Click on the link to send in your sightings info@foteb.org.uk 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 May

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


Click on any picture to see a larger image

May 2024

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

Leisure - W. H. Davies.

Birds

24/05/24 At Black Swan Lake in Area 10 seen by David Rimes were 30+ Swift , 10+ House Martin and a solitary Swallow swirling around low over the Dinton Activity Centre beach and Goat Island.

16/05/24 A Hobby was over the carpark field in Area 10 seen by David Rimes.

13/05/24  Hobby Seen perched in a tree in Area 10 was a Hobby . Photo courtesy of Alan Jackman.

12/05/24 Over Ashridge Meadows in Area 7A , 2 Swift , an adult Little Egret flying downstream along Ashridge Stream and 6 male, singing Whitethroat , 3 in Eastern boundary hedge, two beside the Ashridge Stream and 1 at Western boundary were seen . A calling male Reed Bunting was seen at the bullrushes at Copsewood balancing pond. All sightings by Paul O'Neill.

09/05/24 Paul O Neill was out and about in Areas 7A and 8 today and saw a Little Egret in a drainage ditch ,2 singing male Chiffchaff , 2 singing male Blackcap and 4 singing male Whitethroat in Old Forest Road Meadows. A further singing male Whitethroat was in Area 7A at the Skinner Drive Balancing pond.

08/05/24 3 Screaming Swift flew low over my Area 4 garden at 16: 00 today.

05/05/24 A male Whitethroat was heard singing at Skinner Drive balancing pond by Paul O'Neill.

04/05/24 A Common Tern was on the left hand jetty and 6 Swift were seen in Area 10 on Black Swan Lake by Fraser Cottington.

01/0524 In Area 10 a male Cuckoo was heard calling by Tim James.

Insects

26/05/24  Brown Silver-line I checked the overnight forcast and saw the rain approaching, so switched on the patio lighton 25/05/24 instead of the moth trap. Resting on the house wall this morning were 10 moths of 8 species. Highlights were   Common White wave Brown Silver-line Petrophora chlorosata and Common White wave Cabera pusaria . Both new for the year With 2 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 85 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

25/05/24  Mint Moth Seen visiting the flowers on the Chives in my Area 4 garden this afternoon was the day flying Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata . With 1 new moth added ,the total for 2024 is now 83 species.

24/05/24  Heart and Dart The moth trap was out at dusk on 23/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.A better than expected catch with 23 moths of 15 species trapped. Highlights were a Heart & Dart Agrotis exclamationi ,   Garden Carpet Garden Carpet Xanthorhoe fluctuata , Tawny Marbled Minor Oligia latruncula , Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha and the micro moths Eana incanana and Celypha lacunana all new for the year.  Tawny Marbled Minor With 6 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 82 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

21/05/24  Small Magpie Found on my kitchen wall this morning were a Small Magpie Anania hortulata and the micro moth Eudonia angustea both new for the year.  Eudonia angustea With 2 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 76 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

20/05/24  Pale Mottled Willow The moth trap was out again at dusk on 19/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.Another reasonable night with 15 moths of 10 species trapped. Highlight was a solitary Pale Mottled Willow Caradrina clavipalpis , new for the year. With 1 new moth added ,the total for 2024 is now 74 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.  Speckled Wood Seen during a walk in the sunshine in Area 5 was a Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria Butterfly and the Dock Bug Coreus marginatus

19/05/24  Pale Tussock Coming to an outside light left on overnight in my Area 4 garden was a male Pale Tussock Calliteara pudibunda new for the year. With 1 new moth added ,the total for 2024 is now 73 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

18/05/24  Waved Umber After a bit of a break the moth trap was out again at dusk on 17/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.Another reasonable night with 18 moths of 10 species trapped. Highlights were a Waved Umber Menophra abruptaria ,   Light Emerald Light Emerald Campaea margaritata and Seraphim Lobophora halterata all new for the year.  Seraphim With 3 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 72 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

13/05/24  Poplar Hawk Moth The moth trap was out again at dusk on 12/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.Another reasonable night with 13 moths of 8 species trapped. Highlights were a Poplar Hawk Moth Laothoe populi ,   Notocelia cynosbatella Treble Lines Charanyca trigrammica and the micro moths Tinea trinotella and Notocelia cynosbatella all new for the year.  Tinea trinotella With 5 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 69 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

12/05/24 In Area 4 flying around my car was a European Hornet Vespa crabo .

11/05/24   Common Marbled Carpet  Attracted to the outside light in my Area 4 garden was a Common Marbled Carpet Dysstroma truncata also seen was my first May Bug Melolontha melolontha of the year   May Bug With 1 new moth added ,the total for 2024 is now 64 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released. Seen on a walk by the river in Area 4 was a Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria Butterfly. Another first for the year.

10/05/24   Common Carpet Attracted to an outside light in my Area 4 garden were 6 moths of 4 species . Highlights and new for the year were a Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata and a Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria .  Willow Beauty  With 2 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 63 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

09/05/24  Chocolate Tip I broke my rule of not trapping on consecutive nights and the moth trap was out again at dusk on 08/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. It proved very fruitfull with 18 moths of 16 species trapped. There were lots of highlights with 14 new moths for the year a Chocolate Tip Clostera curtula , Least Black Arches Nola confusalis  White Ermine a bit of a tatty looking White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda and a Pebble Prominent Notodonta ziczac .  Pebble Prominent With 14 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 61 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.  Beautiful Demoiselle (Male) In Area 10 at the bridge over the Emm Brook from the car park field , Damselflies are putting on a good display . Seen were Male and female Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo ,  Banded Demoiselle ( Male) Lots of Male and female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens  Azure Damselfly and Azure DamselflyCoenagrion puella  Dark Bush-cricket (Nymph) also seen was a nymph Dark Bush Cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera .

08/05/24 Grey Dagger The moth trap was out again at dusk on 07/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning another dissapointing catch,following a warm day with only 3 moths of 3 species trapped. Highlights were a Grey Dagger Acronicta psi and a Flame Shoulder Ochropleura plecta both new for the year. The final moth was a Brimstone Opisthograptis luteolata . Flame Shoulder  With 2 new moth's added ,the total for 2024 is now 47 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

05/05/24 Latticed Heath The moth trap was out at dusk on 04/05/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning a very dissapointing catch with only 3 moths of 2 species.However it was quality over quantity with a Latticed Heath Colostygia pectinataria a moth that I have never seen before. It was rescued from a spiders web and was a bit the worse for wear. Also seen were 2 Brindled Beauty Lycia hirtaria Brindled Beauty  With 1 new moth added ,the total for 2024 is now 45 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

02/05/24  Holly Blue In Area 4 at lunchtime a Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus butterfly was in my garden.

01/05/24  Green Carpet Finally a mild night with no rain so the moth trap was out again at dusk on 30/04/24 in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning a reasonable catch with 12 moths of 8 species. Highlights were a Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria and Sallow Kitten Drymonia ruficornis Sallow Kitten  With 2 new moths added ,the total for 2024 is now 44 species. Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

Plants/ Trees

15/05/24 Flag Iris Down by the pond in Area 5 Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus is in full bloom. Also by the pond is Ragged Robin Silene flos-cuculi  Ragged Robin with its pink, frayed flowers

Fungi

Do not eat any fungi that have not been properly identified , some are DEADLY when ingested .

Fish

Amphibians and Reptiles

Mammals

05/05/24 In the fields around Ludgrove School in Area 1 at lunchtime today a female Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen grazing .

04/05/24 Tried out the Bat detector in my Area 4 garden and at 21:30 a Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus was heard feeding over my garden .

Molluscs