Male Gadwall, there's about 6 or 7 Gadwalls hanging around the farmlands and also saw a female flying round at height being chased by males who were snapping at each other in the air (a bit like Mallards were doing earlier on in the season). Hopefully they'll breed. There was a Wood Sandpiper in the week and a couple of Black Terns last weekend.
The evenings have been cool and my moth traps have been playing up too so its been pretty dire on the moth front. Had a few the other night and a few bits and bobs including Treble Lines (above), Pale Mottled Willows, Shuttle-shaped Darts, Common Wave, Eudonia angustea, Flame Shoulder, the first Vine's Rustics for the year, the first Square-spot Rustic yesterday, Lime-speck Pug, Heart and Dart, Light Emerald, Tachystola acrowantha and Cydia unicetana in the grass around the hide (I think)
Female Eristalis inticaria- a sexually dimorphic bumblebee minic with a yellow scutellum. Unlike other bumblebee mimics the hind leg is half black and half yellow. In the wildflower meadow that we planted. A few other hoverflies around. Had Large White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Orange Tip this morning.
The bird group wildflower meadow - dominated now by Oxeye Daisy (where did the Yellow Rattle go??)
Been doing quite a bit of work on Mitcham Common recently, mainly tree maintenance but hoping to get some scrub clearance and habitat management work- removing Buckthorn and scrub and re-creating acid grassland. Hoping to spend some more time on Mitcham Common over the high summer to check out what about and different to the farmlands- its all part of the same contiguous space (now being called The Wandle Valley Metropolitan Park). Here's a link to Mitcham Common natural history info: MITCHAM COMMON
Adder's-tongue Fern - a local speciality
Local wildlife gardening (holding back the plague)
We re-planted the entrance to the farmlands with the species that survived the onslaught last time we planted it up. This time Acanthus spinosa and Euphorbia sps- they were the ones that survived the dogs and droughts and vandals and lack of the council coming to water them etc. Those bastard council people were supposed to be sending Youth offenders to keep the bridge painted and clear the rubbish from the footpath. As usual with all community biodiversity projects it is the council that drop the ball- too busy milking their alliances with big business round here. God knows what its going to be like when all the green spaces go over to a private company next year- all depends whether that company is run by compete capitalist arseholes (probably will be if they won the carve up race to get the contract) or by a benevolent green space management company (who wouldn't be anywhere near the privatisation war).
Been trying this out- leaving areas of long grass in the mowed lawns on the drip lines of trees - so they are naturally kept more watered
A good little habitat for inverts- looks okay I reckon too. Just left the areas were the daffs and other bulbs were earlier in the year.
One of the Aliums in the obs wildlife garden- what's going on with that second head?
The old Californian Poppies - keep coming up and flower for a long time- these are such an easy win for a bit of colour in hostile urban environments. Not sure what that other stuff coming up is- something we planted- will find out when it flowers.
As I'm going a bit mental having to deal with the ravages of this Tory hell and the unstoppable force of Capitalism carving up all the green spaces and a hopeless situation at the farmlands for the foreseeable future I thought its time to become an ecological refugee and split my time between doing whatevers possible round here and disappearing for lengthy periods to Eastern Europe and beyond (the other side of the Capitalists plague). I'm pretty sure within a decade or a generation they will have been overthrown and would have had a system overhaul with people and nature taking a higher priority- it really is heading to the pits of hell in the UK with the right and left polarising and Im pretty sure that is going to translate into less safety on the streets, worsening state for biodiversity and for opportunities for naturalists/ecologists, socialists and financial and personal misery for more and more people. Nobody will fucking listen though and join forces to do something about this- my whole experience at Beddington has shown there's just a load of small community groups fighting each other, the council (the monkey rather than the organ grinder) rather than focusing on causing tangible inconvenience to corporations, the directors and their developments. There's very little community within the naturalist community either (most of them are insular minded and working alone competing and sneering at others, engaged in nothing but using nature for hedonism and nihilism or funding a diluted version of the capitalist value system - I've given up contacting other groups to join forces). Anyway fuck the lot of them, I've made my million, paid off my mortgages and got ongoing sustainable projects ticking over from working in natural history in a sustainable way (it really is easy to build nature and people minded businesses/ communities, that provide good incomes and good meaningful work and good conditions, all it requires is a good group of focused and committed comrades- the catch is there aint many of them). Chaos and hardship will bring the necessary change for everyone else- fuck them all (nature is incredibly resilient with the potential to bounce back within the blink of an eye of whatever humans can throw at it- once the tipping point has passed, it will fall off the edge for unsustainable communities very quickly). Heading out with Holly (below) in the summer- sometimes one person is all the community you fucking need! :-)