Friday, 20 July 2018

The Beddington Farmlands Incinerator

In addition to the ecological destruction that Viridor have caused at Beddington Farmlands here's a couple of topical waste and air pollution stories in the recent national press that are also relevant to Viridor and Beddington Farmlands. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Case for Pessimism and Optimism

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Beddington rarity- Neil Stocks

Met up with returning bird group member Neil Stocks today to have a look at Beddington (or rather the mess). We could only check out the lakes and the mound because access has been prohibited along the path and across the proposed wet grassland site. Highlights included a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall and Tufted Duck with two chicks on the Southern Lake. Also a few insects about but I was surprised not to see so many butterflies and day flying moths on the mounds and grasslands- perhaps its too hot and dry even for them?

The moth trap has been busy in the continuing heat wave- 45 species last night and the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miners are swarming now- a couple of hundred at the trap yesterday evening. 

Yesterday evening I led a walk round the Sutton Ecology Centre for the Sutton and Croydon Green Party- like everywhere was very dry.  Very quiet too but a nice evening in nice company.  

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull 
Juvenile Little Egrets 
Dewick's Plusia- first for the year 
Six-spot Burnet Moths in cop
Small Copper
Common Blue 
Wormwood Pug
Grey Pug? Not easy some of these. 
Toadflax Brocade 
Caloptilia falconipennella (thanks Martin Honey for confirming id) 
Cydia splendana
Catoptria pinella 
Crambus perlella 
Ephestia unicolorella

Monday, 16 July 2018

Birding blog with no birds

Autumn is coming or rather is here. Green Sandpipers building, post breeding Lapwing flocks, migrant Blackwits and juvenile Med and Yellow-leg Gulls are on the move but I don't give a tuppenny f##k as I'm still hunting deep in the underworld for moths while this heat wave lasts. Had several firsts for the farm recently and a few moth lifers elsewhere. 

However today marks mid-July so need to start thinking about getting in on the juv gull action (crisp fresh juv gulls are hard to beat) and returning waders as one of the best times of year to find an abmigrating rare wader, caught up on our flyway as the adult wader population starts moving south. In the past, in the Thames/ North Kent I've found two White-rumped Sands and several Pectoral Sandpipers in early autumn and seen Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher etc so a great time of year to be checking the wader flocks.  

I'm hoping once I get up to speed with butterflies, moths and dragonflies across the WP that can reignite the fire to keep looking for rare birds across the WP as hoping to solve the problem of getting bored with looking for bird vagrants alone (by its nature rarity hunting means most of the time you are going to find f#ck all)  as can increase chances of finding something rare and retain more interest by looking at different groups. That's the plan anyway!  (On that note if you do see something on here with is incorrectly identified please do comment (and not just think- twat!) - I'm using collective learning methodology to learn these groups that in the pre-internet era would have taken years/ a lifetime to learn- hopefully in mutual return running this blog might be some use in others learning some of this stuff) 

Spent this weekend in Oxford. Did my butterfly survey at North Otmoor, moth trapping at the old vic and visited Bernwood Forest again with Jacob. The Old Vic bioblitz is now at 574 species. 

 Magpie  (above) and Small Magpie (below) 

 Chinese Character- always nice to see this unique bird dropping mimic- two this weekend
 July Highflyer
 Bottom left to right: Dingy, Common and Buff Footman 
 Plain Conch Phteochroa inopiana
 Agriphila straminella 
 Agriphila selasella
 Closest I could get to this is something like Argyresthia laevigatella 
 Ruddy Darter- over 100 of these still on the RSPB North Otmoor butterfly transect. Also Emperor and Brown Hawker. 
 Thought this might be an Emerald but amongst other things Emeralds rest with wings at 45 degrees and Demoiselles (female presumed Banded) above rest with wings closed.  Cheers Magnus and David! 
Small Cooper was the highlight of the butterfly transect. The transect is much more impressive for odonata than it is butterflies. 

Friday, 13 July 2018

More moths

It's got a bit cooler in recent evenings so things have gone a bit quieter at the Beddington obs light trap. Here's a few highlights. 

 Tree-lichen Beauty- the first of the year. We seem to do well for these locally. 
 They're back! Jersey Tiger (with a Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner on its back) 
 A close up of Horse Chestnut Leaf-miner. At least 50 of these in the trap yesterday. Quite stunning close up. Amazing how devastating these little things can be. 
 Acrobasis advenella (above) and the similar Acrobasis suavella (below) . The large size and broken sub terminal wing line on the suavella is how I'm telling them apart. 

 Double-lobed- an infrequent visitor to these parts 
 Small Ranunculus 
 Something going on with these. Been reading that there has been mass mis-identification going on and these aren't actually Peach Twig Borers but a recently described new species Anarsia innoxiella. 
Swammerdamia sp 
Apple Leaf Miner- these really are tiny 
White-spotted Pug
Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix
Female and male Gypsy Moth
Female Gypsy moth laying eggs in the bug room. Females don't fly very far from their cocoon 
European Corn Borner with Sitochroa verticalis below (two pics ) for comparison 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

A day on the white stuff

The North Downs, composed of chalk; the remains of calcareous micro-organisms known as coccolithophores laid down in quiet warm seas over 100 million years ago stretch across the southern part of Greater London like a giant line of Charlie waiting for some banker to snort it up their nature destroying twat noses as they and their Capitalist scum mates wipe out global biodiversity on a scale not seen since the Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event, 65 million years ago, an event that wiped out the dinosaurs.

More recently ie: yesterday Kojak and I, teamed up with North Downs uber-patcher Steve Gale HERE and we had a great day looking for chalk grassland and chalk stream specialities before the Capitalists wipe them out too. We had a difficult time finding some specialities as a lot of the grassland was parched due to Capitalists' induced climate chaos that's meant it hasn't rained for seven weeks so for one of the few times since the fucking pre-Cambrian it's not going to piss on those pricks knocking balls back and forth at Wimbeldon. Here's a few of the highlights:

 Small Teasle - along by the River Mole 
 Arrowhead- in the river 
 Branched Bur-reed- another species on the River Mole
 Water Figwort- the winged stalk is diagnostic from Common Figwort 
 Carline Thistle- a classic chalk grassland species 
 Cypress Spurge
 Clustered Bellflower 
 Corn Mint- a lifer for Steve. A lifer for the guide is always a top day.  
 Dwarf Thistle
 Fairy Flax 
 Lesser Centuary
 Round-headed Rampion 
 Wood Sage and Marjarom
 Silver-washed Fritillary 
 Female Chalkhill Blue 
 Small Blue 
A worn Onocera semirubella? 
View over to Denbies Vineyards.