Latest Sightings March 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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30/03/17 A quick look over Area 1 and Heathlake this evening revealed on the lake Coot , Moorhen , Mallard , Tufted Duck , Mallard , Mute Swan and a Grey Heron that appears to be nesting in the trees on the Island. In the trees around Heathlake were Nuthatch and Chiffchaff both calling and most of the expected Woodland birds at this time of year.

27/03/17 Over Area 4 this morning were 2 Meadow Pipit moving NW and 3 circling Buzzard seen by Paul Bright Thomas.

24/03/17 Little Egret A fairly average March day in Areas 10, 4,5 & 2.In Area 2 a Skylark was singing at Grays Farm fields and a pair of Lapwing were displaying .2 Canada Geese were also grazing the fields. The Egyptian Goose goslings were down again by 25% to 3. The male Teal was still on the floods opposite Ludgrove School and a Carrion Crow Little Egret was feeding on the edges . In Area 10 a Carrion Crow was showing in the car park field. Too good a photo oppurtunity to miss.

19/03/17 Teal Today time was spent in Areas 4,5 & 2.In Area 2 was a pair of Egyptian Goose . The goslings were down by 50% to 4. A pair of Teal were on the floods opposite Ludgrove School and both Red Kite & Buzzard were seen . A Ring necked Parakeet was heard calling and then seen sitting in the trees. A Sparrowhawk was out and scaring the local Wood Pigeon . In Area 5 a Buzzard was being mercilessly harried by 3 Carrion Crow . At least 1 Chiffchaff was calling as was a Green Woodpecker .

11/03/17 What I assume to be the first migrant Chiffchaff of the year was calling near Dragonfly Bridge in Area 5.

10/03/17 In what must be a one off a Red legged Partridge was seen walking up the footpath at Arthur Road/Brookside in Area 5 by Wendy Hayward.Also a Moorhen was seen on the Woosehill Meadow pond. In Area 8 in the new SANG off Old Forest Road a Little Egret was seen by Sue Farrington at 10:00.

06/03/17 Today started sunny, and with Spring not far away it was no suprise to see in Area 5 a Blue Tit checking out nestbox 43 near Dragonfly Bridge. A very vociferous Carrion Crow was seen flying with beakfulls of twigs.A male Great spotted Woodpecker was drumming out his territory and a yaffling Green Woodpecker was letting the world know that it was there. Kestrel At the balancing pond in Area 4 a Grey Wagtail was feeding in the channel. In my Area 5 garden,2 Long tailed Tit moved quickly through. Teal At lunchtime a bit of a duck fest in Area 1 near Ludgrove School. The flooded field produced 2 pair of Teal , 4 Canada geese , 8 Mallard and a pair of Egyptian Geese with 8 Goslings.Egyptian Goose A Kestrel was in a nearby tree, before swooping to the grass underneath. Jackdaw In a bizarre moment a train of Jackdaw (apparently the correct collective noun) descended on a puddle in the field before communal bathing. Once in the water, the bird fluffs its feathers to expose the skin, submerges its belly and breast in the water, rolls back and forth by dipping its head into the water and creates a shower by flicking its wings. When they had finished, the Jackdaw shook off the excess water and then flew off to a nearby dead tree to dry and preen.

04/03/17 Green Woodpecker In Area 5 a Green Woodpecker was yaffling from a dead tree.Song Thrush A Song Thrush was singing from a riverside tree. The feeding station by the pond has been temporarily reinstated . Within minutes of hanging up the feeder a Robin and then a Blue Tit were feeding.

01/03/17 Canada Goose In Area 2 at lunchtime on the flooded field near Ludgrove School were 4 Canada Geese a solitary sleeping Egyptian Goose and at least 2 Moorhen . In the road up to Gorrick Woods a Ring necked Parakeet was heard calling.


30/03/17 Red Admiral Possibly the hottest day of the year today with the temperature reaching 21.0° C at 13:00. Where better then to spend my lunch time than wandering around Area 10 and the car park area at Dinton Pastures off Sandford Lane. It lived up to my expectations with 6 species of Butterflies seen in 40 mins. This included 3 new ones for the year, a male Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines, Small White Pieris rapae and a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta.The Orange-tip is a true sign of spring, being one of the first species to emerge that has not overwintered as an adult.Comma Also seen were Comma Polygonia c-album and when you see the underside of the wing, you can see where it got its name, Brimstone Gonepteryx rhammi and Peacock Aglais io.

27/03/17 Pond Skater A quick lunchtime stop at Area 10 and the car park area at Dinton Pastures off Sandford Lane. A Common Pond Skater Gerris lacustrisappeared on my windscreen. Picture taken from the inside of the car.

26/03/17 Hebrew Charecter Not a lot in the moth trap tonight in Area 5.3 Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi and 2 Hebrew Charecter Orthosia gothica Migrant Hoverfly Also seen was what I believe to be a Migrant Hoverfly Eupeodes corollae .

25/03/17 In my Area 5 garden this afternoon a Peacock Aglais io Butterfly put in a brief appearance.

25/03/17 Comma In Area 10 this afternoon a Comma Polygonia c-album was sunning itself on the Brambles near Lavells Lake.A FOTEB first for the year.In Area 3 a 7 spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctawas seen in the sun.7 Spot Ladybird Ladybirds spend the winter asleep or ‘dormant’ nestled in dense vegetation or bark crevices to protect them from the worst of the weather.

09/03/17 With the temperature hitting 16.1° C today, It was no suprise that Butterflies were on the wing .In Area 10 at 12:00 a magnificent Brimstone Gonepteryx rhammi and a Peacock Aglais io were seen near a flowering Blackthorn Tree, a first for the year for FOTEB . A Peacock Butterfly was also seen by Fraser Cottington a bit later across the Car Park field. Also seen was what could have only have been an Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum its red tail sets it apart at this early time of the year from the Red-tailed Bumblebee usually seen from May onwards.

06/03/17 Common Quaker The moth trap went on for the first time overnight this year in Area 5.The total tally was a solitary Common Quaker Orthosia cerasi . The single generation flies in March and April, when it is often attracted to light.The foodplants of the larvae are Oak, Willow and other deciduous trees.

03/03/17 In Area 5 a Buff- tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris was seen flying from underneath my front hedge.

Other Wildlife


20/03/17 Hedgehog Appropriately on the first day of Spring the Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus is back in my Area 5 garden. Picked up on the webcam at 22:45. Not much of a hibernation as it was last seen on 09/01/17.

19/03/17 Frog Spawn In Area 4 in the Balancing Pond, Frog Spawn is in the channel this is the spawn of the Common Frog Rana temporaria The frogspawn that you see floating in ponds is made up of thousands of single eggs, each one having a tiny black tadpole embryo surrounded in jelly. Frogs lay so many eggs because as they do not look after their young most do not survive to adulthood. From the three thousand eggs that one female lays, only around five will become adult frogs. The rest of the eggs or tadpoles may be eaten by birds, fish, newts, water beetles, dragonflies or simply dry up before hatching. At first each tadpole embryo will eat the jelly that is around it until it is ready to hatch.

04/03/17 Mole Hill In Area 5 what appears to be some of the largest mole hills ever, seem to have appeared created by a busy Mole Talpia euroapaea Moles are industrious diggers and can create 20m of tunnel per day. They leave characteristic mounds of earth on the surface as they excavate their tunnels. Large chambers within the tunnel system are lined with dry grass and used for nesting during periods of rest. Moles feed mainly on earthworms, but they also eat a variety of other invertebrates, as well as snakes and lizards. They inhabit deciduous woodland, grassland and farmland - wherever the soil is deep enough for tunnelling.



Fish/ Crustacean


24/03/17 Primrose In Area 1 around Gorrick Woods Primrose Primula vulgaris are in flower.

19/03/17 Marsh Marigold A bit of a flowery day in Area's 4 & 5. Marsh Marigold Caltha palustris is by the spillway at the pond. Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa are in flower near Kingfisher Bridge in Area 4. Wood Anemone Area 5 has Common Dog Violet Viola riviniana The dog violet, has no fragrance.Dog Violet It is also a perennial that starts flowering in late February through to April. Most violet flowers are violet, but groups of pure white flowers do occur naturally

18/03/17 Loddon Lily In Area 10 near Sandford Lane alongside the Emm are Loddon Lily Leucojum aestivum aka Summer Snowflake. This attractive plant which thrives in damp habitats and alongside rivers is a speciality of the area.Loddon Lily One of the defining features the lime-green marks at the tip of each of the six white 'petals' (actually tepals) are visible on both sides of the petals. The flower stalks themselves are minutely toothed

09/03/17 Blackthorn Another harbinger of Spring Blackthorn Prunus spinosa is flowering in Area 10 and Area 7 near the junction of Toutley Road and Emmbrook Road. People ofen ask how to tell the differebce between Blackthorn and Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). Both tree's have white flowers, however Blackthorns flowers appear before the leaves whilst Hawthorn is the other waty around.Blackthorn flowers appear in March wheras Hawthorne is out in May.

04/03/17 Lesser Celandine In Area 5 Lesser Celandine Ficaria verna(formerly Ranunculus ficaria ) are just coming into flower. These pretty plants, with yellow, star-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves, bloom in woodland and along hedgerows. Along with other spring flowers they are an important source of nectar and pollen for insects.They flower from March to May.