Latest Sightings June 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 June

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

30/06/21 House Martin . In Area 1, at least 10 House Martin were feeding over the cow fields opposite Luckley School at lunchtime.

28/06/21 Whilst on the way to see the Dinton Pastures Spoonbill I walked through the carpark field , a Song Thrush flew onto the fence whilst Ring necked Parakeet flew overhead calling. In the Wet Meadow a Little Egret was feeding.

27/06/21 6 Swallow including 4 recently fledged young were seen in Area 2 by Sean Stevenson at the Equestrian Centre.

26/06/21 Moorhen . In Area 7A, a Swallow was perched on the telephone wires and seen by Paul O'Neill. A Whitethroat was also heard from the bushes. Whilst hanging out my washing in my Area 4 garden a Raven was seen and heard flying high West cronking. In the afternoon I assume that the young have fledged as Swift numbers had increased to 10.In Area 2 Sean Stevenson saw an Adult and Juvenile Whitethroat and a pale Common Buzzard was sat on a fence. Seen in Area 5 were 2 Adult Moorhen on the pond ,with 2 chicks seen by Pat Taylor and a Grey Heron see near the weir pool by Fran Stickler.

25/06/21 Over Area 4 , a pair of Swift were feeding above the roof tops.

23/06/21 Juvenile Robin . In Area 4 a juvenile Robin was seen looking for breakfast.

20/06/21 Mallard . With the river level rising by 1m from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday and then dropping by 0.7m to midnight Saturday the Mallard were confused this morning and chose to swim in the puddles in Area 5. A Grey Wagtail also chose to feed on the path. Grey Wagtail . Also seen in Area 4/5 were Song Thrush , Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker .

19/06/21 Whitethroat . A male Whitethroat was seen and heard singing in Area 7A by the Ashridge Stream.

16/06/21 In Area 7A a Male and Female Yellowhammer were seen together beside Ashridge Stream in Ashridge Meadows by Paul O'Neill.In Area 4 a Common Buzzard was seen in my neighbours tree, before being mobbed by a male Magpie when it flew off.

15/06/21 In Area 7A a Juvenile Common Buzzard was seen circling , a Kingfisher was flying downstram on the Ashridge Stream and a male Whitethroat was singing from telephone wire alongside Ashridge Stream seen by Paul O'Neill.

13/06/21 Lapwing . In Area 10 near the Emm Brook Lapwing were on the Lavells Lake bund and were joined later by a pair of OysterCatcher who appeared to be trying for a second brood. Oystercatcher . In Area 7A a male Kestrel was seen being mobbed by aPied Wagtail , a Hobby was seen flying amongst at least 15 Swift all by Paul O'Neill.

12/06/21 Paul Hopcraft was in Area 4 and saw a Grey Heron flying from Area 4 to 5 and a Common Buzzard in an oak tree by the balancing pond in Area 4.

10/06/21 A quick trip to Area 1 and Ludgrove School. In the fields at Greys Farm, Skylark were singing from on high. Jackdaw and Carrion Crow were in the fields around the school.

08/06/21 A Reed Warbler was heard singing in the Area 4 Balancing pond by Paul Bright Thomas.

07/06/21 A Swallow was seen flying through Area 7 by Paul O'Neill.

05/06/21 2 Swift were seen and heard screeching over head in Area 4.

02/06/21 Blackcap . At this time of the year , with the spring migration just about done and lots of birds having paired up , things can go a bit quiet and samey in the Birdworld.However Blackcap pretty, flute-like song, can still be heard. from the bushes and Chiffchaff . Chiffchaff with its simple distinctive song, a repetitive cheerful chiff-chaff is another regular. Keep listening to the dawn chorus , which carries on till about July for other regular singers.


27/06/21 Blotched Emerald . My moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. Trapped were a minimum of 75 moths of 30 species. Highlights were Blotched Emerald Comibaena bajularia , Buff Arches Habrosyne pyritoides The combination of smooth grey, white and russet-brown makes this delicately-marked moth one of the prettiest, especially when observed at close range, 20 of the Garden grass Veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella , Orange Footman Eilema sororcula ,Buff Arches . The Snout Hypena proboscidalis , Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis , Cypress Carpet and Peppered Moth Biston betularia .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

26/06/21 Rose Chafer . It was a nice sunny morning so I decided to have a look around the wildlife area at Blackberry Gardens in Area 9 . A Rose Chafer Cetonia aurata was feeding on the Umbellifers. It was also a good time for Butterlies with my first Small Copper Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas and Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola of the year bringing the total to 12 species. Essex Skipper . also seen were a Small White Pieris rapae and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina

23/06/21 Heart and Club . No rain,but a chilly night with temperatures down to 6°C. this didn't help the catch at my moth trap which was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. Todays haul was just 13 moths of 8 species. These were 6 Heart and Dart Plagodis dolabraria , Buff Tip Phalera bucephala , White Shouldered House Moth Endrosis sarcitrella , Orange Footman Eilema sororcula ,Orange Footman . Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released. Heart and Club Agrotis clavis , Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata , the Grass Moth Crambus pascuella and The Rustic Hoplodrina blanda .

22/06/21 Male Eyed Hawkmoth . Resting on vegetation in the Area 4 Balancing Pond was a male Eyed Hawkmoth Smerinthus ocellata seen by Paul Hopcraft. Unfortunately the "eyes" which are on the hindwings were hidden.

20/06/21 Black Snipefly . In Area 5 on riverside Nettles was a female Black Snipefly Chrysopilus cristatus. On an Elm leaf was the Fig Gall Tetraneura ulmi The aphid causes a fig like gall to be formed on certain species of elm. Fig Gall .This is a quite large, solitary, upright, pouch like gall on the upper surface of the leaf. The gall is more often seen than the adult aphid.

16/06/21 Female Broad bodied Chaser . Paul Hopcraft stumbled across a female Broad bodied Chaser Libellula depressa Dragonfly whilst enjoying the sunshine in the Area 4 Balancing pond.

15/06/21 Scorched Wing . With the prospect of overnight rain for the next few days the moth trap was out again overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. Todays haul was 65 moths of 28 species. Highlights were Scorched Wing Plagodis dolabraria , An unmistakable moth, the English name of this species is derived from the moth's fanciful resemblance to burnt paper with its crumpled appearance, Pebble Hook Tip Eupithecia pulchellata , Burnished Brass Diachrysia chrysitis ,Burnished Brass . This moth has a spectacular brassy, metallic sheen on the forewings and the exquisite Anania coronata .  . Sometimes Known as the "Elder Pearl" because the larvae feed on the young leaves of Elder; they hibernate during the Winter, pupating in the Spring.

14/06/21 Meadow Brown . A morning visit to the Lavells Lake Carpark field in Area 10 provided me with my first Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina butterfly of the year and a Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum sitting on low vegetation. Black-tailed Skimmer . also seen were numerous male and female Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum Zebra Spider . On my return home to Area 4 a Zebra Spider Notodonta dromedarius was resting on my front door.

11/06/21 Buff Tip . With the warm weather continuing the moth trap was out again overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. It was a reasonable haul with 41 moths of 24 species. Highlights were , 1 Buff-Tip Laothoe populi ,a Foxglove Pug Eupithecia pulchellata , 1 Peppered Moth Laothoe populi ,Spectacle . Spectacle . Spectacle Notodonta dromedarius a beautiful moth ,but its Common name comes from its glasses when viewed head on. A Garden Grass Veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella and another first for the FOTEB list a Brown Silver-Line Petrophora chlorosata Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

07/06/21  Red Admiral . Wandering around Area 10 in the afternoon sunshine my first Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, of the year was seen,along with a Comma Polygonia c-album , Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria and a Large White Pieris brassicae, This brings this years FOTEB Butterfly list to 8 species.

06/06/21 Small Magpie . The moth trap was out again overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. It was a more modest haul with 33 moths of 15 species. Highlights were , Peppered Moth Laothoe populi , Small Magpie Menophra abruptaria , Iron Promonent Notodonta dromedarius , Peppered Moth . Marbled Minor Oligia strigilis and a Diamond Back Moth Plutella xylostella Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.  Thick-legged flower beetle . In Area 4 at the Balancing pond a male Thick-legged flower beetle Oedemera nobilis was seen on a dandelion by Paul Hopcraft.

05/06/21 Oak Bush Cricket nymph Whist working in my Area 4 garden this afterboon a nymph of what I believe to be an Oak Bush-cricket Meconema thalassinum was seen on an Ash tree.

03/06/21 Poplar Hawk Moth . The moth trap was out overnight in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. A good haul with 83 moths of 30 species. Highlights were ,the first Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria Silver Y Autographa gamma a migrant moth. href="Web Pictures/Waved Umber3727.jpg">Waved Umber . Bee Moth Aphomia sociella 02/06/21 7 Spot Ladybird A flying visit to Area 10 at lunchtime, 7 spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata were busy on the Nettles and Common Malachite Beetle Malachius bipustulatus were enjoying the Buttercups. Common Malachite  Beetle Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum appeared to be everywhere.

01/06/21 Bramhle Sawfly . Seen in Area 5 was a Bramble Sawfly Arge cyanocrocea A distinctive species with a black head and thorax and an orange body.

Plants/ Trees

26/06/21 Mullien Once again in Area 10 and this time Mullien Verbascum thapsus were coming into flower, also seen were the fruits of the Hazel Corylus avellana Hazel Once pollinated by wind, the female flowers develop into oval fruits which hang in groups of one to four.They mature into a nut with a woody shell surrounded by a cup of leafy bracts (modified leaves). Meadow Sweet In Area 9 one of my favourite plants the very fragrant and “frothy” flowers of Meadowsweet Verbascum thapsus are in full bloom.

25/06/21 Pyramidal orchid A lunch time visit to Area 10 and I couldn't believe it. I was confronted with not 1 but 2 Orchids. Both new to the FOTEB List. The first was the Pyrimidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis.The pyramidal orchid is a small orchid that lives up to its name - its pink flower spike forms a pyramidal shape. Swiftly followed by the stunning Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera Bee Orchid The Bee orchid is a sneaky mimic - the flower’s velvety lip looks like a female bee. Males fly in to try to mate with it and end up pollinating the flower. Sadly, the right bee species doesn’t live here, so this orchid is self-pollinated in the UK.

20/06/21 Ox-eye Daisy Around the pond in Area 5 the recent warm and then rainy weather has caused the wild flowers to go mad. Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare is everywhere , The Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus Foxglove are still just about hanging on along with the Ragged Robin Silene flos-cuculi and Foxglove Digitalis purpurea

13/06/21 Goats Beard Alongside my Area 4 house is a solitary Goats beard Tragopogon pratensis These plants. only open in the morning on sunny days and close up around midday, personally I rather prefer their alternative traditional name of Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon. They get the goats beard name from the large seedheads.

08/06/21 Purple Loosestrife In Area 5 Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria is just coming into flower.

01/06/21 Willow Down The UK might have been basking in some of the hottest temperatures of the year so far , but around Area 10 their appears to be a dusting of snow. Instead of snowflakes, the thick white fluff raining down and collecting in drifts along the paths is in fact the fluffy white seeds of the willow tree.


Amphibians and Reptiles


27/06/21 At 01:20 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes were heard calling in Area 4.

22/06/21 Red Fox Seen in the Area 4 Balancing pond by Paul Hopcraft were 2 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes .

19/06/21 At 22:10 a young looking Red Fox Vulpes vulpes was seen running along the pavements in Area 4.

13/06/21 Paul Hopcraft was watching the Area 4 Balancing pond and saw a male and female Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus possibly with young , also in the pond was a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes

04/06/21 Female Roe Deer and Fawns Seen in the Wet Meadow in Area 10 in the evening by Ida Groot-Attias was a family group of Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus Male Roe Deer the spotted coat of the Fawns is to to provide camouflage from predators. For the first few months of their lives, the kids are left hidden in long grass and only visited by their mother for short periods to suckle. They then begin to accompany their mother before eventually setting out to find a territory of their own.

01/06/21 On the riverbank near Ripplestream Bridge 2 Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus were seen popping in and out of burrows in the bank.

Fish/ Crustaceans