Latest Sightings October 2018

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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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29/10/18 A Great White Egret was flushed from the Emm Brook in Area 10 by the Car park field this morning by Ralph Watts and Richard Sadjak. A Barn Owl was also seen looking out of the box. Paul O’Neill was out in Old Forest Road Meadows in Area 8 this morning and saw a Ring – necked Parakeet , 2 Skylark and 20 Redwing in 2 separate flocks.

28/10/18 Paul Bright-Thomas was watching from his Area 4 garden again and saw 120 Starling , 40 Redwing , 45 Fieldfare moving W/NW and a Skylark also moving NW.

27/10/18 Paul Bright-Thomas was in his Area 4 garden keeping an eye on Visible Migration. For those who don’t know, Visible Migration (Vis Mig) is the morning movement (dawn to about 11am) of day-flying birds such as finches, pipits and larks making short hops (e.g. of 50km) on their autumn journeys. It takes place on most autumn days Sept-late Nov, but the quality varies enormously. Usually you see flocks of birds flying over you, fairly high up and single-mindedly. They are often mixed, and the fun is separating out the travelling species, usually by call or jizz.Seen today were a solitary Siskin heading W, a Linnet moving N , an adult and 2nd Winter Lesser Black-backed Gull circling S. 2 Fieldfare which dropped into the W and 1290 Wood Pigeon heading S. The largest flock was 300 but almost 500 were seen in a couple of minutes after 08:00.In his garden itself was a Goldcrest .

25/10/18   Great spotted Woodpecker In Area 1 at Chapel Green Riding School a Little Owl flew off from fence post and at least one other was heard calling by Sean Stevenson and a Great spotted Woodpecker was seen by Ludgrove School. Meanwhile Paul Bright-Thomas was in Area 4 and saw 4 Siskin , 15 Chaffinch heading W and 60 Fieldfare again heading W in two groups of 35 and 25. Old Forest Meadows in Area 8 was visited by Paul O'Neill and Buzzard , male Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel were seen. 50+ Fieldfare flew into the copse in Lavells car park field in Area 10 seen by Alan Rymer.

21/10/18   Kestrel Seen on the old golf course in Area 10 at Dinton Pastures this morning, was a female Kestrel sitting on the wires.

20/10/18   Barn Owl A female Tawny Owl was heard calling this morning at 06.35 in Area 5, to the rear of Morrisons. Also seen at a more respectable hour were Song Thrush , Coal Tit and Goldfinch . Paul O'Neill saw 15 Redwing flying over the A329 at Woosehill Roundabout in Area 5. Meanwhile 2 Barn Owl were seen by Gavin Turner in Area 10 at 16:30. One left the box and landed in a tree, it then dived to the floor to catch a mouse/vole. After being mobbed by Magpies on the floor it flew back to the box where the other Owl was in the doorway. At 18:45 , 40+ Canada Goose flew over my Area 5 garden calling in a tight V formation, I assume heading for Windmill Pond on Widmill Avenue. Photo courtesty of Gavin Turner.

19/10/18   Barn Owl A Barn Owl was seen at the entrance to the box in the paddock adjacent to the Emm in Area 10 by Geoff Emmett. Paul Bright- Thomas, today had 5 Ring necked Parakeets over his Area 4 garden. 3 adults and 2 juveniles.Photo courtesy of Geoff Emmett.

18/10/18 Paul Bright- Thomas had his "Eyes to the skies" this morning in his Area 4 garden near Kingfisher Bridge and saw the following,a Song Thrush high over,a solitary Dunnock , 3 Skylark , 4 Meadow Pipit , 10 Wood Pigeon over in 2 groups and 30 Starling . In Area 10 a Kingfisher was seen flying along the Brook and under the bridge from the car park field by Richard Marsh and 10 Ring necked Parakeet were seen over the Area 10 car park field by Alan Rymer. In Area 1 around Luckley Road Ring necked Parakeet were also heard calling.

17/10/18 A Kestrel was seen over the Area 10 car park field by Richard Marsh.

15/10/18 Area 10 and a Kingfisher was seen near the Emm Brook on the path from the car park by Anne Cronin. In the carpark field a Firecrest was seen at far end of the field with Blackcap , Chiffchaff and 2 Nuthatch by Nick Kightley. In Area 4 this morning, Paul Bright Thomas had 6 Siskin flying low N over his garden and 4 Redwing .

14/10/18   Male Pheasant Storm Callum is currently sweeping the UK this week and it has made it very difficult for any sightings over the last few days. Todays early morning rain and gusting winds were more of the same. It hasn't however stopped the usual Wood Pigeon , Magpie , Collared Dove , Robin and Great Tit from enjoying a free meal on my Area 5 garden feeders. A quick walk between the showers in Area 1, was again predictable with Rook , Jackdaw and Carrion Crow all feeding in the fields. A male Pheasant was seen around the cattle feeders.

10/10/18 A female Tawny Owl was heard calling this morning at 05:20 in Area 5. A pair of Tawny Owl were also heard calling in Area 6 near Emmbrook School at 20:00 by Paul Little.

09/10/18 At 20:30 a Barn Owl was seen in Area 1 near Ludgrove School on a fence post in torchlight before flying off by Sean Stevenson.

08/10/18 Once again at the car park field in Area 10 was a solitary Redwing , Blackcap and Chiffchaff all in the bushes seen by Peter Scudamore. Another Redwing was seen by Paul O'Neill over Forest Road in Area 8.

07/10/18 Over the car park field in Area 10 were 20 Redwing heading W, a Fieldfare going W low over the car park and 4 Mistle Thrush moving S all seen by Fraser Cottington.

06/10/18 A Barn Owl was seen in the entrance to the box by Richard Marsh in Area 10.

04/10/18 In Area 8 a Grey Wagtail was seen along the banks of the Emm at Old Forest Road Meadows by Paul O'Neill. Meanwhile a Pheasant was also seen in his garden on Old Forest Road.

01/10/18 2 Red Kite were seen dancing together in the sky above Area 5 today.


28/10/18   Phycitodes binaevella On the kitchen window in my Area 5 garden was the micro moth Phycitodes binaevella.

22/10/18   Green-brindled Crescent The moth trap was out again in my Area 5 garden . Even though the overnight temperature was lower a better catch occurred. The nights best moth was a Green-brindled Crescent Allophyes oxyacanthae. An autumn species, flying from September to November, it is fairly common throughout much of Britain, occupying woodland, hedgerows and suburban habitats.  Black Rustic The remaining ones were Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana, Cypress Carpet Tiliacea aurago, Grey Pine Carpet Agrochola macilenta, 2 Merveille du Jour Griposia aprilina, Black Rustic Aporophyla nigra, Angle Shades Griposia aprilina and Barred Sallow Tiliacea aurago . On the non moth side but attracted to the light were 2 Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea and 2 Caddisfly Limnephilus lunatus.Also seen were the late flying Craneflies Tipula pagana and Tipula confusa.

21/10/18   Merville du jour The moth trap was put out overnight in Area 5 . With clear skies and the temperature down to 6.3 C not too much was expected. The best moth was a Merveille du Jour Griposia aprilina. Appropriately named as it was "The wonder of the day". One of our most beautiful moths, especially when freshly emerged, this species frequents woodland and parks.In total only 7 moths of 5 species visited the trap.  Feathered Thorn The remaining ones were Barred Sallow Tiliacea aurago, Yellow -line Quaker Agrochola macilenta, Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria and White point Mythimna albipuncta . Also possiby attracted to the light was Common Rough Woodlouse Porcellio scaber. It was seen on the walls adjacent to the trap.

15/10/18   Light Brown Apple Moth Coming to light in my Area 5 kitchen this evening was a Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana. This originally Australian species was probably accidentally introduced into Cornwall in the 1930's and since then has spread quickly northwards and is now a regular moth in most of the country. It flies in two generations between May and October.

09/10/18 In the afternoon sun in Area 5 a Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria and Peacock Aglais io butterfly were on the wing and a Hornet Vespa crabro was seen around the Oak trees.

03/10/18   Small Copper Not a lot seen in an Area 10, lunchtime dash. A Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas was spotted flitting amongst the grass in the car park field   7 Spot Ladybird and a 7 Spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata was on Nettles by the bridge over the Emm. The very common Seven Spot Ladybird is usually red, occasionally yellow. Its seven black spots are arranged three on each wing case or elytron and one at the back sitting across the two elytra.

02/10/18   Glyphotaelius pellucidus Coming to light in Area 5 was a male Caddisfly Glyphotaelius pellucidus. These medium to large sized caddis fly with marbled brown and cream wings are distinctive. The patterning varies between male and female in this species. The forewings have a notched outer margin.

01/10/18   Stigmella samiatella With Insects sightings reducing at this time of year, a young mans interests can be well served by leaf mines. The larvae of many Flies (Diptera), Moths (Lepidoptera), Sawflies (Hymenoptera) and Beetles (Coleoptera) feed within the leaves and stems of plants. As they feed and grow, the larvae move through their host plant's tissues, often creating characteristic mines. A knowledge of a mining insect's host preferences coupled with the often diagnostic features of the mine and the lifestyle and form of the immature stages of the miner enable many species with known hosts to be identified, frequently more readily than the insect itself.A total of 885 insects are recorded as miners in Britain and Ireland.

  Tischeria ekebladella In Area 1 the leaves of Sweet Chestnut Aeshna mixta were given a good investigation.Seen were the leaf mines of the moths Stigmella samiatellaand Tischeria ekebladella.   Spiders Web Not Insects, but this is a good time of the year to look for Spiders Webs on cold autumn mornings you suddenly realise how many spiders there are.   Spiders Web Take an early morning walk and spot spider webs outlined in dew on hedgerows, in meadows even on house windows and car wing mirrors. These were seen in Area 1 around Gorrick Woods.


01/10/18   Holly Berries I was asked the other day, why someones Holly Ilex aquifolium tree did not have berries. All holly bushes do not have berries. Hollies are dioecious, meaning that they need male and female plants in order to produce seeds, which are what berries are. So only female holly bushes will have the red berries. This means that if some of your holly bushes do not have berries, they may be male and simply cannot produce berries. It also means that if all of your holly bushes do not have berries, that they may all be male or they all may be female. Without any male holly bushes nearby, the female holly bushes will not produce berries either.These fine berries were in Area 1, where clearly they know the rules.

Other Wildlife

Amphibians and Reptiles


26/10/18 At 22:00 in Area 5 a Red Fox Vulpes vulpes was seen running down Caroline Drive before diving into a hedge.

22/10/18  Roe Deer Between the Emm Brook and Lavell's Lake in Area 10,this morning 2 Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus were seen walking along the banks of Lavells Lake.

21/10/18  Hedgehog With the current mild weather continuing, 3 European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus are still visiting my Area 5 garden and enjoying the dried cat food that's placed out. for them.  Wood Mouse Also seen on the garden trail cam was what I assume is a Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus based on the fact that it has a white or greyish underside. The similar House mouse Mus musculus has a pointed snout, rounded ears and a long naked or almost hairless tail.

17/10/18  Squirrel A brief lunchtime visit to Kingfisher Bridge in Area 4 produced at least 4 individual Grey Squirrel Sciurus Carolinensis foraging for food in the riverside trees.

10/10/18 Unidentified Bat sp were seen by Paul Little in his Area 6 garden along with a European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus.

04/10/18 At 05:00 in Area 5 this morning a European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeuswas wandering its way around my garage.

01/10/18  Squirrel In Area 1 at Gorrick Woods the Grey Squirrel Sciurus Carolinensis appear to be using the stumps of the felled Pine trees as dining tables.  Squirrel Their preferred fare at this time of the year appears to be the fruits of Sweet Chestnut and seeds from Pine cones.




21/10/18  Horse Mushroom Underneath the bird feeders in my Area 5 garden, in amongst all the Black Sunflower shells is a mature Horse Mushroom Agaricus arvensis as I have no intention of eating it, I have not tested my ID to make sure its not one of the very similar poisonous varieties.

01/10/18  Fly Agaric In Area 1 at Gorrick Woods, the instantly recognisable with white spots on a red domed top Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria toadstool can be seen.