Friday, 18 August 2017

Little Oak Environmental Management Consultancy




So that we can provide our customers with a complete 'one stop shop' service we now offer green space management plans, green space design, tree reports and ecological surveys in addition to fully costed works for all aspects of green space management and the undertaking and completion of those works.

Basically for any work in the garden, communal garden, church yards, schools, nature reserve, park or any other green space- give us a call.




BBC Newsnight: Economic Growth is Killing Us

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Otmoor yesterday

A very pleasant Otmoor visit with Jacob yesterday. Ebird list HERE.

 Common Crane- one of the local birds on Greenaways
 Whinchats- five and one Wheatear at Noke . 
 A couple of Greenshanks flying over Greenaways. This weekend had Osprey, Whinchat and Greenshank as Otmoor ticks- Otmoor list now on 115 species HERE
 The fields were being hay cut attracting Red Kites. Here's an adult with moult advanced to p6 with p7 to 10 still old. The tail is in heavy moult with several retrices still in pin. 
 Red Kite adult- same bird as above. Ageing is confirmed by dark streaks down breast. 
 A younger bird showing white blotches/streaks on breast with some adult type streaks beginning to show. This bird is also in active primary moult with p6 still growing. A full juvenile from this year would be in pristine plumage with no moult limits so this bird is a second calender year bird 
 Flounced Rustic? At the Old Vicarage moth light. 
Flame Carpet at the Old Vicarage. The Old Vicarage bioblitz is now up to 502 species (IRECORD DATA HERE ). 

Monday, 14 August 2017

CATTLE EGRET- A first for Beddington Farmlands


Just about managed to get back in time to see the Cattle Egret found by Prof and identified by Dodge - a first for Beddington Farmlands. The first systematic bird recording started at Beddington Farmlands around 1918 so a first for the site is the first in a Century! Cattle Egret takes the total number of bird species recorded at the farmlands to 260 ( list HERE- last updated 2012) - an incredible figure for an inland site and even more incredible in London.  My personal 219th bird species for the site-  second only to Beddington legend Garry Messenbird who has seen 226. Currently I'm racking them up at less than one a year which is why I started my Beddington Farmlands pan-species list which is at 1211 species HERE which I last updated a year ago so probably had 20 or so more since then. The total pan-species list for Beddington is 2029 (last updated in July 2015) HERE so birds clearly only representing 10% or so of the species on site (and probably much less than that as still a lot of work to do on the pan-species list). 


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Butterfly transect drama

 The plan was for Jacob and I to do our North Otmoor butterfly survey this morning. Considering the weather was perfect for butterflies there were surprisingly few around- highlight was this Small Copper. There were more dragonflies around than butterflies. Had Brown Hawker, Southern and Migrant Hawker and Ruddy and Common Darter. 
 Male Ruddy Darter I do believe
 A young Common Darter I strongly suspect 
 A few migrants in the Blackthorn hedge included this young Redstart and I'm also pretty sure I heard a Spot Fly call but couldn't locate it- also a few Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffys. 
 and then a few steps later this male Redstart popped up- maybe a family party around? 
 Then I suddenly caught sight of a raptor being mobbed by the Red Kites. At that precise moment Jacob started kicking off ( I had him in a holder on my chest) because he wanted some milk. I discovered it was impossible to reason with a 4 and a half month old baby and the basis of  'I could have a bloody Pallid here so wait and stay still' 
I managed to get a couple of shots which (on later inspection) look like most probably the 2nd calender year male Hen Harrier that has been around moulting its outer primaries giving it the impression of restricted black in the wing tip. 
 Presumed Second-calender year male Hen Harrier 
 By now Jacob was going into proper milk demon mode so I knew I had to get the milk out but just as I was about to, the Red Kites were onto something else- a bloody Osprey! I managed to knock out about three shots before I had to sort poor little chap out. 

 I think the milk demon summonsed up a herd of cows because next thing I knew is we were being stampeded by a herd of dairy so literally had to run and jump over a fence with baby on front, clip board in hand, camera on one shoulder, bins on other and baby man bag on back with jeans that were beginning to fall down so restricting the gait on the hurdle. I made it despite the odds! 
And alls well that ends well. Had a few more Buzzards going over.

Ebird list here

Friday, 11 August 2017

Thee Bryans

Here's a song performed with the kids about the eternal struggle of everyone of us agaisnt the negative forces in the world for a fair deal for ourselves and nature. In the eternal cycle of order-corruption-chaos its a song about a new order out of this current chaos- which will come from individuals who fight for it by climbing the ladder of Chaos- not much more of an exciting and fun climb!



Wednesday, 9 August 2017

SABINE'S GULL!

Frankie, Tank and I found Beddington's 4th record of Sabine's Gull this morning, a stunning adult in full summer plumage. The bird was first on the North Lake and then flew over to the South Lake and settled down to be admired by a steady stream of twitchers in the torrential rain. 



Calling (similar call to first phrase in this xeno canto sample HERE




Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Mystery Wader

Did a couple of hours at the farmlands this morning. Had a mystery wader come off the islands being chased by the juvenile Peregrine. 

 Looks like an adult Sanderling in this shot with what appears to be a brick red head and breast but also looks like the colour extends along the flanks. Is that dark on the belly? 
 That same pattern is evident- brick reddish colour on the breast and flanks. Looks rather long-winged for a Sanderling in this shot. Bill looks more Dunlin like- almost looks like Curlew Sand in this shot. 
 No white rump so not a Curlew Sand- the bill looks more Dunlin like in this shot. What looks like moult in the right wing indicates an adult bird. Could just be a moulting adult Dunlin? 
 Common Tern flew through today too
and the juvenile Peregrine 

Viridor Open Days- an opportunity to question Viridor



 Viridor are to host two open days in September to showcase the restoration and incinerator.  Dates and times are:
  • 15th September 2017 – 10.00-12.00
  • 22nd September 2017 – 14.00-16.00
Members of the public are encouraged to attend. The site ecologist who is employed by Viridor will be there to answer questions about the restoration. Possible questions to ask while quoting the conservation management results in table 1 include:

 1) Why are Tree Sparrows nearly extinct from site despite being the iconic conservation flagship species for the site?

 2) In fact why have so many of the conservation target species become extinct or are nearly extinct from the site?

 3) When is the restoration going to be complete are why has it been so delayed with such catastrophic consequences on the local wildlife?

 4) When is the reserve going to be open to the public?

 5) Considering target species are the measurement of the success of a conservation management plan- why has the conservation management plan so clearly been a near complete failure?

Table 1. Breeding pairs of the target species for selected years (extracted from Breeding Bird Survey data) 
1995
2000
2005
2010
2014
2015
2016
Notes on breeding population
Little Ringed Plover
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
Extinct
Ringed Plover
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
Failed
Lapwing
11
18
22
14
10
10
11
Initial improvement now declining
Redshank
4
1
2
0
0
0
0
Extinct
Common Tern
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Failed
Yellow Wagtail
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
Extinct
Sedge Warbler
11
25
1
2
0
0
1
Drastic decline
Reed Warbler
31
19
13
32
13
32
36
Fluctuating, currently increasing
Whitethroat
73
76
66
55
41
53
60
Overall declining
Tree Sparrow
83
52
75
80
1
1
5
Near-extinct
Reed Bunting
23
17
5
3
2
2
1
Near-extinct


For more information and booking please see:
VIRIDOR OPEN DAYS

Monday, 7 August 2017

Otmoor- breeding Turtle Doves, Bittern, Common Cranes and Marsh Harriers

Had a great morning at Otmoor yesterday.  Ebird list HERE. Finally saw a Bittern as one moved over the reed bed, two Common Cranes were feeding out on Greenaways, adult Marsh Harriers were still around but it looks like the four or five juveniles have moved on, had one Turtle Dove and then checked Long Meadow where there were at least four Redstarts. 

 Turtle Dove 
 Whitethroat- plenty of young warblers in the hedges including Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed Warblers and Chiffchaffs. 
 Adult Marsh Harrier in heavy moult
 Juvenile Buzzard showing fresh plumage and diffuse trailing edge to wing and tail band
 Male Marsh Harrier 
 Male Redstart 
 Female Darter, also had Brown Hawker 
Meadow Brown- also had Small Copper, Gatekeeper and Large White

Sunday, 6 August 2017

A few moths in the week

A few moths from the Beddington obs light in the week. 

 Sharp-angled Peacock 
 Scalloped Oak 
 Agriphila inquinatella
 Catoptria falsella
Crysoteuchia culmella (see comments for correct id) 

Hen Harrier Day

Met up with Sue and co yesterday to attend Hen Harrier Day at Rainham.