Latest Sightings November 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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30/11/17 In Area 10 the Hawfinch have been seen everyday in and around the copse in the car park field by numerous observers.

25/11/17 Song Thrush This morning started frosty,but bright. A Song Thrush was singing before dawn and many more were seen and heard throught the morning. A large flock of Redwing were visible in Area 5, possibly numbering 35 and very mobile.Redwing Another large mixed flock of Goldfinch and Siskin were moving through the trees by the pond.A Green Woodpecker was heard calling. A Buzzard was in the skies to the rear of Morrisons.A male Brambling was seen and heard calling flying W over Area 4 by Paul Bright-Thomas.

23/11/17 In Area 10 the Hawfinch were still about as one was seen in the copse in the car park field by Richard Marsh.

21/11/17 At Heath Lake, Patrick Crowley saw 3 male Goosanderand 3 male Gadwall and a male Shoveller. Meanwhile in Area 10 a Hawfinch was seen flying from the copse in the car park field by Richard Marsh.

20/11/17 In Area 10, the Barn Owlwas seen in the box by Brian Bennett.

19/11/17 Male Goosander Area 1 this morning and predominantly Heath Lake. On the Lake were several pairs of Shoveller, Gadwall, Mallard and Tufted Duck. Great crested Grebe, Moorhen Coot and Cormorrant were also seen.Highlight however was a male Goosander. In the trees were Long tailed Tit,Treecreeper Goldcrest and a Tree Creeper my first seen for a long time.

18/11/17 Grey Heron A busy time this morning in Area 5 with a total of 26 species seen , including 4 Tit species seen in my garden, on and around my feeders . Down by the river a Grey Heron was again prefering the grass to the river. A Great spotted Woodpecker was calling from a dead tree , a Grey WagtailRedwing was feeding on the banks and my neighbours Rowan Tree was being stripped of its berries by 10 Redwing.

17/11/17 Paul O'Neill was woken this morning at 01:00 by an alarm call of a Tawny Owl in Area 8.Later in the day he also saw a female Blackcap in the hedgerow, a male Yellowhammer, 4 Skylarkand 40 Redwing with 7 Fieldfareat Old Forest Road Meadows.

16/11/17 Possibly as many as 11 Hawfinch were seen in the Area 10 car park field by Jerry O'Brien. Also seen in Area 10 by Paul Bright Thomas were Fieldfare, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch and a Cettis Warbler.

15/11/17 Paul O'Neill was out again in Area 8 and Old Forest Road Meadows seeing a Fieldfare, Green Woodpecker and 2 Yellowhammer that were in a mixed feeding flock of Chaffinch,Greenfinch,Great Tit, Blue Tit and Redwing.

14/11/17 Paul O'Neill was in Old Forest Road Meadows today and saw 20 Linnet.

13/11/17 Paul O'Neill saw 3 Yellowhammer and 10 Redwing in Old Forest Road Meadows.Paul Bright-Thomas was in Area 10 and saw a Hawfinch in the car park field with 2 Fieldfare and 2 Song Thrush a Siskin and a female Bullfinch. Ring necked Parakeet flew over the landfill.

12/11/17 Kestrel A Kestrel was on the power lines in the Area 10 car park field, complete with its lunch. Photo courtesy of Alan Rymer.

11/11/17 Grey Heron A wet and drizzly start to the day, but still a few birds about. Several Song Thrush were singing from the tree tops. Nuthatch and Coal Tit were on the garden feeders. Hawfinch A Grey Heron had given up on the river, as the levels had risen and had decided to try his luck in a riverside puddle in Area 5. In the afternoon it brightened up and I visited Area 10 following reports of a Hawfinch in the copse in the middle of the car park field, found by Marek Walford earlier in the day. (Photo courtesy of Marek Walford). After a wait it finally appeared in a Sloe bush. A male Blackcap, 2 Ring necked Parakeet , Redwing and Little Egret were also seen. Paul O'Neill was again in Area 8 and Old Forest Meadows with a Chiffchaff alongside the A329M , 2 Fieldfare , 10 Song Thrush and 10 Redwing . A Goldcrest was also seen by him, alongside the river in Area 7.

08/11/17 At 22:10 a female Tawny Owl was calling from the Woosehill roundabout area . Earlier in the day in Area 8 and Old Forest Road Meadows, Paul O'Neill saw a Green Sandpiper in exactly the same tiny puddle as Sunday and a Redwing flew over

07/11/17 The Barn Owl was seen in its box in Area 10 early this morning by Fraser Cottington.

05/11/17 Goosander A walk around Heath Lake in Area 1 this morning and the lake was full of wildfowl. Numerous Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and Pochardwere bobbing about on the water. Also seen were Cormorrant, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen and Great crested Grebe The highlight for me however was a female Goosander which didn't stay long.A very bad record shot was taken. A Kingfisher was also seen twice flying across the lake. In Area 8 and Old Forest Road Meadows, Paul O'Neill saw a male Sparrowhawk fly over and a Green Sandpiper was feeding in a tiny puddle. Paul Bright Thomas was on the hill by Windmill School in Area 5, highlights were a Brambling heading SW and a Hawfinch heading S.

04/11/17 In this mornings rain time was spent watching the feeders in my Area 5 garden. All 4 UK Tits were seen Blue Tit, Long tailed Tit, Great Tit and Coal Tit. A Nuthatch was also a frequent visitor.

02/11/17 Wren A quick lunchtime visit to Area 10 and the car park field was not overly productive however this Wren was very showy on the fence posts.

01/11/17 A day of good coverage produced a female Tawny Owl calling around Woosehill roundabout at 00:15. Paul O'Neill was in Area 7 with 2 Skylark heading NE, 50+ Redwing going SW and a Chiffchaff. He then moved to Area 8 with more Skylarks heading NE. 7 Redwing a Green Woopecker and 14 Long tailed Tit moving through the hedgerows. Paul Bright Thomas was again in Area 4 and saw a Goldcrest in his garden. He also saw 2 Bullfinch, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 2 Meadow Pipit a Skylark, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Song Thrush, 59 Redwing and 4 Hawfinch. Fraser Cottington visited the Area 10 car park field off Sandford Lane and had a flyover calling Brambling the first of this Autumn.


12/11/17 Winter Moth Flying into my kitchen was a Winter Moth Operophtera brumata . At this time of year it can be quite hard to find insects out in the cold weather; however, winter is the peak time of activity for some species. As its name suggests, the Winter moth is a hardy winter loving species which can be seen flying from late autumn through to late January or February. This moth can often be seen in the glare of car head lights when driving past woodland or hedgerows.

02/11/17 Common Froghopper Insects are not that visible at this time of year, but this Common Froghopper Philaenus spumanus was on the Nettles in Area 10. They are probably better known as the bug hidden within Cuckoo Spit.

Other Wildlife


25/11/17 Mistletoe In Area 5 in an Ash Tree by the pond Mistletoe Viscum album is in the top of the tree. Mistletoe is a small semi-parasitic evergreen shrub which forms large spherical balls in the tops of trees. Balls of mistletoe can be up to 1m wide. Mistletoe leaves, stems and berries are all poisonous.

12/11/17 Autumn Along the river the Autumn colours are in full force. Lots of the trees are losing leaves, but as usual the Oak Quercus robur is hanging on to its leaves till the last moment. An interesting fact about the Common Oak is that acorns are not produced until the tree is at least 40 years old. Peak acorn fecundity usually occurs around 80 120 years.


25/11/17 Molehill Molehills, obviously produded by Mole Taipa europaea are visible in Area 5. 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.

02/11/17 Hedgehog I put out the trailcam to check on my Area 5 garden Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus and clearly its still there.

01/11/17 In Area 4 a Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen skulking around the bushes at dusk by Christine Jutson.


19/11/17 Birch Polypore In Area 1 at Heath Lake a Birch Polypore Piptoporus betulinus was on a Birch tree. This bracket fungus is also known as the Razorstrop Fungus.This is due to the practice of barbers using tough, leathery strips of the dried brackets to sharpen razors.

05/11/17 Reticularia lycoperdon Walking through Heath Lake today I came across this very odd species which looked exactly like the expanding foam used in cavity wall insulation . I am fairly sure that this is Slime Mould Reticularia lycoperdon . Slime Moulds are a strange class of amoeboid protozoa, previously thought to be fungi but now known to be Myxomycota, which are organisms which prey on microbial food webs. This particular species is a bacterial predator and usually very tiny and unlikely to be seen, but this particular stage of its life cycle is a fruiting body known as a sporangium. This is a globular formation which swells up to around 50-80mm , whereupon it hardens and then eventually splits to release brown mass of spores.