Thursday, 30 May 2019

Netted Pug

A good night in the moth trap, particularly for pugs! 
 Netted Pug- a first for the farmlands 
 Freyer's Pug
 Green Pug
Lime Speck Pug

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Beddington Farmlands Restoration Roadmap 2019-2023

Ahead of two public petitions being presented to council in summer this year, one to enforce planning conditions on Viridor and another to declare a climate and ecological emergency in Sutton, Viridor have produced this roadmap to restoration completion. 

We've seen similar pretty graphics in the past with phased restoration plans etc so who knows about this one. Better than nothing though. 


Monday, 27 May 2019

Selsey Weekend

Back from our weekend at Selsey. Despite decent habitat, the right time of year and in the right place failed to find any summer scarcities. The fields around Medmerry seem perfect for Quail, the reed beds for Great Reed and Savi's, the copses for Golden Oriole and the mudflats for a rare wader but I couldn't dig out anything in over 16 hours of searching. The main sites I concentrated on were Medmerry (bird list Medmerry ) and Pagham Harbour  (Pagham) but even our day trip locations could have turned something up. The westerly wind wasn't great and the nights were also pretty cool for moth trapping so my second night of moth trapping didn't turn up much either.

However stunning landscapes, stacked full of common and breeding birds, the agricultural habitat under the high level stewardship scheme at Medmerry was a joy to walk through, just unfortunate no icing or cherry on the cake. A couple of moth and bot lifers and great time with the family so all good.

 Yellowhammer- Medmerry is full of em 
 Presumed first-summer Black-tailed Godwit at Ferry Pool, Pagham. This bird is basically in winter plumage so not sure if a young bird or non-breeding adult.   In addition to what are presumably over-summering Blackwits there were also presumably migrant Ringed Plovers and Dunlin and also 3 Bar-tailed Godwits. 
 Shelduck with young at the Ferry Pool 
 3 Spotted Flycatchers at Medmerry were the only migrants I had. A few Cuckoos around which always great to see, 
 Yellow-horned Poppy - a shingle specialist at Pagham 
 Sea Arrowgrass (I think)- a specialist of salt marsh 
 Sea Kale (white flowers), Red Valerian and Yellow-horned Poppy at Pagham
 Pagham Harbour 
Pagham Shingle - the Little Terns hunting off shore and breeding nearby are a local speciality. Also good numbers of Sandwich Tern and some Med Gulls in the harbour colony. 

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Selsey Weekend

Spending the bank holiday weekend at Stubcroft Farm, near Selsey with the family in the mobile obs. Today I visited the new Medmerry RSPB Reserve and in the afternoon we visited East Head Sand Dune complex.

Here's a few pics from today. 

 Adult summer Mediterranean Gulls- stunners and seem pretty common in this area 

 Skylark- Medmerry was full of these. Also Yellowhammers and Corn Bunting. 
 Oystercatcher at Medmerry- also 5 LRP, Avocets, 2 Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover Lapwing and Redshank on the reserve. 
 Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (I think). Also in the trap last night at the camp site were Treble Lines, Heart and Dart, Ruddy Streak and Shuttle-shaped Dart.
 Yellow Belle. At Medmerry. 
 Four-spot Chaser from Medmerry
 Brown Hare and Roe Deer (below) at Medmerry

 East Head Sand Dunes was stacked full of orchids- I'm no expert but I think they were Common Spotted and Southern Marsh orchids 


 View over Medmerry
 View over East Head 
 Holly and Jacob at the Beach
Good times by the camp fire 

Thursday, 23 May 2019

A week in local Green Politics

Been a busy week with the MEP elections in addition to the usual. We've been doing flyer delivery, polling agent work yesterday and had a busy Extinction Rebellion meeting on Tuesday .

Got my rosette for Polling agent duty yesterday
Sutton XR- this week's meeting was facilitated by Bioregional/One Planet Sutton 
Following workshops and discussions we came to the conclusion that these were the main objectives that we would prioritise which include 1) Campaign around food and plastics 2) Renewable Energy, 3) Beddington Farmlands Nature Reserve and the Incinerator 
Did a walk last week for Bioregional checking out the proposed Visitor experience area for Beddington Farmlands. A new project proposal has been submitted to the Council this week. 

I'm also leading a walk at Roundshaw downs at the end of next month. All are welcome. More details here:

We will be involved in discussions over the next few weeks with Viridor and Sutton Council to see how they can commit to addressing the local climate and ecological emergency. 

Interesting discussion hosted by Simon Mitchell about birders and environmental politics:HERE

Moths off the Block

Finally the nights have got warmer, following weeks of cool evenings and weather dominated by a northerly airflow. 

Highlights in the moth trap this week include two Dewick's Plusias and a Pale Tussock with a supporting cast of the more regular Shuttle-shaped Darts, Pale Mottled Willows , Common Pugs etc. The Beddington moth year list is now on 50, most before March and then after the April dead spell is beginning to climb again this week. 

 Pale Tussock
 Dewick's Plusia- one of two this week 
 Green Pug 
 White Ermine 
 Turnip Moth 
 Shuttle-shaped Dart 
 Pale Mottled Willow 
and one that I forgot to post about- a Frosted Green from 24th April (also an Avocet around that time from the obs window). 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Staines Res

Popped into Staines Res on the way back to the crack on Monday evening. A nice little collection of waders including Turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin and Little Ringed and Ringed Plover. Ebird list HERE

Also 2 Ruddy Shelduck on the south basin- what with all the overshoots at the moment who knows where they've originated from.

 Turnstone
 Dunlin and Sanderling (above and below) 

 Sanderling 
 Black-necked Grebe 
Ruddy Shelducks 

The Old Vicarage

Works at the Old Vicarage (past posts HERE) are now largely completed by Bryan (Holly's dad) with a new roof, paint job, drive and garden tidy up (and two homeless ponies!). The bioblitz is now at 600 species- although I cheated a bit with a Whitethroat singing in the sheep field- just on the boundary but I only heard it and couldn't see whether it was on Bryan's land or not, so gave it the benefit of the doubt. I'm trying to record only within the ground and air space (drawn vertically upwards) of the property but there's a few fly-overs sneaking on to the list- like Wigeon calling at night and Curlew which I only heard so not sure if they were directly overhead or nearby. 

When Jacob starts pre-school in September I'm going to be here every week (and half the week back in the crack of London fighting the impossible war) so should have a chance to expand the recording effort. 

The mothing has been slow but picked up a little bit this weekend. I'm waiting for some money to clear before I get the new Robinson's trap so am finally going pro on the moth effort. 

Great to see the Spotted Flycatchers back at the Old Vic with at least four in the village this weekend. 

 View from the garden 
 Newly renovated front of the Old Vic- the main part of the house is from the 1700s, the extensions on the left were made during the Victorian era, the garage and kitchen extension in 2007 and now the new garage and new roof 2018/2019. 
 The walled garden is ready for some biodiversity planting 
 Spotted Flycatcher 
 Common Swifts (above and below)- a few in the trap this weekend showing a lot of variation

 Common Pug- five in the trap this weekend 
 It's that time of year- May Bugs- pretty impressive things, check out the antennae below