Friday, 21 September 2018


Ahead of tomorrow's People's Walk for Wildlife, Packham's team have produced this which is full of good ideas. 

Download full document HERE

Here's a concise version with the proposals stripped out 

So we've got at least three high profile proposal documents from the last few years that could form the basis for some kind of political manifesto for wildlife.
1) This one above from the people
2) This one the Conservation NGOs HERE
3) and the one from a conservation youth movement AFON which seems to have disappeared off the internet

So the eternal self consuming and regurgitating cycle and continuous repetition of conservation ideas over generations continues- hopefully eventually will all end up in some kind of stable political manifesto within a future nature friendly political system. One can only imagine how little wildlife will be left by the time we all get there. We haven't even finalised the master plan yet before we even start the full on attack on established power. I give it 20 years at least, and in between the darkest tyranny the world has ever seen will descend on us all- the Capitalists Apocalypse. Get your boiler suits ready! 

Thursday, 20 September 2018



Sunday, 16 September 2018


Sid and I did the farmlands this morning, highlight was a Blackwit, otherwise pretty quiet in these unseasonably warm conditions. Walked along the path towards Irrigation Bridge for the first time since the winter- quite depressing to see the extent of the tree felling for the potential white elephant district heat network. 

Quite a good selection of moths last night- had the first Lunar Underwing of the year, 

Also paid homage to the sewage sludge beds on 100 acre which will be a thing of the past within 12 months as the sewage farm is being decommissioned. 

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit moulting into first-winter plumage. I noticed most of the godwits on the Swale in the week were also all beginning to look very wintery. What with Pink-foots moving down the east coast recently and the first Redwings and Fieldfares appearing- as Ed Stark would say, Winter is Coming. 
Lunar Underwing- first for year 
The permitted footpath - a change in plan with the direction of the pipe meant that twice as many trees were felled as needed to be. At least there are some restoration works planned for this area. 

Just to prove you can post a massive pile of shit on facebook and it will get hundreds of views. Here's a video of the sewage sludge beds on 100 acre. 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Autumn bits

Things have been ticking along this week. Finally managed to get in the field this morning following a 45 hour work stint in the last three days. There were a few bits at the farmlands including the first Willow Emeralds of the year along the permitted path (I had 3) and the other guys had Blackwit and Greenshank. Here's a few pics from last few days.

 Chiffchaff- quite a few of these along the path 
 Willow Emerald Damselfly - word of the day is pruniosity. Willow Emeralds have a metallic green body without a bluish bloom (or pruniosity). 
 L-album Wainscot- a first for year (if I remember correctly- it's all blurring into one long session) 
 Black Rustic- first for the year (I'm pretty sure that this is a first for year) 
 Small China Mark- after only recording this following efforts to set up a summer trap by the lakes I now get one of these at the light trap negating any value in the effort I put in by the lakes this summer- as the old adage goes- hard work seldom pays off. 
 Short-cloaked moth 
 I've gone for Ancylosis oblitella on this 
What a triplet- Dewick's Plusia, Sallow and Ruby Tiger 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Day in Kent

Spent the day at Shellness and Swale NNR today. Ebird list HERE

Highlight was the huge flock of Curlews- estimated 1000+.  I wasn't expecting much in the strong south west winds but it was good to get into a decent birding area and also reeced out an area for passerines . Fingers crossed now for some decent weather that coincides with some free time. Had a couple of Whinchats, 3 Wheatears, 1 Blackcap and about 60 Swallows and a few Sand Martins hawking in sheltered areas.

Had a flock of House Martins go low over the yard this morning but didn't see any on the coast.

Had a Grey Seal in the Swale too. 

Curlews - see below for some more pics of the impressive flock and some video 
Dunlin and Ringed Plover
I did a rough count of 1700 Oystercatchers at high tide
6 Common Terns included this juvenile 
Sandwich Tern 

The Old Vic Weekend

A couple more additions to the Old Vicarage Bioblitz this weekend- now at 589 species.

 Frosted Orange 
 Dusky Thorn 
 Went for Flounced Rustic on this one 
Lady's Bedstraw- growing in the lawn. 
The house is currently being re-furbished- hopefully a new lease of life for the house parts of which dates back to the C16th.  

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Scratching around

Been full on with work last week. In addition to looking at 25 commercial jobs this week with Steve and up dating all our business web spaces also currently involved in the process of finalising two papers for Dutch Birding, getting the 2015 Azores Rare Bird Report off to the printers ready for this Corvo season, getting the 2017 Beddington Report completed, putting together a protest piece ready for Packham's People's Walk for Wildlife in a couple of weeks time and been trying to get in the field to actually do some birding and nature recording. Up graded my noc-migging gear with a new memory card so that I can record all night too but not sure where I'm going to find the time to do that too in addition to the daily moth recording. We also had the Azores Pelagic running last week- another great success with 3 Swinhoe's recorded. 

I pride myself on obsessive efficient time management, stripping out as much bullshit as possible and careful co-ordination in order to achieve the most important objective of them all- getting in the field and looking for megas. I think something is beginning to crack! I can feel a week away birding coming on to get away from all this. 

Anyway, the end result of being snowed under with work is I haven't got in the field much. Here's some marginally interesting bits I've scratched together in the last few days.

 Interesting looking pale Common Buzzard over Otmoor today 
 Crocidomesa plebejana- at Beddington in the week 
 Ingrailed Clay- a new one for me at Beddington. It's a Brick- cheers Stewart!
Aproaerema anthyllidella- another new one for me and only the second for Beddington Farmlands 
Recording 'The Royal Society for the Protection of Big Business' in the week 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Incinerator Rising

All going well with the controversial Incinerator

Fuck all happening with the restoration of the site to a public nature reserve 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Local Magic

 A great little day at the farmlands (thanks for Roger for finding nearly everything!) :

 2 Black Tern on the North Lake (juvenile top two pics and adult other two pics) 

 Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit on 100 acre
 Juvenile Spotted Redshank (above and below) on 100 acre 

 Also 3 Common Sandpiper (above), 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Snipe but only 3-4 Lapwing (below)  across the whole site 

 This juvenile large white-headed Gull stood out, quite Caspian like in structure but several features not right including the large proportion of white in the coverts. Possibly an integrade (i.e. what we dub a Caspo or Caspian-type) 
 At least 10-15 Common Buzzards kettling up and moving around today. Also two Red Kite (below) and 2-3 Sparrowhawk 

 Up to 50 Stock Dove on the 'wet grassland area'. Not many landbird migrants today apart from a passage of Swallows. A couple of Sedge Warbler in the Willowherbs, the odd Grey Wagtail going over and a few Willow/Chiffs along the edge. 
 Painted Lady on the mound (possibly the first for year at the farmlands) 
 Small Heath- not a common local butterfly. Also Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue, a couple of Small Tortoiseshell and Small White today. At least 15 Migrant Hakwers around and 10+ Common Darter. 
A few bits in the moth trap last night- dominated again by Vine's and Sqaure-spot Rustic. This Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix is the first for year. Also two more Ancylosis oblitella. 
Another first for year- a Cockatiel. We haven't had many escaped species this year so good to get something for this year's escape list 

Sunday mash up

Spent yesterday morning at the farmlands with Roger, the rest of day stealth birding with a family day out (and Sunday roast and Jacob public mega-tantrum)  at Beachy Head and Cuckmere Haven and in between been trialing out a macro lens to see if worth upgrading from my current macro hack- a £6 tube attached to a standard Canon 18-55mm (which came free with Canon Rebel over 10 years ago) . Upgrading to a proper macro ( Canon 100mm, f2.8, with image stabiliser) will cost around £500 for a second hand job. 

 Yellow Wagtails at Cuckmere Haven- had 60+ Yellow Wagtail, 5 'alba' Wagtails, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 1 juv Knot, 3 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 4 Rock Pipit, 80+ Swallow, 1 Sand Martin, 3 House Martin and Sandwich Terns at Cuckmere Haven. Might spend some more time in this area, although thinking might be more of a spring location?- only just over an hour from here.  
 Cuckmere Haven looking over to Beachy Head- some awesome looking habitat. Absolutely inundated with tourists though (i snapped this in a gap between the multitudes)- public engagement with nature gone mad- still plenty of bird migrants though 
 Brown Argus at Beddington yesterday- one of two around. The only grassland butterfly there at the moment- been a real influx of them this year
 £500 worth of Ancylosis oblitella. I standardised the conditions and settings across both lenses for this test. 
 £6 worth of Ancyclosis oblitella 
 £500 of Pink-barred Sallow 
 Pink-barred Sallows- yours for just over a fiver 
 A monkeys worth of Ephestia unicolerella 
Same thing for a jack's alive