Latest Sightings July 2019

Click on the link to send in your sightings to help us monitor Emm Brook wildlife.

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 ).

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. W. H. Davies.


31/07/19 20 + Swallow and 10 + Swift were seen over the Area 10 Carpark field by Richard Marsh.

29/07/19 At 19:00 a Raven was seen heading high SW over the junction of Emmbrook Road and Reading Road in Area 6 by Paul O'Neill.

28/07/19 Over the landfill in Area 5 , 4 Kestrel of varying ages, were seen by Richard Marsh.Probably a family group.

23/07/19 Over Morrisons in Area 5 at lunchtime, 25+ Swift were screaming in a tight group. With their return migration only a week or so away, this might be the last ones that I see this summer.

22/07/19 In the Wet Meadow scrape in Area 10 between the Emm and Lavells Lake a Green Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail were seen behind the viewing screen by Richard Marsh meanwhile in the Car Park field a juvenile Green Woodpecker was on a Telegraph pole seen by Geoff Emmett. Another or maybe the same Grey Wagtail was seen in the car park by the DAC.

21/07/19   Grey Heron   A quick look around Area 2 this morning produced a juvenile Grey Heron sat in the middle of a recently mown field, waiting for something to happen. In the adjacent fields were Carrion Crow , Jackdaw and Rook . 5 Swallow were feeding over the tree tops and then swooping down to the fields. A Ring necked Parakeet were seen and heard calling at it flew across the field from the river towards the Equestrian Centre.

20/07/19   Starling  I wasn't sure if it was a local audition for a remake of Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds" or maybe word had got out that I had filled my garden feeders, but 30 noisy Starling of various ages were sat on my Area 5 roof. Equally as noisy,3 Carrion Crow were seening off a Red Kite . Magpie were alarm calling due to a neighbours cat. The only quiet thing were the Blackbird that were gorging themselves on the berries of the Rowan trees .

19/07/19 It was the turn of a Herring Gull this morning to be heard calling as it flew over my house in Area 5 at approximately 04:00. The Grey Heron had the decency to wait till 04:30.A Ring necked Parakeet was seen and heard calling at it flew across the Area 10 Car park field.

14/07/19 For the last few mornings a Grey Heron has been heard calling as it flies over my house at approximately 04:00 in the dark. Once the feeder bullies Magpie , Wood Pigeon and Starling had filled up and left the more delicate Blue Tit , Great Tit and Nuthatch appeared for their turn on the feeders.A Mistle Thrush was on path from Bittern hide to the car park field in Area 10 seen by Richard Marsh.

11/07/19 A Swift was over my Area 5 garden at lunchtime.

10/07/19   Green Woodpecker  A juvenile Green Woodpecker was on the tree in the wet meadow adjacent to the Emm in Area 10 seen by Geoff Emmett.Photo courtesy of Geoff Emmett.

09/07/19 In Area 8 a juvenile and a Female Kestrel were seen by Paul O'Neill. One was presumed to be a juvenile as it appeared to be begging for food.

07/07/19 At Old Forest Road Meadows in Area 8 juvenile Greenfinch and Whitethroat were seen. In Area 10 a Sparrowhawk flew over the Emm at Lavells Lake and 2 Swift were over the Landfill seen by Richard Marsh.

06/07/19 The usual suspects for this time of the year were visiting my Area 5 garden feeders this morning, Magpie and Starling popped in for the Mealworms. Jay , Nuthatch and House Sparrow seem to favour the Suet pellets and Wood Pigeon will eat anything. Collared Dove prefer the Sunflower Heart feeders . The Blackbird tend to forage under the feeders picking up the scraps. Blue Tit and Great Tit were on the Sunflower Hearts and fat feeder. 2 Robin also paid a brief visit to the tables. A Chiffchaff was calling from down by the river and a Grey Heron flew over calling at 04:00. During Balsam pulling in Area 3 at Molly Millars Lane a Grey Wagtail was on the river banks.

05/07/19 At the bottom of the car park field in Area 10, 4 Green Woodpeckers were seen on the ground by Tim James.

04/07/19 A juvenile Cuckoo was again seen flying around the meadow adjacent to the Emm in Area 10 by Alan Rymer.

03/07/19 A Hobby was seen over the wet meadows in Area 10 by David Hampton.

02/07/19   Juvenile Cuckoo At Area 10 this morning a juvenile Cuckoo was seen flying around Bittern scrape and the meadow adjacent to the Emm being hassled by a pair of Whitethroat by Steve Hughes, before being photographed by Geoff Emmett . The Barn Owl was in its box and a Hobby was seen chasing dragonflies.

01/07/19 In Area 5 the male Chiffchaff is still singing for all its worth every morning.


30/07/19   Box-tree moth  The Moth trap was out overnight on 29 & 30/07/19 in my Area 5 garden. The highlights of what was seen, recorded and then released were another FOTEB first a Box-tree moth Cydalima perspectalis . The Box tree Moth is a striking moth that was accidentally introduced to the UK originating from south-east Asia. The larvae feed on various species of box Buxus spp. The first report of this moth was from Kent in 2007 and by 2011 larvae had been found in private gardens. Also seen was a   Leopard Moth  Maidens Blush Cyclophora punctaria an Oak hook- tip Watsonalla binaria , Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata and a Leopard Moth Zeuzera pyrina. A very distinctive and easily recognised species. It has six large black spots on the white furry thorax, along with heavy black spotting on whitish wings

28/07/19   Dicranopalpus ramosus  I went to Gorrick Woods in Area 1 for the first time for a while .The only real things of note were a Havestman Dicranopalpus ramosus . This species is easily recognisable because its pedipalps appear to be forked, and if it falls off a tree onto your head.  Fairy Lamp Spider And also seen was the egg sac of the Fairy Lamp Spider Dicranopalpus ramosus on heather.

26/07/19   Harlequin Ladybird-spectablis  Things cooled a little today so it was back to Area 10 and the Old Golf Course car park. On the flower heads of Tansy were Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis . This is an alien species which first appeared in the UK only in 2004 but has now spread across much of southern England and into the Midlands.  Harlequin Ladybird-succinea  There are numerous colour and pattern forms but it is generally a larger species than most of our native ladybirds, around 8 mm long, with a dome-shape. There are three main forms of the Harlequin - succinea, spectabilis and conspicua. However, each of these three forms show large amounts of variation within them.  Harlequin Ladybird-conspicua  Looking at the photos its hard to believe that they are the same species.

24/07/19   14-spot Ladybird  With the lunch time heat becoming unbearable at 30.4C, 30 mins was all that I could stand in Area 10 and the Old Golf Course car park. However it was productive with a 14-spot Ladybird Propylea quatuordecimpunctata amongst the Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva   Gatekeeper  on what I believe to be the flowers of Tansy Tanacetum vulgare as its golden buttons flowers are quite distincitve . Enjoying the nectar of the Thistles were Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus and Brown Argus Aricia agestis .  Brown Argus Butterflies. The Gatekeeper has gold wings on a brown background. The black eye spot on the upper wings has two characteristic white 'pupils'.

21/07/19   Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug  Out in Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows again with my Sweep Net on a Bug hunt ,before it got too warm and it produced a bit of a Shieldbug day.Shieldbugs belong to the invertebrate order Hemiptera. They are characteristic and immediately identifiable bugs, named after their heraldic shield-like shape. Caught in the net were, Tortoise Bug Eurygaster maura. A Bishops Mitre Shieldbug Aelia acuminata . This large and distinctive striped shieldbug with an obviously pointed head is said to resemble a Bishop's Mitre hence its name.   Gorse Shieldbug   Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus. This Shieldbug is another first for the FOTEB list and a 3rd Instar nymph of a Common Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina . Also ending up in the net was   Cucumber Green Orb Spider  Cucumber Green Orb Spider Araniella cucurbitina and a female Meadow Plant Bug Leptopterna dolabrata Butterflies seen were Marbled White Melanargia galathea , Large White Pieris brassicae and Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris . Grasshoppers and Crickets included Roesel's bush-cricket Metrioptera roeselii, Long winged Conehaed Conocephalus fuscus and Common Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus.

19/07/19   Old Lady  When I went into the garage to get the bird seed for the feeders I found an Old Lady Mormo maura . Not a local vagrant but a large broad winged dark brown moth.It hides by day in old buildings and sheds.

13/07/19   Tortoise Bug  Out in Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows with my Sweep Net and a Tortoise Bug Eurygaster maura was caught on my first sweep through the grass. This Shieldbug is another first for the FOTEB list.  Neoscona adianta  . Also seen was the Ord web Spider, at the risk of becoming boring another first for the FOTEB list. Neoscona adianta . Butterflies seen were Marbled White Melanargia galathea , Comma Polygonia c-album, Large White Pieris brassicae , Peacock Aglais io , Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris , Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus and Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus .

12/07/19   Scarce Silver Lines  Another night and more trapping in my Area 5 garden. The light lured in almost as many as the previous night. Highlights were Scarce Silver Lines Apatura iris , the micro moth Agapeta hamana and a Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa   Ruby Tiger  and a European Corn-Borer Ostrinia nubilalis . A rare migrant before the 1930's, this species then began to colonise the area around London and the south-east, and has spread to several other areas since.

11/07/19   Common Footman  The Moth trap was out again overnight in my Area 5 garden. One of those seen was a Common Footman Manulea lurideola . The name comes from a supposed resemblance of the leaden grey moth to the uniform of a Footman ( a servant in Victorian times). The light lured in 150 Moths.It may take a while to identify this lot . More later

09/07/19 On the path just past the Green Bridge in Area 10 a Purple Emperor Apatura iris Butterfly was seen by Fraser Cottington. I was a bit disappointed to find that the grass in the Car Park Field in Area 10 had been cut as part of the Dinton Pastures Hay cutting conservation management. Shan't be using my sweep net there again for a while.

07/07/19   Female Stripe-winged Grasshopper Out with the sweep net this morning in Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows. Caught in the shorter grass was a Female Stripe-winged Grasshopper Stenobothrus lineatus a first for the FOTEB list, and for the year,   Female Stripe-winged Grasshopper another first for the year was a female Long winged Conehaed Conocephalus fuscus a Bush Cricket.  Ringlet Also seen was a Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus butterfly.

06/07/19  Small Tortoiseshell In Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows, mid morning were 20 Marbled White Melanargia galathea , 20 + Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and a Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae on the wing at various locations across the site.

04/07/19  Broad-bodied chaser The current heatwave makes field work uncomfortable for most of the day , however a visit to Heathlake in Area 1 early in slightly cooler conditions produced both Broad-bodied chaser Libellula depressa and Emperor Anax imperator Dragonflies hunting over the lake.

02/07/19  Marbled White During a lunchtime visit to the Area 10 "Old Golf Course, I found a good patch of Thistle that was holding feeding Butterflies including Marbled White Melanargia galathea , Comma Polygonia c-album, Large White Pieris brassicae  Meadow Brown and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina . Also seen were numerous Honey Bee Apis mellifera and 2 unidentified Dragonflies.

01/07/19   Elephant Hawk Moth  The Moth trap was out overnight in my Area 5 garden. The light lured in 85 Moths of 25 species. The highlights of what was seen, recorded and then released were 30 Heart and Dart Agrotis exclamationis ,an Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor, a Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi and a Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis   Figure of Eighty  The Figure of Eighty is an attractive moth which adopts a cylindrical posture when at rest, with the wings curled tightly around the body. The white '80' mark on the forewing, from which the moth gets its name, varies in shape and intensity.  Crambus pascuella  , the Grass Moth Crambus pascuella , 20 Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha , Treble brown spot Idaea trigeminata and a Least Carpet Idaea rusticata .

Plants/ Trees

15/07/19  Meadowsweet In Area 9 at Blackberry Gardens Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria is growing at the edge of the marshy area along with Great Reedmace Typha latifoli . Meadowsweet is a sweet-smelling flower of damp meadows, ditches and riverbanks. Look for frothy clusters of cream flowers on tall stems

07/07/19 I was at Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows again this morning, where swathes of Common Knapweed Centaurea nigra can be seen. The tightly packed, thistle-like purple flower heads of Common Knapweed regularly called 'Black Knapweed, attracts clouds of butterflies. Also seen were Common Vetch Vicia sativa and Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris .

06/07/19  Ribwort Plantain In Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows Common Fleabane Lactuca serriola is just coming into flower, several spikes of Purple Loosestrife Lactuca serriola are also starting to appear. The brown, oval flower heads of Ribwort Plantain Lactuca serriola can be seen balancing on top of thin, wiry stems.  Great Reed Mace In Area 3 on Ashville Way Great Reedmace Typha latifoli also known as Bulrush can be seen.

01/07/19  Prickly Lettuce By the bridge outside the Dinton Activity Centre in Area 10 were Prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola this is a tall, greyish, stiff and erect plant to 1.8 metres.The stem is someties bristly. It is a member of the Thistle family.

Other Wildlife

Amphibians and Reptiles


27/07/19   Hedgehog Finally a picture of 2 European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus that are currently feeding in my Area 5 garden nightly.

26/07/19 At last 2 European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus were feeding in my Area 5 garden this morning at 04:10. One was a lot smaller and maybe a hoglet. If you are lucky enough to have a Hedgehog visit your garden, make sure that you put out a bowl of water during the current heatwave.

20/07/19 An American Mink Neovision vison was seen near the Emm in Area 10 around Lavells Lake.

19/07/19 Still only the one European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus in my Area 5 garden on its nightly visits.

14/07/19 Topping up the Garden feeders this morning and came back into the garage to find a Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus in amongst the Sunflower Hearts. I must remember to put the lid back on.

11/07/19   Wood Mouse A Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus was caught in my Area 5 garden with a fuzzy picture on the trailcam.

07/07/19 Seen in Area 10 near the Bittern Hide scrape at Lavells Lake was a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes walking at the back of the bund. Earlier in the day a Stoat Mustela erminea was seen at the same location by Lynn Mann.

06/07/19   Roe Deer On my Area 5 garden feeders a Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis was filling its boots on the Sunflower hearts .

04/07/19   Roe Deer Whilst out checking for Himalayan Balsam along the Emm, Chas and Fran Stickler saw 3 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus in Area 5 near Woosehill roundabout and 2 in Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows.Photo courtesy of Fran Stickler.

01/07/19   Hedgehog A European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught on camera in my Area 5 garden running up the path on its nightly visits.


15/07/19 At Old Forest Meadows in Area 8 at a bend in the river 7 Chub Squalius cephalus were seen .

01/07/19   Chub Outside the Dinton Activity Centre in Area 10 Chub Squalius cephalus were seen in the Emm off the bridge .