Latest Sightings May 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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29/05/17 A Little Egret flew over Area 8 this morning. In Area 10, 14 Egyptian Goose of varying ages were on the beach by the Dinton Activity Centre.In Area 4, Paul Bright Thomas had a House Martin, an adult and juvenileNuthatch and 12Swift over his house.

28/05/17 Long In Area 5 a juvenile Long tailed Tit alighted briefly on a riverside tree. You can tell its a juvenile by its caracteristic red eyering , just about noticeable in this dodgy photo. A pair or possibly 2 rival Grey Heron flew in opposite directions by the Emm in Area 5. In the afternoon at least 4Common Buzzard were spiralling in the thermals, A bit later in Area 2 by Ludgove School 3 House Martin were seen feeding under leaden skies.

27/05/17 At my Area 5 garden feeders this morning an adult Starling was feeding its very vociferous offspring with mealworms .

26/05/17 I'm not sure whats happening with the Swift numbers, but they seem to have dropped back to a solitary bird .

22/05/17 Hobby A late walk through Gorrick Woods(Area 1) did not produce any Nightjars, but a Hobby was calling from its perch before flying around the woods still calling at 21:05. A Starling arrived at the bird feeders in my Area 5 garden with 2 very hungry and noisy juvenile's this morning. The juvenile Blackbird is still as wary as ever. A Nuthatch is also a regular visitor.In Area 4 Swift numbers have now increased to 7 .

21/05/17 In Area 8 a Skylark and Ring necked Parakeet were seen by Paul O'Neill. Swift numbers hads increased by 100% with 2 seen over Area 4.

20/05/17 At my garden feeders today were juvenile Blackbird and Starling both learning the ropeson the feeders, with adults nearby watching on. Down by the river both Blackcap and Chiffchaff were singing. A Moorhen was calling on the river.

19/05/17 A Whitethroat was singing from the scrub in the new SANG between Old Forest Road and the M4 at 17:00 in Area 8 seen by Paul O'Neill.

18/05/17 At 00:40 in Area 5 I was woken by a pair of calling Tawny Owl , clearly yesterday was "to wet to woo".At my garden feeders the first juvenile Greenfinch of this breeding season appeared. The juvenile is a duller, streakier version of the female! Whilst being overall grey-brown in colour, the juvenile still shows the yellow wing edges. The underparts are extensively streaked.Flying through the rain in the afternoon a solitary Swift was feeding over my house. A couple of Jay were also seen around the garden feeders.

13/05/17 Blue Tit In Area 5 to the rear of Morrisons a pair of Blue Tit are frantically feeding young at nestbox 15. I had trouble even getting a rubbish picture. A Moorhen and Little Egret were on the river. A total of 20 species of birds were seen this morning.

12/05/17 Little Egret At 13.30 today in Area 5 Fran Stickler took this picture of a Little Egret on the pond.

11/05/17 Regular at the garden feeders are Nuthatch and House Sparrow and again I assume that they both are feeding young nearby.

09/05/17 Juvenile Robin Another good breeding year I assume as in my Area 5 garden a juvenile Robin was frequenting my garden feeders. Robins don't have a red breast in juvenile plumage - this helps protect them from territorial attacks from their own parents. The adult plumage gradually appears during the post-juvenile moult, which happens a couple of months after fledging.A Little Egret was also seen from my garden at 06:20.

07/05/17 On the RSPB dawn Chorus walk this morning a Whitethroat was singing from bushes alongside the Emm in Area 10 near the Dinton Activity Centre, a Ring necked Parakeet was heard in the car park field and the Lesser Whitethroat was again in the car park field.

06/05/17 In Area 4 by Kingfisher Bridge a Grey Wagtail was disturbed from the Brook by the electro fishing and a Swift was seen over his garden by Paul Bright Thomas .

04/05/17 In Area 4 Paul Bright Thomas saw a Siskin and Swallow flying NW over his garden .

02/05/17 In the Area 10 car park field off Sandford Lane today a Lesser Whitethroat was singing heard by Fraser Cottington.

01/05/17 Blue Tit At nestbox 42 by the pond in Area 5 garden a pair of Blue Tit would appear to have taken up residence. Meanwhile in Area 4 a Kestrel flew over Paul Bright Thomas's garden to alight on a tree adjacent to the Emm. A Goldcrest was also heard singing from a riverside tree. Mistle Thrush As the breeding season is now in full swing, the overnight rain softened up the ground and Mistle Thrush , Song Thrush and Blackbird were all seen pulling worms from the ground and flying back to their nests. A male Song Thrush was also singing for all it was worth on the dead tree in Area 5. Song Thrush Judging by the number of visits to my Area 5 garden feeders a , House Sparrow must be nesting nearby.


28/05/17 Azure Damselfly Again by the Area 5 pond and another first for the year with an Azure Damselfly Conaegion puella on the vegetation,also seen was a Scorpionfly Panoropa communis.

27/05/17 The pond in Woosehill Meadows in Area 5 is starting to be very popular with Damselflies. Seen today was a male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens ,several Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula and at least 5 mating pair of Common Blue Damselfly Enallogma cyathigerum the majority of which were ovipositing into the pond. Ovipositing is the final part of the mating process where eggs are laid in the pond. During mating, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs this is called a mating wheel. The pair flies together over the water and eggs are laid within a suitable plant, just below the surface. The eggs hatch and the larvae, called nymphs, live in the water and feed on small aquatic animals. Nymphs climb out of the water up a suitable stem to moult into damselflies. Around the edges of the pond were Green-veined White Pieris napi , Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria and my first Small Copper Lycaena phlaesas of the year.

24/05/17 Ephemera danica Another sunny day and another visit to my current favourite bit of the river. On the bridge over the Emm by the Dinton Activity Centre in Area 10 the Mayfly Ephemera danica ,finally stopped dancing and settled on the bridge.There are approx 51 species of Mayfly in the UK.The adults have very short lives (just hours in some cases) during which they display and breed; hatchings of hundreds of adult mayflies in the same spot at the same time often occur. Many species do not feed as adults as their sole purpose is to reproduce and once they have mated, they die.

23/05/17 Again in Area 10 a big fat Hornet Calopteryx splendens was flying around my car. Thankfully my windows were shut and it moved on.

21/05/17 Blue-tailed Damselfly The Area 10 Nettles and riverside vegetatation did not disappoint again at the Dinton Activity Centre at Black Swan Lake, Damselflies seen were Common Blue Damselfly Enallogma cyathigerum , Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula , Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans . Echthrus relucator-female Also seen was a female of the Ichneumon wasp Echthrus relucator . In the car park field a Green-veined White Pieris napi was seen my first for the year.

20/05/17 Cuckoo Spit In Area 5 Cuckoo Spit is starting to appear on the leaves of the riverside plants. Cuckoo Spit is the larval stage of the Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius The Froghopper larvae actually blows bubbles to create a watery mass around itself.The larvae survives by actually feeding on the sap of the plant. As it drinks the sap, the by-product are bubbles which protect the creature in a couple of ways: a) It is hidden in its frothy mass, so predators will not see it, unless they have learnt there is something tasty to eat inside. b) It stops the bug from drying out as it needs to stay damp to survive in its juvenile state. Dingy Footman In Area 3 the caterpillar of the Dingy Footman Eilema griseola moth was seen.

10/05/17 Another visit to Area 10 and the Dinton Activity Centre at Black Swan Lake (Dinton Pastures) today. By the Emm the first Common Blue Damselfly Enallogma cyathigerum of the year was seen on vegetation.

09/05/17 Banded Demoiselle A bit of late afternoon sun paid dividends. In Area 10 by the Multi Activity Centre at 16:00 on the Himalayan Balsam on the banks of the Emm were a male Large Red Damselfly Pyrhosoma nymphula and a female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens also seen was an unidentified Mayfly species dancing above the water.All 3 firsts for the year.

07/05/17 When the sun came out at lunchtime so did the Butterflies in Area 3 by Ashville Way Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus and Large White Pieris brassicae were on the wing.The Holly Blue is one of the first blue butterflies to be seen. It has pale silver-blue wings spotted with pale ivory dots.

04/05/17 Syrphus ribesii Area 10 again but this time by Multi Activity Centre the hoverfly Syrphus ribesii was seen.

02/05/17 In the Area 10 car park field at lunchtime a Brimstone Goneptorex rhammi was flying across the field.

Other Wildlife


06/05/17 Signal Crayfish At the Area 4 fish survey using Electro fishing between Kingfisher Bridge and Meadow Road Bridge produced a solitary Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Common Roach and numerous Common Roach Rutilus rultilus, Bullhead Cottus gobio, Three-spined Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, Minnow Phoxinus phoxinus and some very large Stone Loach Barbatula barbatula.


28/05/17 An twilight stroll with the Bat Detector and Margaret McDonald in Area 5 between Dragonfly and Ripplestream Bridge produced good numbers of Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Soprano Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus flying up and down the Emm at 21:15.

23/05/17 Roe Deer At 07:30 in Area 8 a Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was wandering through a nearby wheatfield.A dog walker said he a seen 6 there a few days ago

21/05/17 In the Lavells Lake,Barn Owl field a Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was feeding by the Emm.

15/05/17 On the walk back from the AGM with Chas and Fran Stickler, a bat that i assume was a Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus was flying up and down the Emm under Dragonfly Bridge chasing insects at 21:15.

08/05/17 Hedgehog A Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught last night on my Area 5 garden webcam at 21:30.



21/05/17 Yellow Rattle In Area 8 off Old Forest Road are several examples of Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor presumabely from the Wildflower mix planted earlier.

13/05/17 Yellow Flag Iris In Area 5 by the pond Yellow Flag Iris Iris pseudacorus are now in full bloom. The Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris is now running riot and the Ribwort Plantain Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi has now multiplied to 10 plants. Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata is sometimes known as Ribgrass and is a short herb with leather like, ribbed leaves that sprout from the base can also been seen.. Ribwort Plantain have small oval flower heads that appear at the top of the thin wire like stems. Although the flowers appear between April and October, the seed heads remain even after the flowers wilt away. This is so that the during the winter, it can provide food for th Goldfinches and other seed eating birds, which in turn help spread the seeds. .

10/05/17 Crosswort Alongside most areas Crosswort Cruciata laevipes can be seen on the banks of the Emm. It's name derives from the cross-like arrangement of its leaves along its stem. When in bloom they are filled with frothy yellow flowers that smell of honey.

01/05/17 Ragged Robin In Area 5 in the Wildflower Meadow, there are still a few Cowslip Primula veris . Down at the pond on the banks a solitary Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi can be seen. The Hawthorn Crataegus monogyma is now in flower showing ifs white flowers against the newly emerged leaves. Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris and Cow Parsley Anthriscus sylvestris can also be seen in abundance. <


28/05/17 Dusky Slug In Area 5 by the pond a Dusky Slug Arion subfuscus was sitting on the Nettles.In my garden a Garden Snail Cornu aspera was slowly making its way from one side to the other.