Latest Sightings October 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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30/10/17 A Little Egret, Peregrine , Bullfinch , Hawfinch were seen in Area 4 by Paul Bright- Thomas.

29/10/17  Grey Heron In Area 10 this morning a Kingfisher was seen flying upstream along the Emm Brook under Sandford Lane Bridge. A Kestrel was seen over the Car Park field by Geoff Emmett. In Area 9, Blackberry Gardens, during a brief stop a Kestrel was seen patrolling the field. Kestrel A Phesant was heard in Area 4 by Paul Bright- Thomas and a Mistle Thrush was seen heading S in Area 8 by Paul O'Neill. This afternoon a Grey Heron touched down briefly on my neighbours roof.

28/10/17  Green Woodpecker Another good day along the Emm Brook. The never ending sightings of Hawfinch,coming in from the Continent almost certainly courtesy of ex-hurricane Ophelia shows no sign of stopping. 13 were seen in Area 10 by Fraser Cottington and 14 were seen in Area 4 by Paul Bright Thomas. Also seen in Area 4 were a Cormorrant, Bullfinch,2 Egyptian Goose, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll,20 Fieldfare, a total of 125 Redwing in various groups, 140 Starling and a total of 240 migrating WoodPigeon. Paul O'Neill was in Area 8, Old Forest Road Meadows and saw 5 Fieldfare heading SW, also Redwing. I meanwhile was in Area 1 with not a lot to report.6 Redwing were milling around, 2 Green Woodpecker were in the cow field and several Ring necked Parakeet flew over calling.A Kingfisher was also seen in Area 4 upstream of Kingfisher Bridge.

26/10/17 A Hawfinch, an Egyptian Goose and 2 Meadow Pipitwere seen by Paul Bright Thomas over his Area 4 garden.

25/10/17 In Area 7 the female or 1st winter Black Redstart was seen on the roofs of the new development off MatthewsGreen Road by Paul O'Neill. It was also seen throught the day by other observers.

24/10/17 Another 5 Hawfinch and 2 Egyptian goose were seen by Paul Bright Thomas over his Area 4 garden whilst a Kingfisher was on the Emm Brook. Around Old Forest Road Meadows a Common Gull, 3 Herring Gull and 8 Black-headed Gull were in the recently ploughed field and 4 Grey Wagtailwere flying around the Emm Brook seen by Paul O'Neill.

23/10/17 Paul O'Neill was out and about again in Area 8 and Old Forest Road Meadows and today's highlights were a Kestrel with prey in its talons, a Chiffchaff singing above the noise of the A329 (M). Meanwhile Paul Bright Thomas was in Area 4 with a Grey Heron flying low S. A flyover Siskin heading W , a Green Woodpecker flying over his garden 12 Meadow Pipit in small groups and 15 Redwing .

22/10/17 In Area 8 Paul O'Neill saw a Kestrel and in Area 7 a female or 1st winter Black Redstart seen on the roofs of the new development off MatthewsGreen Road before flying off. In Area 5 a Grey Heron flew over Woosehill roundabout.A Coal Tit has now become a regular visitor to my garden feeders.

21/10/17 A Peregrine was seen over the Area 10 car park field by Fraser Cottington.

20/10/17 The Barn Owl was seen looking out of its box in Area 10 by John McGowan.Paul Bright Thomas had another Hawfinch,a Coal Tit and Lesser Redpollin Area 4.

19/10/17 Again I was woken this morning at 05:15 by a calling Tawny Owl this time however a male. A Hawfinch was seen flying over heading W in Area 10 by Fraser Cottington. In Area 4 a Goldcrest and a singing Chiffchaff were seen by Paul Bright Thomas.

18/10/17 On a stroll around Area 2 today, it was all a bit quiet. Highlights were a Grey Wagtail , a Little Egret being mobbed by Jackdaw and about 15 Redwing.

16/10/17  Hawfinch I was woken this morning at 05:15 by a calling female Tawny Owl very close to my house. There didn't appear to be a male response. Meanwhile Paul Bright Thomas was in Area 4 with a Kingfisher flying up the river near Kingfisher Bridge, 8 Meadow Pipit overhead heading S ,a Skylark also heading S, a Siskin , and 5 Redwing.  Hawfinch However the best of the day was 5 Hawfinch.The South of England currently is having a bit of an influx of these birds.Photos courtesy of Paul Bright Thomas.In the afternoon in Area 8 around Old Forest Road Meadows Paul O'Neill saw a Coal Tit with a small group of Long-tailed Tit , also a Grey Wagtail and a Green Woodpecker. A group of thrushes working the hedgerows included at least 4 Blackbird , 2 Song Thrush and 1 Redwing , Also a Chiffchaff , Great - spotted Woodpecker and fly-overs from 2 Egyptian Goose and Little Egret .

12/10/17 Paul Brignt Thomas was again wandering out and about in Area 4. Todays sightings were a calling Meadow Pipit overhead a Song Thrush, Coal Tit and Chiffchaff. 5 Canada Goose 6 Pied Wagtail, Siskin and Linnet. Meanwhile Richard Marsh was in the Area 10 Car Park field with a Coal Tit and a Goldcrest. A Kestrel was over the Area 10 landfill and 2 Linnet and 3 Lesser Redpollwere heading S over the car park field all seen by Fraser Cottington.

11/10/17 A Marsh Tit was reported over the Emm Brook in Area 10 by Alan Rymer.

10/10/17 A quick pop home at lunch time and a Buzzard was drifting over my Area 5 garden being mobbed by 2 noisy Black headed Gull.

09/10/17 This morning was mild with a very overcast afternoon however Paul Bright Thomas was in Area 4 with another Song Thrush over his garden.In a visit to Area 10 and the car park field he saw a Meadow Pipit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, a solitary Siskinand 10 Song Thrush, 2 Snipe were heading S.

07/10/17 In the Area 10 Lavells Lake car park field , 15 Redwing dropped into the car park field. The first of the Autumn's returning Scandanavian wanderers seen by Fraser Cottington.

06/10/17 Seen today by Paul Bright Thomas in Area 4 was a Song Thrush , 2 Mistle Thrush, Coal Tit, Linnet and 11 Rook. Flying upstream along the Emm was a Kingfishernear the weir pool. It was also seen a bit later flying downstream by Ripplestream Bridge.

06/10/17 Area 8 was a bit quiet today as Paul O'Neill was strolling around. 2 Buzzard and a female/juvenile Kestrel were the sum of the excitement.

03/10/17 3 of the resident Ring necked Parakeet were heard and then seen flying around Area 10 and the Car Park field.

01/10/17 My morning was spent around Area 10 and the Car Park field. 4 Swallow were heading S, as were 20 Meadow Pipit . Chiffchaff and Blackcap were calling and a Little Egret was seen flying over the landfill.5 Song Thrush were repeatedly visiting the Hawthorn bush at the bottom of the car park field In Area 5 in the afternoon a Common Buzzard was seen over Brookside.Paul O'Neill was in Area 8 and saw 2 Chiffchaff . In the afternoon a Yellowhammer was in the hedges, and a flock of 50+ House Martin flew over. In Area 7 a Little Egret was seen near the river in the top of a large Willow tree.


28/10/17  Noon Fly A good thing about a field of Cows is the Cow Pats they produce. In Area 1 at Ludgrove School Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria and Neon Fly Mesembrina meridiana , both very keen on Cow Pats were resting around the Ivy flowers by the Bridge . Yellow Dung Fly Also enjoying the Ivy flowers were numerous Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris , Flesh Fly Amobia signata and Drone Fly Eristallis tenax . This stocky hoverfly is the commonest 'drone' fly, so called because they mimic drone bees . As the sun was shining Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and Large White Pieris brassicae butterflies were on the wing. Around the Oak trees a European Hornet Vespa crabro was flying backwards and forwards.

26/10/17  Common Plume A Common Plume Emmelina monodactyla moth was on the wall in my Area 5 kitchen.

25/10/17  Comma With the sun out I decided to visit Area 10 at lunch time on a Bug Hunt. On some very ripe Blackberries a Comma Polygonia c-album butterfly was feeding and sunning itself and a Tipula oleracea Cranefly was just enjoying the sun. Tipula oleracea Several Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris were feeding on the ivy flowers.

15/10/17  Garden Spider A Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis was flying around my front door in this afternoons sun. Possibly looking for somewhere to hibernate.Also around my garden in good numbers are Garden Spider Araneus diadematus these spiders are easy to recognise by their large size (13 mm) and cruciform (Cross) white markings. It is particularly noticeable in late summer to autumn when numbers peak and the large orb webs can be highlighted by dew.

14/10/17 A Large White Pieris brassicae butterfly was on the wing this afternoon in Area 4.

06/10/17  Red Admiral Roland Ramsdale has had a good year for Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta in Winnersh (Area 9 ) which have been feeding on his garden Ivy blossom. Ivy forms a great habitat for a range of wildlife - the dense shelter provides a safe nesting site for birds, the blossom is excellent for wasps, bees and hoverflies, the berries are essential for the Holly Blue and Roland has even found a slowworm sheltering under Ivy on top of a low garden wall at his house in Winnersh.

03/10/17  Ivy Bee In Area 5 again in the sunlight was a Ivy Bee Colletes hederae not suprisingly foraging for pollen on the Ivy flowers. This bee was first recorded in the UK in 2001, it has now been found in much of southern England and Wales and in the Channel Islands. The adult bees emerge late in the year coinciding with the start of the flowering season of their main food plant (Ivy). The males normally emerge a little bit earlier from the end of August followed by the females starting to emerge from early September. They are usually on the wing until early November.

01/10/17 In my Area 5 garden this morning a Hornet Vespa crabro briefly visited the garden Buddleia, despite it not being in flower .In the afternoon a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta was sitting on the patio lights.

Other Wildlife


25/10/17 Scarlet Pimpernel In the area 10 car park field Scarlet Pimpernel Anagallis arvensis , and Birds eye Speedwell Veronica chamaedrts can be seen. The Scarlet Pimpernell is most famous for being the emblem of the fictional hero of the same name. It is sometimes also known as 'Old Man's Weathervane' or 'Shepherd's Weather-glass' as the flowers close when atmospheric pressure falls and bad weather approaches.Birds eye Speedwell Birds eye Speedwell is also known as Germander Speedwell and is considered a good luck charm for travellers, the bright blue flowers of Germander Speedwell are meant to 'speed' you on your way. This reputation may well have come about because of its habit of forming large clumps in hedgerows, roadside verges and grassy lanes. White Dead Nettle Lamium album are around the edge of the field and the male flowers of Hazel Corylus avellena can be seen.

21/10/17 In Area 8 at Old Forest Road Meadows flowers can stiil be seen, although not in pristine condition. On display are Oxeye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare a few straggly Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris and Yarrow Achillea millefollum .

08/10/17 Oxeye Daisy Around the pond in Area 5 Oxeye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare continue to hang on. A typical grassland plant, the Oxeye Daisy thrives on roadside verges , traditional hay meadows and along field edges deliberately looked after for wildflowers Its large blooms appear from July to September and are so bright that they appear to 'glow' in the evening, hence the common names of 'Moon Daisy' and 'Moonpenny'. So these ones are doing well in October.

01/10/17 Honeysuckle At the bottom of the car park field in Area 10 is flowering Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum also known as Woodbine It is a deciduous, woody climber. It entwines around other trees and shrubs (in a clockwise manner), the flowers are a good food source at this time of the year.


07/10/17 Hedgehog In my Area 5 garden this evening at least 1 adult and 1 juvenile Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus  Juvenile Hedgehog were still foraging around the garden.


14/10/17 Fairy Ring On the lawn of my Area 5 house, is part of what I believe to be a Fairy Ring Marasmius oreades . Apparently not a "perfect lawn" man's friend.

01/10/17 Agrocybe arvalis In a wood chip pile in Area 10 were Agrocybe arvalis .


25/10/17 Kentish Snail Under the leaves of the Area 10 bushes a Kentish Snail Monacha cantiana was sheltering from the lunchtime sun.


14/10/17 Katrina Arnwyll was in Old Forest Road Meadows (Area 8 ) this evening , where she saw a very large Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus in the Emm from the bridge.