Latest Sightings July 2017

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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

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20/07/17 Walking up the river Balsam bashing in Area 5 this evening with Charles Stickler a Kingfisher was first heard and then seen flying upstream, a Grey Wagtail was also seen working its way along the rivers edge feeding.

18/07/17 Paul-Bright Thomas was in Area 4 today and saw a Kestrel flying over to the N, a Coal Tit and 5 Greenfich, 1 adult and 4 juvenilles begging for food from the parent. Meanwhile in Area 5 this evening 3 juvenille Long tailed Tit were on my garden fat feeder .It was also good to hear Swift screaming overhead at various locations along the river.

16/07/17 During the Balsam pulling in Area 6 a Kingfisher was seen by Charles Stickler and Malcolm Dunmore .

15/07/17 More indications of it being a good year for the birds with a juvenille Goldfinch around the garden today .

13/07/17 At my Area 5 feeders was a juvenille Nuthatch .

10/07/17 Flying high over Area 5 early evening were 6 Swifts. Walking along the river in Area 7, Balsam pulling a Little Egret was seen flying downstream and a Kingfisher was seen flying under the bridge at Emmbrook Road by Fran Stickler.

08/07/17  Dunnock In Area 8 off Old Forest Road this morning a male Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing and a Whitethroat was seen in a Bramble Bush. Nearby a Dunnock was noisly alarm calling, possibly due to a nearby nest. In Area 5, early afternoon a Grey Heron was seen flying over Woosehill Roundabout and appeared to be heading for back gardens on the Reading Road..

07/07/17 At 05:30 a calling Grey Heron flew towards the Emm to the rear of Morrisons.

06/07/17 In what appears to have been a good breeding season in most areas, 5 juvenille Great Tit were seen on my garden feeders this morning.

04/07/17 The noisy gang of juvenille Starling visited/mugged my garden feeders this morning. They now appear to have swollen in numbers as 10 were counted .

02/07/17 In Area 5 this year Swift numbers have varied considerably . 2 were seen today whereas 8 were seen yesterday evening. Meanwhile in Area 8 Paul O'Neill saw a singing Whitethroat adjacent to the M4 and a male Bullfinch.Later in the day in Area 10 a Kestrel was seen hovering over the car park field.


18/07/17 A sunny lunch time was spent in Area 1 around Gorrick Woods. Butterflies seen on the wing were Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta , Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni , Comma Polygonia c-album and Large White Pieris brassicae .

16/07/17  Waved Black The overnight moth catch in Area 5 was a bit disapointing the highlight being a Waved Black Parascotia fuliginaria more information to follow.

10/07/17  Gatekeeper I only had 30 minutes in Area 9 and Blackberry Gardens at lunchtime, however it paid dividends. My first Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus Butterfly of the year was on the wing.The FOTEB Butterfly species list is now 18 for the year. Another first for the FOTEB list was the micro moth Agapeta zoegana . Agapeta zoegana . Also seen was a nymph of what I belive to be a Long-winged Cone-head Conocephalus discolor Cricket.

09/07/17  Broad Bodied Chaser I was in the SANG in Area 8 off Old Forest Road this morning . Seen was my first male Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa Dragonfly of the year.

05/07/17  Roesel's Bush-cricket The open space in Blackberry Gardens (Area 9) was sounding good with lots of stridulating Grasshoppers today . Seen was my first Roesel's Bush-cricket Metrioptera roeselii of the year.

04/07/17  Essex Skipper Another lunchtime and another visit to the car park field in Area 10 and another first for the year.It was slightly overcast so the Butterflies were less flightly. On the grasses were numerous Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola . These can be told from the very similar Small Skipper by the colour of the underside of the tips of the antennae. Black in the Essex and Orange Brown in the Small. FOTEB Butterfly species now 17 for the year.

03/07/17  Cinnabar In Area 8 this evening and the caterpillars of the Cinnabar Moth Tyria Jacobaeae were seen feeding on Ragwort. Caterpillars are feeding from July early September and are initially pale yellow but soon develop bright yellow and black stripes to deter predators. The caterpillars feed on poisonous ragwort leaves. The poision from the leaves is stored in the caterpillars body (and even remains when they are an adult moth). Any birds or other predators that ignore the caterpillars bright warning sign will be repulsed by how foul they taste. Numerous caterpillars on one ragwort plant can reduced it to a bare stem very quickly. They are also known to be cannibalistic.

02/07/17  Common Darter The moth trap was on again last night in my Area 5 garden. Catch highlights so far are Swallowtail Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria ,2 Elephant Hawk-Moth Deilephila elpenor and numerous Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha , more to follow.Also seen in my Area 5 garden ,Large White Pieris brassicae and a female Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum dragonfly.

Other Wildlife


17/07/17 The bright red berries on the Rowan Sorbus aucuparia are now appearing all along the Emm.

08/07/17 Willow Fluff At this time of the year "Willow Fluff" or to be more precise the pollon from the female Willow sp can be seen floating through the air and lying in carpet son the floor.After pollination by insects or the wind , the female catkins lengthen and develop small capsules, each containing minute seeds encased in white down, which aids dispersal by wind.

01/07/17 Meadowsweet All along the banks of the Emm right now , the sweet smelling Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria is in full bloom . Not suprisingly these plants smell very sweetly and prefer damp meadows.The flower heads of Meadowsweet are rich in salicylic acid, the chemical which lead to the discovery of acetylsalicylic acid, more commonly known as Aspirin.


09/07/17 Common Shrew Found deceased at the roadside in Area 8, this morning was a dead Common Shrew Sorex araneus

04/07/17 Hedgehog The trailcam was on last night in my area 5 garden and managed to capture a fuzzy shot of my Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus and an even worse shot of a Wood Mouse Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus seen at 01:04.It is bigger than the Harvest Mouse, the Wood Mouse can be distinguished from the House Mouse by its golden-brown colour ( not appreciated in black and white) and relatively larger ears and eyes



16/07/17 Not really a fish but a Crustacean, a Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus was seen during the Balsam pulling in Area 6 by Charles Stickler and Malcolm Dunmore .