This Month on the Emmbrook
What to look for if you are out and about in

MAY

General

The month of May is a wonderful time to see wildlife on and around the Emm brook. As spring slips into May, many of our resident birds are on eggs or feeding young, most summer migrants are singing to defend territories and attract mates but a few are still to make their entrance.

Birds

Cuckoo

Our summer migrants are here and their songs are mixed in with the residents. Summer specialities such as Cuckoo, Swifts and Swallows bring a special edge to wildlife watching. Cuckoos can sometimes be heard calling at Riverside Walk but are more reliable adjacent to the Emm brook at Lavells Lake LNR. Warblers fill the woodlands and hedgerows . In the open spaces alongside the Emm Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Blackbirds and Song thrushes lead a frantic life seeking food for the insatiable appetite of their young. Another summer migrant the Hobby can be seen feeding on damsel and dragonflie over the Emm particularly adjacent to the golf course at Dinton Pastures.

Insects

If you hear a thump against the outside of a window on a May night it may well be a Cockchafer beetle. This is one of our largest beetles and the brown, slightly fury adult appears in May, and heads towards street lights and lit windows in search of a mate. The pupae live for two years as plump 'c' shaped larva in the soil and form an important food source for rooks and crows.

By mid May dragon and damselflies have started to emerge and quickly go about breeding.

Mayflies also emerge on sunny days in May

Butterflies

Common Blue

Amongst the insects that have already emerged are some of the blue butterflies such as Holly Blue and the Common Blue. Common Blues feed on the flowers of the pea species, but the adults only have a short three week life span. However as there are up to three generations in one year you get a number of chances to see this beautiful butterfly.

For more information click the link May on the Emm Brook


Emmbrook Weather

Bernard Burton has been recording the weather alongside the Emm Brook since 1976. His weather station originally situated at Emmbrook Secondary School till 1996 and now at Emmbrook Junior School daily monitors the weather. For a more detailed anaylsis of the previous month's weather visit this link. Emmbrook Weather

For todays Emm Brook weather Click here

For todays Emm Brook sunrise and sunset times Click here


Newsletters

At their meeting in November 2010 the FOTEB management committee took the decision to discontinue the printed newsletters for members. This decision was not taken lightly since there is of course a tradition of keeping members informed of events and sightings by way of regular printed newsletters. However, knowing that the majority of members have internet access and are regular visitors to our website - and having received an increasing number of representations from members expressing a wish to receive literature in an electronic format - your committee felt that the time had come to cease the time-consuming and costly production of regular printed newsletters and replace them with an online noticeboard on our website.

Click on Archive page at the top of the screen to view one of the previous News letters.

Emm Brook River levels now on line

The Environment Agency Website now has a daily update on river levels of the Emm near Tesco's in Area 2

2018 NEWS

FOTEB LITTER PICK 2018

CANCELLED DUE TO THE WEATHER

A litter pick will take place on 18th March 2018 @ 10.00. Meet at Morrisons, between the Community Centre and Morrisons entrance in Woosehill. Please wear suitable clothing including gloves. Litter pickers and bags will be provided.

FOTEB AGM 2018

The FOTEB 2018 AGM will be held on Monday 14th May at 19.15 - 21.15 at Woosehill Community Hall, Emmview Close, Wokingham RG41 3DA.

BASH THE BALSAM 2018

Balsam Bash

Himalayan balsam

Himalayan balsam is classified as a Non Native Invasive Species and as such can take over large areas of river bank or damp habitat.It was introduced by the Victorians for use in ornamental gardens. As well as causing problems for native species, Himalayan balsam substantially increases the risk of riverbank erosion. It does this by stopping native bankside vegetation growing. The roots of these natives would bind the banks. With just balsam in the autumn, when it dies it leaves only bare soil that is easily eroded and washed away by any subsequent rain or flood events. It is possible to eradicate Himalayan balsam (not an option with most invasive plant species) from infested river catchments because its morphology and life cycle display a number of weaknesses that are uncharacteristic of such high profile invasive species. These include:

the plant has an annual life cycle, meaning it germinates, grows, flowers, seeds and dies in the one year;

the tall plant has a shallow root ball so easily removed by pulling;

the plant has no natural defence mechanisms, such as thorns or bristles, to make pulling difficult or hazardous;

the majority of the seeds germinate after one year and seeds are the only propagation method of this species. A full list of dates for the 2018 Balsam Bashinh season will be published nearer the date, but it is expected to start in June.

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2018

RSPB

A Date With Nature Monthly Saturday morning walk 1st Saturday of each month Location: Meet in the Dinton Pastures main car park in Wokingham RG10 0TH at 09:00. As the parking fee in the Dinton Pastures car park is 6 for 4 hours, the Local RSPB Group have arranged for participants to park for free in the car park of the Wheelwright Arms, which is close to the entrance to Dinton pastures but on the opposite side of the road. (Obviously, it would be appreciated if we give our custom to the pub RG10 0TR.) A three and a half hour walk around Dinton Pastures and Lavell's Lake (Area 10 of the Emm Brook) , suitable for everyone of all ages and we usually see/hear between 40 and 50 species of birds. Good cafe and toilets by the car park. Time: 9 am Price: 2 donation to the RSPB.

RSPB Dawn Chorus Walk

6th May 2018

Location: Meet in the Dinton Pastures main car park in Wokingham. We have arranged for participants to park for free in the car park of the Wheelwright Arms, which is close to the entrance to Dinton Pastures but on the opposite side of the road. (Obviously, it would be appreciated if we give our custom to the pub.) Postcode: RG10 0TH

Join Wokingham & Bracknell Local Group for the annual early morning walk to listen to the glorious dawn chorus songs around Dinton Pastures Country Park. Try and catch sight of the elusive nightingales that visit the lakes each year. The walk will last for 3 to 3.5 hours.

Time: 5 am

Price: 2 donation to the RSPB. Children go free

FRIENDS OF LAVELLS LAKE

On the second Sunday of every month Friends of Lavell Lake (FOLL) run a guided bird walk around the park covering Area 10 of the Emm Brook. Routes will vary depending on the time of year and last up to three hours. Wear suitable clothing as at times paths can be very muddy. We meet at 9am in the car park on Sandford Lane (opposite the Dinton Activity Centre entrance) and ask for a donation of 1 with no charge for children. For more information visit the FOLL website . Click here

Car park charges apply.

2018 NEWS

EMMBROOK MEADOWS POND

03/04/18 Woosehill Meadow Pond Sign

The observant ones of you will have noticed that the Woosehill Meadow Pond Sign is not in its rightfull place in Area 5. The sign was found uprooted, and has been removed, prior to reinstatement at a later date .

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2017

The annual clearance of the nest boxes along the Emm took place this year on in January 2018. This was undertaken by Malcolm Dunmore, Charles Stickler, Eddie Napper and Mike Saynor.

checked the nest boxes along the Emm in January 2018. A high proportion of the nest boxes were used again. A full report can be found here. 2017 Bird Box Usage along the Emm

WOKINGHAM DISTRICT VETERAN TREE ASSOCIATION

Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association was formed ten years ago in 2007 and have just launched the WDTVAs 10th Anniversary Report. This report summarising WDVTA activities and achievements across the Borough is now available on the WDVTA website at Click here