirrel Running along my neighbours fence in Area 4 was a Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis with a large nut.

05/07/21 A Male Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen in the Area 4 Balancing pond by Paul Hopcraft.

Fish/ Crustaceans


21/07/21 Black Slug During the early morning watering of my garden plants this fine example of a Black Slug Arion ater agg. .was seen. .