Latest Sightings October 2015

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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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In Area 4 this morning at 08:00 on my walk to work a Kingfisher was seen flying downstream along the Emm from Kingfisher Bridge. On the way home a Sparrowhawk was seen patrolling the skies in Area 5.


In Area 4 by Meadow Road bridge a Kingfisher was seen flying upstream along the Emm by Mary Ede.


Over Area 4 this morning Paul Bright Thomas was in his garden and saw a juvenille Swallow and 8 Golden Plover fly over.


In Area 5 this evening Wendy Hayward heard a Tawny Owl calling.


In Area 4 this morning by Kingfisher Bridge, a Grey Wagtail and Kingfisher were both on the Emm. The Kingfisher quickly flew upstream from its fishing perch. In Area 10 a Kestrel was perched on the wires on the old golf course, also seen were Green Woodpecker and Great spotted Woodpecker . 2 Bullfinch were in the woody clump in the middle of the carpark field.In Area 5 later in the afternoon a Sparrowhawk was hunting the area.


Paul Bright Thomas was watching again today in his Area 4 garden and saw a Skylark heading N. A Song Thrush going W.3 Pied Wagtail over going S. 3 Linnet and 10 Starling .


In Area 4 this morning, Paul Bright Thomas had 3 Redwing fly over his garden.


I was out in Area 1 (Gorrick Woods) this morning and not a lot about. The usual Coal Tits were calling and as usual at this time of year Jay were more conspicious. However in Area 10, Fraser Cottington was having a bit more luck. 2 Redwing flew over West, 8 Siskin landed in the Silver Birch by the Sailing club , then at the car park field a lone Lesser Redpoll over North.


In Area 10 Fraser Cottington was out and about with a Mistle Thrush in the sailing club car park, the car park field had into double figures of Blackcap moving through, with House Martin and Chiffchaff Meadow Pipits and Skylark over, Over my Area 5 garden at 18:00 evening at least 30+heading S and earlier in the morning a calling Chiffchaff was behind Morrissons.



In Area 5 this afternoon by the new pond a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis dragonfly was on the wing enjoying the mild weather..


In Area 4 this morning another Hornet Vespa crabo was seen.


Seen on the walk by the Emmbrook today in Area 10 was a Hornet Vespa crabo near the sailing club. An unidentified Dragonfly and unidentified Cricket were also seen


Hedgehog Gall In Area 5 on the fruits of the Turkey Oak t Quercus cerris ,Hedgehog Galls can be seen. These galls are caused by a Cynipid gall wasp Andricus lucidus . Up to 25mm across, the gall bears hundreds of spines, each of which has a globular tip


Red Admiral t Eristalis tenax and Large White Pieris brassicae butterfly were on the wing this afternoon.

Other Wildlife



Mole In Area 5 by the new pond to the rear of Morrisons is evidence of plenty of activity by Mole Talpa europaea.Mole hills.


Red Fox In the Area 4 balancing pond mid morning were 2 Red Fox Vulpes vulpes.They didn't seem particularly bothered by my presence.


For the second night running a Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus bat has been flying around my front garden in Area 5 at 18:45.Apparently October is a time when Pipistrelle's will be building up fat reserves to survive the winter season. They start seeking suitable hibernation sites, and beginning periods of torpor.



Birch Polypore In Area 1 was a Birch Polypore Piptoporus betulinus fungus. This is an extremely common polypore fungus. As the name suggests, it is found exclusively on birch trees. At maturity they are typically semicircular or kidney shaped as they grow outwards from the tree body. Shapes and sizes may differ a little but generally this is the norm. They can grow to a good size – between 20 – 30cm across and 8cm thick! They’re quite a sight to behold when they get to this size. They are also known as Razorstrop Fungus as apparently Barbers used to sharpen their "strops" on them.


Fly Agaric In Area 5 unfortunately the Council grass cutters got to the Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria before I did. However there should be more and there is always a plentiful supply in Area 1 (Gorrick Wood)



Fish/ Crustacean



Corn Cockle By the pond in Area 5 the flowers of Corn Cockle Agrrostemma githago , can be seen.Also in Area 4 by the banks of the balancing pond Bristly Oxtongue Helminthotheca echioides is in flower.


Ivy At this time of the year look out for the flowers of Ivy Hedera helix . Ivy's late flowering season makes it a valuable source of nectar for many insects prior to hibernation, particularly bees and butterflies.


Devil's-bit Scabious In Area 1 along one of the rides was Devil's-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis It is in bloom between July and October, its pincushion-like flower heads attracting a wide variety of butterflies and bees.Species of scabious were used to treat Scabies, and other afflictions of the skin including sores caused by the Bubonic Plague. The word scabies comes from the Latin word for scratch (scabere). The short black root was in folk tales bitten off by the devil, angry at the plant's ability to cure these ailments, in anger against the Virgin Mary, or as part of some 'devilish plot'. Sweet Chestnut Also in Area 1 was the Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa the Sweet Chestnut is thought to have been introduced to the British Isles by the Romans. Today it is regarded as an ‘honorary native’. It is found commonly throughout Britain in woods and copses. Roasted or ground into flour, sweet chestnuts formed an important part of the Roman diet and it is reported that Alexander the Great and the Romans planted chestnut trees across Europe during their various campaigns. It is said that Roman soldiers were given a porridge made from sweet chestnuts before going into battle.

Why do leaves change colour in the Autumn click here Autumn leaves

For a review of the sightings along the Emm for the first 8 months of 2014 click here May - August 2014 Sightings

January - April 2014 Sightings