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

JANUARY

General

January is just as harsh for wildlife as December so make sure you continue feeding the birds and providing water.

Birds

Blackbird

Winter thrushes can be seen rummaging through the leaf litter and flocks of Siskins and Goldfinches can be found feeding in the Alder trees alongside the brook on Riverside Walk to the rear of Morrisons.

 

Insects

Insects are few and far between in January. But a few active species can be seen on winter days, of which the most conspicuous are the gently dancing swarms of harmless Winter Gnats. In the winter sunshine swarms of male gnats make an appearance. If you see a dull brown gnat in winter, it will almost certainly be one of these. Cold doesnt worry them two of our common species fly at 0C and can still walk about in sub-zero temperatures. Females even get on with laying eggs under snow, although males do need it a little warmer for swarming.

Butterflies

Red Admiral

On a warm sunny afternoon in late January Red Admirals may come out of hibernation.

 

Other Wildlife

As the tree canopy is gradually lost Grey Squirrels can be seen moving through the branches looking for acorns.

Plants & Trees

All except the evergreen trees have lost their leaves

January is really a low point in terms of plant hunting. However there are some signs of things to come as Cuckoo Pint leaves are starting to emerge in a curled funnel formation, Lesser Celandine can also be found in flower.

The first of the Hazel catkins are starting to appear.

For more information click the linkJanuary on the Emm Brook

WOLF MOON 2018

Wolf Moon A beautiful supermoon will light up the sky on New Years Day and shine as a beacon of hope for all the people who over-celebrated the night before. Its called the wolf moon, because at this time of year hungry wolf packs would howl outside Native American villages during the chilly peak of winter.
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

RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 2018

This years Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over the weekend of the 27th-29th January 2018 Details of how to take part can be found here: Click here

NATIONAL NEST BOX WEEK 2018

NNBW takes place each year from 14-21 February, and after more than 19 years it is now an established part of the ornithological calendar. NNBW aims to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area in order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife Details of how to take part can be found here: Click here

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

FOTEB AGM

The 2018 AGM was held on Monday 15th May at 19:30 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.

EMMBROOK APHELION 2017

The earth orbits the Sun in an elliptical path, which means that there is 1 point of the path when the Sun is at its closest to the Earth(Perihelion) and 1 point when it is furthest away (Aphelion). The Aphelion in Wokingham was on Monday, 3 July 2017, 21:11 BST . The distance from the Sun's center to Earth's centre was 152,092,504 km (94,505,901 miles) The Earth is closest to the Sun, or at the perihelion, about 2 weeks after the December Solstice, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, the Earth is farthest away from the Sun, at the aphelion point, 2 weeks after the June Solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying warm summer months.

2017 NEWS

EMMBROOK MEADOWS POND

25th November 2017 Strimmed Pond

The wildflower area arond the Woosehill Meadow Pond in Area 5 has been strimmed .

EMMBROOK BIRD BOX USAGE 2016

2nd September 2017

Malcolm Dunmore, Charles Stickler and Mike Saynor checked the nest boxes along the Emm in January 2017. A high proportion of the nest boxes were used again in 2016, although many of the tit chicks in the boxes along Emmbrook Walk perished. A full report can be found here. 2016 Bird Box Usage

MONTHLY BIRD WALKS AROUND DINTON PASTURES 2017

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.