Saturday, 8 December 2018

Wipits

At least 10 Water Pipits at Beddington at the moment- on 100 acre and South East Corner. Also had 3 Green Sandpiper, 40+ Pied Wagtail and Redwings, Fieldfares and Mistle Thrush in south east corner.  These areas (southeast and 100 acre)  have received a lot of fresh sludge recently as the enclosed beds have been emptied as the de-commissioning process develops and the habitat is looking pretty good. However  this may well be the last spreading that occurs and then these major areas of wetlands will begin to dry out (unless a habitat management plan is forthcoming) threatening this important wintering area for Green Sandpiper and Water Pipit and for breeding Lapwing. 

 Water Pipits (above and below) 
Water Pipits have been up and down over the decades at Beddington- 10-15 wintering between 1967 and 1978, then only 2-5 until 1985 and then 1-2 until 10 wintering between 1991 and 2001/2002 then only 1-4 each winter until 2015 then 8 in 2016, 9 in 2017 and breaking the 10 again this year.
 Up to 40 Pied Wagtails in Southeast Corner 
A lot of these in southeast - a Parasol Mushroom 

First test of the Hackbridge and Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Plan Biodiversity Policies

So following the successful referendum our new neighbourhood plan came into effect last week which coincided with the next major development application going out to public consultation. So this is a great way to test any impact that our policies have on the application.

My response to the application (with biodiversity recommendations) can be found HERE .

The application and other details can be found HERE

So in theory our policies should result in the new development incorporating a lot of biodiversity features.

Let's see if the last seven years has been a complete waste of time. As this is a statutory document at least now we will have the statutory backing for a legal challenge if necessary.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

December moths

There's been a few mild evenings recently which have brought some moths to the trap including December moths (up to 4). Mottled Umbers (up to 5), Light Brown Apple Moths, Eudonia angustea, Winter moths and a Satellite. 

I went over the farmlands yesterday to look through the gulls. Sorry to say it looks like tipping is drawing to a close (as the incinerator becomes fully operational) and there were only a couple of hundred gulls there- the end of an era. 

Been a lot of paperwork recently about the farmlands- planning applications and gearing up for a legal challenge next year. Looks like it is going to be a long winter of planning and putting together campaign and legal case material. I suppose now the gulls have gone nothing to distract me and even more reason to work towards getting the new habitats created and all our bird/wildlife group objectives met because the birding is going to get very tough now the gulls are history and the reserve development remains stuck in limbo. 

 A nice selection of Mottled Umbers showing some of the variation (also a Winter Moth bottom left) 
 Satellite 
 Mottled Umber (above and below)- striking specimens 

Eudonia angustea- this narrow winged 'scop' is pretty distinctive 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Visit to Tring

Visited the natural history museum at Tring on Monday to do a bit of work on the upperpart colour of Yellow-legged gulls as part of a paper we are currently writing on Azores Gull.  Always feel like a kid in a sweet shop at Tring and can never resist having a look through some of the other trays. Amazing to think that most of our birding field guides were generated from this collection and also interesting to hear from Hien (who welcomed me) how the museum is struggling to keep up with the rapid rate of taxonomic change i.e. Yellow-legged Gull was still classified as Larus argentatus michahellis and the taxon that I was looking for lusitanius/cantabricans wasn't even there- Hien suggested I get myself to Basque Country with a gun to collect some specimens. Might just do that. 

 Yellow-legged Gulls, michahellis and atlantis 
 I was trying to get some comparative upperpart colours of adults between different Yellow-legged Gull populations  
 The remote nearest I've ever come to actually finding my dream gull find- Black-tailed Gull 
 A tray of Poms 
 A tray of South Polar Skuas 
 Juv Pom anyone? 

Friday, 30 November 2018

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

NEIGHBOURHOOD REFERENDUM TOMORROW

Tomorrow is referendum day for our neighbourhood plan. See the EP policies from Section 6, page 36 onwards (the part I co-wrote with Lysanne)  for policies related to biodiversity, Beddington Farmlands and the Wandle Valley Regional Park and also projects sections for integration of biodiversity and urban environments. A copy of the plan is HERE