Latest Sightings October 2021

Click on the link to send in your sightings to help us monitor Emm Brook wildlife.This type of ‘citizen science’ allows us to get a clearer picture of what is happening along the Emm.

For previous months sightings see Archive

The "Area Seen" refers to the 11 sections that the Brook has been split into for monitoring purposes (see Wildlife page under Monitoring ).

For what you can expect to see on the Emm this month, click here October

All sightings unless stated are from personal observations by Eddie Napper.

Click on any picture to see a larger image

What is this life if full of care , we have no time to stand and stare.

Leisure - W. H. Davies.


31/10/21  Kestrel In Area 1 at Ludgrove, 4 Grey Heron were sat around the floods in the field and a Kestrel was hunting and eventually caught a Vole.

30/10/21 Near the Emm Brook in Area 10 a Great White Egret was seen by Sally Bryson-Bond.

29/10/21 A Tawny Owl was again heard calling at 21:00 in Area 4.By the Green Bridge in Area 10 where the Emm Brook meets The Loddon a Green Sandpiper was seen by Tim James.

28/10/21 I was woken at 03:15 in Area 4 this morning by a calling Tawny Owl .

26/10/21   Starling The Starling were confused in my Area 4 garden this morning as I had moved the feeders around.   Red Kite and Carrion Crow Later in the day 2 Carrion Crow took a dislike to a a Red Kite that was patrolling the skies.

25/10/21 Over Paul Bright Thomas's Area 4 garden this morning were 1 Brambling , 20 Pied Wagtail , 20 Chaffinch and 150 Redwing mostly low, some probably coming from the roost along Emm Brook.

24/10/21   Wren In Area 7A a Grey Heron was seen flying downstream on the Ashridge Stream Another Grey Heron had positioned itself on a fence in Area 1 , a Wren was calling from the bushes.  Grey Heron In the fields were Jackdaw , Rook a calling Kestrel and numerous Wood Pigeon .

23/10/21 It was visible migration time in Area 10 with 250 Wood Pigeon a small movement South in groups of 50-100, 11 Skylark over slowly West, Redwing in three groups of 40 50+ and 10+ all heading South West, 100+ Goldfinch heading West and 20+ Meadow Pipit around the fence all seen by Fraser Cottington.In Area 4 Paul Bright Thomas has been reviewing his nocturnal migration recordings. Overnight the calls of a Ring Ouzel and a Snipe were caught on tape.17 Siskin were seen over his garden during the day.

20/10/21 A Little Egret and a female Stonechat were seen in Area 7A at Ashridge Meadows by Paul O'Neill.

18/10/21 It was a quiet day along the Emm Brook with 1 Meadow Pipit ,1 Linnet and 10 Siskin seen/heard by Paul Bright Thomas over his Area 4 garden.

17/10/21   Female Stonechat I was out on a gloomy morning in Area 7A at Ashridge Meadows. Around the mound at the Eastern end was a female Stonechat , 10 Meadow Pipit were on the telegraph wires, 33   Little Egret Redwing flew over and Skylark were heard calling overhead . In the Ashridge stream and on the bridges was a Little Egret .A male Yellowhammer was also seen by Paul O'Neill. In Area 4 a Brambling ,11 Siskin and 12 Linnet were seen over his garden by Paul Bright Thomas.

16/10/21   Distant Buzzard and Crow The day was spent watching the skies and garden in and around my Area 4 home,waiting for the gasman. In total 19 species were seen including a distant Common Buzzard being harried by a Carrion Crow .

15/10/21 30 Redwing were seen heading N and a female Stonechat was seen in Bullrushes on the East side of Ashridge Meadows in Area 7A by Paul O'Neill.A Little Egret was in the Emm Brook in Area 10 seen from the carpark field bridge by Alan Rymer.

14/10/21   Siskin & Goldfinch A late morning walk around Area 5 and the sun was shining again.At the top of the riverside Alders 3 Siskin and 15 Goldfinch were feeding on the Alder catkins. Near Ripplestream Bridge a Kingfisher was seen flying downstream , and also a Grey Wagtail . 2 Raven flew overhead NW calling and a Mistle Thrush was giving its rattling call from a nearby tree.

13/10/21 Paul Bright Thomas was in his Area 4 garden this morning witnessing the marvel of 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.Today he saw 1 Brambling Low W ,2 Snipe photographed High NW,2 Meadow Pipit , 2 Siskin Low W, 2 Linnet heading S and in a 1hour 10 min watch a total of 630 Redwing mostly low NW or W.

12/10/21   Mute Swan A 20 strong flock of Redwing flew North West over my Area 4 garden. In Area 1 on Heathlake a family of 5 Mute Swan including 3 cygnets were on the water with   Great crested Grebe Male and female Great crested Grebe , Gadwall , Mallard , Tufted Duck , Moorhen, Coot and perched on the island trees were 6 Cormorrant and 25 Black headed Gulls . On the banks a Grey Wagtail was seen feeding.

11/10/21 A Kingfisher was perched in the newly cleared section of the Emm near the carpark field in Area 10, before flying downstream.In the carpark field itself a late Hobby and 2 Mistle Thrush were seen by Anne Cronin.

10/10/21 Seen in and around the carpark field in Area 10 were 9 Mistle Thrush heading North,15 Chaffinch and returning for the winter were Redwing all seen by Fraser Cottington.

09/10/21   Common Buzzard Over Area 10 above the car park field 6 Common Buzzard were seen enjoying the thermals despite the attentions of a Jackdaw . Later a few House Martin were seen over the landfill by Fraser Cottington heading South.   Grey Wagtail A Grey Wagtail was visiting the cleared section of the river. Buzzard Photo courtesy of Steve Beasant.

08/10/21 Paul O'Neill was at Old Forest Meadows in Area 8 and saw 1 Swallow in with a flock of 10 House Martin . He also visited Ashridge Meadows in Area 7A and saw a Little Egret a male Stonechat sat on the Bullrushes and 25 Meadow Pipit .

07/10/21   Grey Heron A Tawny Owl was again heard calling in Area 4 at 02:00.In Area 1 a Grey Heron was perched sentinel like at the top of a dead tree. In Area 10 30 Swallow were seen over the landfill by Fraser Cottington heading South.

05/10/21 A loose flock of 20 House Martin were seen heading South at sunrise. in Area 4 by Paul Bright Thomas.

04/10/21 At 04:00 a Tawny Owl was heard calling in Area 4.

03/10/21 In the carpark field in Area 10 were 6 Song Thrush ,2 Blackcap and a Chiffchaff all seen by Fraser Cottington. Paul O'Neill was at Old Forest Meadows in Area 8 and saw a Little Egret an adult Sparrowhawk and a female Kestrel . He also visited Ashridge Meadows in Area 7A and saw 5 Meadow Pipit and a male Kestrel .

02/10/21 A mixed flock of 10 House Martin and Swallow were seen heading South over my Area 4 garden before the rain set in.

01/10/21 In Area 10 a Chiffchaff was heard calling by the Green Bridge where the Emm Brook meets the Loddon by Trevor Guyatt.


31/10/21   Hornet On the Ivy in Area 1 by the bridge over the Emm Brook was a Hornet Vespa crabro .

27/10/21   Feathered Thorn Undeterred the Moth trap was out overnight (26/10/21) in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.Another sparse catch of 4 moths of 4 species. Moths caught were my first Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria and Epirrita dilutata agg. of the year. Both have an Autumnal flight season. Also caught were a dark form of Box -tree Moth Cydalima perspectalis and a Yellow -line Quaker Agrochola macilenta .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

24/10/21   Helophilus pendulus In Area 2 a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta was seen on the wing. In the sunshine on the flowering Ivy over the Emm Brook in Area 1 was a Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris , Hornet Vespa crabro , Drone-fly Eristalis tenax and the Hoverfly Helophilus pendulus .

23/10/21   Light Brown Apple Moth With more hope than expectation the Moth trap was out overnight (22/10/21) in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning. No rain and warmer overnight conditions however didn't boost the catch of only 7 moths of 4 species. Moths caught were 2 Merville du jour Griposia aprilina , 4 Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana , a Cypress Pug Eupithecia phoeniceata and a Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

14/10/21   Angle Shades The Moth trap was out overnight (13/10/21) in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.The catch was 19 moths of 10 species. Highlight of the moths was Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa .Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

10/10/21   Over Mature Male Common Darter Another warm,sunny afternoon was spent in Area 10. Seen warming up on Jerrys bench was an over mature male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum .The life-expectancy of adult Dragonfly is short, typically no more than a week or two, but sometimes they can last 6–8 weeks.Adults change colour as they mature.In some species, adults become darker in coloration as they age and are then known as over mature.Also seen were   Common Pondskater Common Pondskater Gerris lacustris Common pond skaters have water-repellent hairs on the bottom of their feet, enabling them to walk on the surface film of the water. They hunt by detecting vibrations in this film.

09/10/21   Merville du jour The Moth trap was out overnight(08/10/21) in my Area 4 garden and emptied this morning.With the recent mild weather I was hopefull of a reasonable haul I wasnt dissapointed with 48 moths of 21 species. Highlight of the moths was my autumnal favourite Merville du jour Griposia aprilina literally translated as "Wonder of the day" and you can see why.   Barred Sallow Also caught were 3 Barred Sallow Tiliacea aurago another autumnal species.A Large Ranunculas Polymixis flavicincta and a Beaded Chestnut Agrochola lychnidis Following inspection and recording/photographing anything caught was released.

06/10 /21   Comma and Red Admiral The sun was shining when I visited the Car Park field in Area 10 where I was greeted by a Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta Dragonfly flying around my car. In the hedgerow beneath an Oak tree a European Hornet Vespa crabro was flying backwards and forwards. 3 Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and 2 Comma Polygonia c-album Butterflies were visiting the sun drenched, over ripe Blackberries on the Brambles. Also seen on the Blackberries was Common Nettle tap Anthophila fabriciana .

01/10 /21   Tipula confusa On the fence in my Area 4 garden in the afternoon sunlight was the Cranefly Tipula confusa a first for the FOTEB list.

Plants/ Trees

17/10 /21   Ox Eye Daisy In the meadows of Area 7A are still some flowering remenants of Red Clover Trifolium pratense , White Clover Trifolium repens , Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris , Ox eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare and Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris.

10/10 /21   Spindle As the leaves start to fall, the bright pink-and-orange berries of Spindle Euonymus europaeus are easier to see,clusters hang from its twigs, providing food for mice, birds and even Red Foxes. However they are toxic to humans.

Fungi Do not eat any fungi that have not been properly identified by a qualified professional, some are DEADLY when ingested (all species MUST BE cooked).

29/10 /21  Fluted  Birds nest fungus In Area 10 the rare Fluted Birds nest Cyathus striatus fungus was seen by Keith Boseley. Rain hits the cup shooting out the spore sacks which have sticky tendrils and cling to the vegetation. Then herbivorous eat them, pass though the animals gut and has to deposited on decaying wood. An incredible life cycle.   Fly Agaric In Area 5 was the first signs of Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria underneath a Silver Birch.

12/10 /21   Fly Agaric A wander around Area 1 in Gorrick Woods produced   Birch Polypore  Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria and on the Silver Birch at Heathlake was the Bracket fungi Birch Polypore Fomitopsis betulina, .

10/10 /21   Field Mushroom With no livestock currently in the carpark field at least the emerging fungi have a chance.   Meadow Waxcap  Seen were what I believe to be Field Mushroom Agaricus campestris and Meadow Waxcap Cuphophyllus pratensis .

Amphibians and Reptiles


25/10/21  Squirrel    I am currently having a game with the Area 4 neighbourhood Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis . I plant the bulbs, he digs them up,I plant them again and so it goes on. I'm not sure who will win.

20/10/21  Wood Mouse    In my Area 4 garden shed a Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus is enjoying the spilt seed from the Sunflower Hearts bag.

13/10/21 The white rump of a Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen disappearing into a hedge in Area 9.

11/10/21  Roe Deer    A Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus was seen early morning in Area 10 by Geoff Emmett.Photo courtesy of Geoff Emmett.

03/10/21  Red Fox    A Red Fox Vulpes vulpes was outside my house in Area 4 .

Fish/ Crustaceans