Latest Sightings September 2019

Click on the link to send in your sightings to help us monitor Emm Brook wildlife.

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 ).

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

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. W. H. Davies.


30/09/19 Paul Bright Thomas was in his Area 4 garden and had 8 Swallow low over heading S and 90 Meadow Pipits in groups over heading SSE in about 20 mins

29/09/19 Malcolm Dunmore saw a Little Egret in the Emm by Meadow Road Bridge in Area 4 along with a Pheasant in his rose bed this morning .

28/09/19   Red Kite  In Area 1 at Ludgrove a Red Kite was perching on the usual dead tree in the cow fields, also in the fields were Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Jay, Magpie, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tio and a calling Chiffchaff. Meanwhile in Area 4 a Raven was seen flying low S over his garden at midday by Paul Bright Thomas.

26/09/19 A female Tawny Owl was heard calling in Area 7 at 05:15 by Paul O'Neill.

25/09/19 More hirundine movement over Area 10 with 50 + Swallow flying south over the landfill and 200+ House Martin hawking over the lake and the landfill seen by Trevor Guyatt. A Kestrel was hovering over the landfill seen by Brian Bennett.

24/09/19 Several House Martin and Swallow were seen over Area 10 with a Kestrel at the back of the landfill by Jenny Vaughan.

23/09/19 In the darkness this morning at 05:30 a Grey Heron flew over my Area 5 garden calling.In Area 10 a Snipe was seen on the Lavells Lake wet meadow by Richard Marsh.

20/09/19 Around the Dinton Activity Centre in Area 10 a Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing by Steve Lynch.Several Chiffchaff were also calling from the bushes.

19/09/19 A Hobby , Peregrine and Sparrowhawk were together over Area 10 seen by Fraser Cottington.

18/09/19 Approx 20 Swallow were seen flying over Area 10 by Peter Scudamore.

17/09/19 At 16:00 a Grey Heron was seen flying over Woosehill Roundabout in Area 6.

15/09/19 The Willow trees at the edge of the wet meadow in Area 10 were very productive for Anne Cronin. Seen were Nuthatch , Treecreeper , Willow Warbler , Chiffchaff , Goldcrest , Blue Tit , Great Tit , Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit .

14/09/19 Fraser Cottington was in Area 10 and saw a late returning Swift heading South over the Picnic Area and 5 Blackcap in the Car Park field with 2 Skylark over heading East.

12/09/19 Autumn migration is in full swing. In Area 4 Paul Bright Thomas had a Meadow Pipit heading S, over his garden. In Area 10, 50+ Swallow were seen heading south by Richard Marsh.

09/09/19 A Marsh Harrier was seen flying west over the car park field in Area 10 by Tim James.

08/09/19   Grey Heron  Another bumper day in the sun at Area 10 this morning. A Grey Heron was by the Dinton Activity Centre, waiting for its breakfast.   Redstart  Meanwhile at the Bottom of the Car Park field a Juvenile Redstart was on the fence and in and around the Hawthorn bush at the bottom left along with numerous male and female Blackcap ,a flycatching Spotted Flycatcher ,calling male Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat ,2 Willow Warbler and a   Spotted Flycatcher  Garden Warbler. A steady flow of Swallow and House Martin were flying South over the field with a passage of Meadow Pipit .

07/09/19   Swallow  A Coal Tit appeared at my Area 5 garden feeders this morning along with the usual Blue Tit , Great Tit , Robin , Wood Pigeon , Collared Dove , Starling , Magpie and Nuthatch . In Area 1, Swallow were moving through the fields around Ludgrove with at least 20 seen. The School goalposts proved popular with a max of 15 resting on the crossbar.2 Ring necked Parakeet were calling and moving between the trees.In Area 10 a Redstart was seen at the bottom of the Car Park field by Lynn Mann.

05/09/19   Juv Common Tern  On the "Beach" in Area 10 by the Emm Brook at the Dinton Activity Centre, Richard Marsh saw a Wheatear and a Grey Wagtail was on the pontoon. Later an Adult and Juvenile Common Tern were also on the pontoon. The juvenile was constantly and noisily calling. A Grey Wagtail was also seen on the pavement by Woosehill Roundabout in Area 6 by Sean Stevenson.

03/09/19   Swallow  Hirundines were on the move this morning across the fields and skies in Area 2. At Ludgrove, a mixed flock of 50+ Swallow and House Martin were busy feeding when one landed on the Cows hay feeders infront of me. This was then joined by a Juvenille.  Juvenille Swallow  . A Little Owl was heard calling from the trees. Meanwhile in Area 10, Fraser Cottington also had a steady trickle of Hirundines moving over the Car Park Field. The 1st winter male Redstart was still present, along with Chiffchaff and Blackcap . A female Kestrel and a Green Woodpecker were also seen.

02/09/19   Dunlin  On my arrival this morning in Area 10 by the Emm Brook at the Dinton Activity Centre I was greeted on the "Beach" by John and Fraser and a superb Dunlin which stayed put despite the Dog Walkers. Also seen were 4 Pied Wagtail a Grey Wagtail on the pontoon and a flyby Kingfisher .   Pied Wagtail  In the Car Park field the 1st winter male Redstart was still present, along with a Spotted Flycatcher , Chiffchaff , and Blackcap . A Hobby was seen flying over by Richard Marsh and a Whitethroat by John Sheridan.2 House Martin also flew over.

01/09/19   Male Redstart  At 03:30 a calling Tawny Owl was heard, down by the river in Area 5, to the rear of Morrisons.At the bottom of the Car Park field in Area 10, 4 Redstart an adult summer male, a 1st winter male and 2 juvenile female on the fences and in the bushes seen by Trevor Guyatt and Fraser Cottington. Also seen were Spotted Flycatcher , Chiffchaff , Lesser Whitethroat , Whitethroat , Garden Warbler , Willow Warbler and numerous Blackcap . 3 Kestrel , were circling over the field and a Yellow Wagtail was heard calling, flying over.


29/09/19  Red-legged Shieldbug Near Ripplestream Bridge in Area 5 a Red-legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes was sitting on a patch of Nettles.

28/09/19  Red Admiral In Area 1 near Ludgrove School a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta was trying to grab a few rays of sun on an Oak tree. Also seen on the adjacent Ivy flowers was a  Ivy Bee Ivy Bee Colletes hederae . Ivy bees feed exclusively on the nectar of ivy flowers. To cash in on this autumnal bounty, they emerge in mid- or late September and are on the wing until early November. They are the latest solitary bees to emerge and because there are so few other bees around at this time of year, are easy to identify

22/09/19  Leiobunum rotundum During Blackberry picking in Area 7 at Emmbrook Walk before the rain a Harvestman Spider, probably Leiobunum rotundum was seen on the Nettles.As a group, harvestmen are easy to identify: they have eight very long, spindly legs and a small, round body without a 'waist'. Telling the different species apart is much more difficult. Harvestmen are a common and widespread group of long-legged invertebrates and about 25 species live in the UK. They are arachnids, related to spiders and scorpions. Many are predators, eating smaller invertebrates which they catch using hooks at the ends of their legs. However, some species are omnivorous and will scavenge anything they can find, from fruit to fungi.

20/09/19  Common Darter Resting on the shrubbery,in the sunshine between flights around the car park, by the Dinton Activity Centre in Area 10 were at least 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and a Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum .The Common darter is a small, narrow-bodied dragonfly that is typically on the wing from July to October, but can appear as early as May and still be around in December if its mild.A Hornet Vespa crabro was also seen by the bridge over the Emm.

19/09/19  Southern Green Shieldbug(Adult) I visited Emmbrook Walk in Area 7 again to check numbers of Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula . Seen today were an Adult and 5 nymphs of various ages. A Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria Butterfly was also seen.

18/09/19  Southern Green Shieldbug(Nymph) Time was spent today walking a 100m stretch of sun drenched riverside vegetation at Emmbrook Walk in Area 7. Shieldbugs were sitting on the Nettle leaves with 20 Dock Bug Coreus marginatus spread over the entire length, a solitaryCommon Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina  Southern Green Shieldbug(Nymph) and a first for the Foteb list, 2 nymph Southern Green Shieldbug Nezara viridula . These shieldbugs are recent arrivals in the UK first appearing in 2003 in London and now slowly expanding their territory.

15/09/19  Brimstone Moth The Moth trap was put out overnight on 14-15 /09/19 in my Area 5 garden. The highlights of what was seen, recorded and then released were, Centre Barred Sallow Atethmia centrago , Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata , Campion Campion Sideridis rivularis ,Setaceous Hebrew character Xestia c-nigrum White-point Mythimna albipuncta and Light Emerald Campaea margaritata . A Garden Spider Araneus diadematus was also waiting hopefully outside the trap.

14/09/19  Comma Underwing  Comma Butterflies seen on the wing this morning around the Car Park Field and Old Golf Course in Area 10 were Large White Pieris brassicae , Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and Comma Polygonia c-album .  Male Common Darter A Male Common Darter Pararge aegeria Dragonfly and Common Blue Damsefly Enallagma cyathigerum were also seen. Smooth Rose pea gall On the Dog Rose in the CarPark Field was a Smooth Rose pea gall Diplolepis nervosa The smooth rose pea gall is caused either by cynipid wasp Diplolepis nervosa. The galls are more likely to be seen than the adult wasps.

10/09/19  Bishops Mitre During a lunchtime sweep of the horse fields at Ludgrove in Area 2 a Bishops Mitre Aelia acuminata Shieldbug was found.

08/09/19  Flounced Rustic In my Bathroom this morning was a Flounced Rustic Luperina testacea moth in the bath. Seen in Area 5 during a bit of Blackberry picking were Comma Polygonia c-album , Large White Pieris brassicae and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria .

05/09/19  Ptychoptera contaminata At this time of year when the number of Insects seen, decline, Flies become more prominent and are often seen basking in the sunshine on hedgerow leaves along the Emm. Keep an eye out for Green Bottle Lucilia sericata and Flesh Fly Sarcophaga sp .Seen on the Bramble leaves in Area 10 was the folded-wing Crane fly Ptychoptera contaminata .

02/09/19  Male Banded Demoiselle Butterflies seen on the wing this morning around the Car Park Field in Area 10 were Large White Pieris brassicae , Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta , Comma Polygonia c-album and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria .Damselflies included Male and female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens and Common Blue Damsefly Enallagma cyathigerum .

Plants/ Trees

29/09/19   Autumn leaves The time of year that Keats called the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' officialy started on the 23rd of September, Autumn is a season famous for its harvest times, turning leaves, cooling temperatures and darkening nights. There are two different dates when autumn could be said to begin. Autumn as defined by the Earth's orbit around the sun, begins on the equinox which falls on 22 or 23 September. However, for the purposes of recording climate data, it is important to have set dates that can be compared, so the meteorological Autumn always begins on 1 September. One of the most stunning signs of Autumn is the turning of the leaves. The shorter days are a sign to trees to begin to prepare for winter. During winter there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur, so as the days shorten throughout autumn, the trees begin to close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves. Chlorophyll is the chemical which makes tree leaves green and as it declines other chemicals become more prominent in the leaves. These are responsible for the vibrant ambers, reds and yellows of autumn. The chemicals responsible are types of Flavonoids, Carotenoids and Anthocyanins. Did you know some of these chemicals are the same ones that give carrots (beta-carotenes) and egg yolks (luteins) their colours.

24/09/19   Ivy Ivy Hedera helix is a common and widespread native British plant that flowers in the autumn. It is the main autumn source of pollen and nectar for flower-visiting insects. Flowers are only produced on mature ivy, which has oval leaves. The well-known five pointed leaves are found on immature ivy, which does not have flowers. The flowers are not showy, and many people are unaware that ivy even has flowers. The most abundant visitors to the flowers are generally honey bees, social wasps, hover flies, and flies. Bumble bees, other bees, solitary wasps, butterflies generally occur in smaller numbers.

20/09/19   Tar spot At this time of the year Tar Spot caused by the fungus Rhytisma acerinum can start to appear on the leaves of Maple and Sycamore. The tar-like spot is a fruiting structure of the fungus that survives the winter on fallen leaves. In the spring, mature spores of the fungus are released and blown by wind to newly emerging leaves.It has no long-term effect on the vigour of affected trees.

05/09/19   Rosehip In the hedgerows of the Car Park Field in Area 10 the fruits of the Dog Rose Rosa canina can be seen. These fruits are known as Rosehips. They begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn. These are a good food source for Winter Thrushes.

02/09/19   Elderberries In the Car Park Field in Area 10 the fruits of the Elder Sambucus nigra are just starting to ripen.These are a good food source for Birds at this time of year.

Other Wildlife

Amphibians and Reptiles


14/09/19  Hedgehog & Wood Mouse At least 2 European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus (Little and Large) are still wandering around my Area 5 garden at night and were caught on camera along with a Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus visiting the feeding box.

02/09/19  Hedgehog In my Area 5 garden a European Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus was caught on camera visiting my new Hedgehog feeding box. Hopefully this will keep the neighbourhood cats off the food.

Fish/ Crustaceans


12/09/19  Black Slug As I left for work this morning in Area 5 a Red form of the Black Slug Arion ater agg was speeding over the drive.Whilst Arion ater is a very common slug, it belongs to a species complex that can only be 100% differentiated by dissecting the genitalia so it is usual to record them as part of this aggregate group.  Black Slug There are three species in this complex (Arion ater group): Arion ater, Arion rufus and Arion vulgaris. These slug species range from 75-180 mm in length at maturity. They may be dark brown, black, grey, orange or reddish in color. They are large and bulky with long, coarse tubercles on the side and back.