Latest Sightings June 2018

Click on the link to send in your sightings foteb @hotmail.co.uk or cut and paste address.

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


Click on any picture to see a larger image

Birds

30/06/18  Egyptian Goose A few hours this morning spent in Area 10 around the carpark field and Lavells Lake off Sandford Lane were very productive.A Kingfisher was seen flying towards the Emm . A male Blackcap was still singing on the path to Bittern Hide.On the scrape was a Green Sandpiper , Lapwing , lots of noisy Black Headed Gull and a family group of Egyptian Goose with 8 goslings.A Great spotted Woodpecker was on the feeders and a pair of Goldfinch . Numerous Buzzard and Red Kitw were enjoying the thermals on yet another very warm day.

26/06/18  Dunnock A male Dunnock was again singing from the top of my garden Yew tree this morning at 06:00 against a cloudless sky.I had a look around Area 1 and Heathlake at lunch time in the heat. Great crested Grebe . On the water were Great crested Grebe with young, Coot with young and a family group of Mute Swan with 4 cygnets.Also seen were Moorhen , a pair of Tufted Duck , Mallard and a solitary Black headed Gull . Mute Swan On the island were Cormorrant and Grey Heron . Flying over were Grey Wagtail and a calling Hobby. Not suprising given the amount of Damselflies and Dragonflies on the water. Heard in the woods were calling Nuthatch and Great spotted Woodpecker . Meanwhile Paul Bright- Thomas was around Area 4 and reports singing Goldcrest , Blackcap and Chiffchaff .

25/06/18 In the air over Brook Close, Area 6 mid morning were 2 Swift a Kestrel and 2 Red Kite .

22/06/18  Magpie and Wood Pigeon Today it was the turn of the Magpie and Wood Pigeon on the Cherry tree.

21/06/18 I am more than happy to see signs of successful breeding, but when 20 juvenile Starling descend on your garden with their voracious appetites it takes acceptance to a whole new level.The bird feeders and fat feeders were virtually stripped but the garden Cherry tree was of particular interest to them this morning. Thankfully the fruits are quite bitter to me but the Starlings didn't seem to mind.

16/06/18 Todays garden delight was a Coal Tit perched on top of my Yew tree at 06:00.

15/06/18 With the equinox only a week away, you can't help but wake up early. Today in my garden at 05:00 were 3 juvenile Greenfinch at the Bird bath. They all bathed before visiting the feeders.The sightings this month show that so far this year it has not been a bad breeding season locally.

14/06/18  Barn Owl In my garden at 05:00 this morning, a juvenile Magpie was begging for food from its parent, when all of a sudden it decided it could feed itself with mealworms and proceded to scoff the lot. In Area 10 a Barn Owl was seen quartering the field adjacent to the Emm at Lavells Lake by Stephen Power. Apparently feeding young in the nestbox.

13/06/18 Juvenile Robin Around my Area 5 garden this morning several Juvenile Robin put in an appearance.

12/06/18 7Ring-necked Parakeet were seen in the woods west of the car park field in Area 10 by Richard Marsh.

09/06/18 As is usual at this time of the year things are a bit steady along the Emm. Most of the commoner birds have succesfully fledged young with juveniles of Blue Tit,Great Tit, Starling,Great spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Wood Pigeon and Robin already seen. We can only now hope for something exotic.A Little Egret was seen in the Emm in Area 5 by the weir this morning.

05/06/18 Male Pheasant The very noisy Starling gang flew into town in my Area 5 garden this morning with at least 10 birds of varying ages in the posse. This set off the Magpie that are even noisier. In Area 1 a male Pheasant was wandering around the fields.

03/06/18 Great Tit Looking out the window this morning in my Area 5 garden a Great Tit was busily feeding one of its ravenous young straight from the feeders.Adult Starling were also seen feeding their offspring and showing them the feeder etiquette. 2 honking Canada Goose also flew over. Dunnock Down by the river were singing male Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Dunnock . A calling Great Spotted Woodpecker was also heard

02/06/18 In my Area 5 garden a male Bullfinch was on my feeders a sight not seen for a few years. 2 Swift were also seen and heard screaming over the house.At least 4 Herring Gull were around the back of the Hospital in Area 4.

Insects

30/06/18 Smooth Pea Gall Wasp In Area 10 on a Dog Rose by the bridge over the Emm was a Smooth Pea Gall Wasp Diplolepis eglanteriae/nervosa. The gall is caused either by cynipid wasp Diplolepis nervosa or by Diplolepis eglanteriae on the leaves of the Dog-rose (Rosa canina). The galls are more likely to be seen than the adult wasps.Each gall is, in effect, a hollow, fleshy nursery chamber for a small white grub, the larva of the Diplolepis gall wasp, which feeds on the chamber wall. The galls appear to detach from the leaves before leaf fall and will lie in the leaf litter until the grub pupates and emerges as the small adult wasp in the Spring , only about 4 mm long.

22/06/18 Eyed Hawk-Moth Last nights moth trap produced an Eyed Hawk-Moth Smerinthus ocellata not seen in my garden since 2006 and Peacock Moth a first for the FOTEB Moth List, a worn specimen of Peacock Moth Macaria notata.

20/06/18 Elephant Hawk Moth A quick look into the moth trap this morning following my overnight moth trap of the 19th and 20th in my Area 5 garden produced at least 8 Elephant Hawk Moth Anthocharis cardamines and a Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi they must know its National Insect Week.Seen,trapped, photographed and later released were 60+ moths of 30 species. Some as yet unidentified.

19/06/18  Bramble Shoot Moth In Area 10 in the car park field at lunchtime was the Bramble Shoot Moth Notocelia uddmanniana enjoying the sun in the hedgerow. This moth is easily distinguished by the chocolate-brown blotch on the forewing, contrasting with a greyish brown ground colour.

18/06/18  Harlequin Ladybird The Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis is a non-native species of insect. It became established in the UK in 2004. It has become very widespread and has many colour forms, some of which can appear similar to native ladybirds. Harlequin Ladybird Harlequin ladybirds can be difficult to identify as they are highly variable in colour and ‘spottiness’. They range from orange or red with black spots to black with red or orange spots. They also have various white makings on their head and the bit behind their eyes (the pronotum). The number of spots is also highly variable.  Harlequin Ladybird Larva While many of our native ladybirds can also vary in colour and number of spots – especially the two- and ten-spot ladybirds, harlequin ladybirds are larger than most of them (>5.5mm). The exceptions to this are the seven-spot, scarce seven-spot and eyed ladybirds which are a similar but they have black legs instead of reddish-brown like the harlequin. The harlequin has caused a decline in some of our native ladybird species as it out-competes its smaller rivals for food, and preys on their larvae.All the above were seen on a brief inspection of the Nettles by Kingfisher Bridge in Area 4 at Lunchtime.

16/06/18  Dragonfly Larva A workparty today to clear up rubbish around the Area 5 Woosehill Meadow Pond and reduce the pond weed produced several Dragonfly larva dragged up with the weed. The species is unknown. There are three stages in the life-cycle of all dragonflies. The egg hatches into the larva (also known as a nymph), which moults up to 15 times before emerging as an adult. Unlike most other insects, there is no pupal stage and the transition from larva to adult is known as incomplete metamorphosis. This is not necessarily an annual cycle, since the larva may spend more than a year underwater before emerging as an adult. The adult stage is usually the shortest in the life-cycle and rarely lasts for more than a week or two in Britain.

11/06/18  Meadow Brown I visited the car park field off Sandford Lane in Area 10 at lunchtine today and saw my first immature Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa Dragonfly of the year and 3 Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina Butterflies, also a first for the year.

09/06/18  Male Swollen-thighed Beetle Near the pond in Area 5 a male Swollen-thighed Beetle Oedemera nobilis was enjoying the nectar from the Bramble flowers.The male and female of this beetle can easily be told apart, as the male has large green bulges on its femora or thighs, while the female does not.

08/06/18 Nettle Ground Bug In Area 4, by Kingfisher Bridge at lunchtime were Nettle Ground Bug Heterogaster urticae not suprisingly on the Nettles.

04/06/18 Elephant Hawk Moth My overnight moth trap of the 3rd and 4th in my Area 5 garden produced 80+ Moths of at least 40 species. Seen,trapped and later released were Elephant Hawk Moth Deilephila elpenor, Buff Tip Phalera bucephala, The Spectacle Abrostola tripartita, Waved Umder Menophra abruptaria, Silver Y Autographa gamma, Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata, Figure of Eighty Tethea ocularis and Scorched Wing Plagodis dolabraria.

03/06/18 Beautiful Demoiselle male In Area 5 this morning by the Emm Brook were male and female Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo damselflies.Beautiful Demoiselle female Also seen was several Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria and a female Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines butterfly.

02/06/18 Whilst waiting for the Bats to appear in Area 5 by Ripplestream Bridge at dusk , the distinctive silhouette's of 2 Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus flew over my head.

01/06/18 Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn At Lunchtime in Area 10 by the Dinton Activity Centre a Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Agapanthia villosoviridescens Beetle was on the Hogweed before flying to the nearby grasses.

Plant/Trees

19/06/18  Hazel In Area 10 by the footpath from the car park field the Hazel Corylus avellana bushes are just starting to produce fruit. The nuts can just be seen.

07/06/18  Water Dropwort In Area 3 off Molly Millars Lane by Lidl are what I believe to be Water Dropwort sp . Precise species not as yet identified, the flowers of these poisonous Umbellifers are very popular with Bees and Hoverflies.

01/06/18  Elderflower All along the Emm Elder Sambucus nigra is now in full bloom.Elder is a common low-growing large shrub/small tree that produces a near blanket of creamy-white umbeliferous flower heads from mid May to July. Apparently Elder flower is edible, but I have never tried.

Other Wildlife

Amphibians and Reptiles

03/06/18  Common Frog A workparty today to clear up rubbish around the Area 5 Woosehill Meadow Pond and reduce the pond weed produced hundreds of Common Frog Rana tempura froglets   Common Frog Tadpole sitting on top of the duckweed. Also see were Common Frog Tadpoles Rana tempura. Unfortunately not photographed was a Newt sp larva. It can however only be one of three species.

Mammals

28/06/18 At midday Tony Hayward saw a Muntjac deer in the Area 5 meadow. Walking back from Morrisons a Muntjac Deer Muntiacus reevesi crossed the path just inside the gate to Brookside and trotted up the slope then along the back of the bungalows backing on to Arthur Road.

03/06/18 In the early hours in my Area 5 garden the Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught on the garden trailcam..

02/06/18 A dusk trip to the river in Area 5 at Ripplestream Bridge produced at least 4 feeding Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus bats.

Molluscs

16/06/18  Great Pond Snail During a workparty today around the Area 5 Woosehill Meadow Pond with Malcolm, Charles and Fran several Great Pond Snail Lymnaea stagalis came up with weed. The aptly named Great Pond Snail is the largest pond snail in Britain. It has a shiny yellowish brown shell, with a tall, slender and pointed spire. It is found in still or slow-moving waters where there is plenty of aquatic vegetation. As the specific part of the Latin name, stagnalis, suggests, this species prefers stagnant water.

03/06/18  Garden Snail On the Nettles in Area 5 was the Garden Snail Cornu aspersum. -

Fish

Fungi