Saturday 28 July 2012

Azores Pelagic 2012

Just about to leave for the Azores for this year's pelagic mini-expedition. 

Thursday 26 July 2012

Late July bits and bobs

Marbled White- at least two or three of these about 
One of two Sandwich Terns which flew over the lake and then off east yesterday morning 
Juvenile Mediterranean Gull on the southern lake this evening

The sunny weather continues. Been a few bits over the last couple of days including 2 Sandwich Tern and a juvenile Med Gull. Also a handful of Green Sands, a couple of Common Sands and 2 LRP. About 20 Lapwing in the post breeding flock. Had a Hobby and a Peregrine this evening. Also about 150 Swifts.

Surprisingly quiet on the moth front as the evenings get quite cool and windy. Up to 213 moth species now from the obs (since last June). For latest on the mothing see here:

Tuesday 24 July 2012

High Summer 800

Really busy on the pan species front at the moment- loads of insects out and hectic at night in the bugry. Broken the 800 species barrier now on my Beddington pan species list.

Meadow Brown on Wild Carrot- lots of these around today particularly on the mound and the grass areas. At least 50+ on my round. 
Common Centuary (i-spot id). Plenty of new flowers out.
Tufted Duck family. At least two broods of Tufted Ducks out now. A bit quiet on the bird front- 8 Green Sands, 1 Common Sand and 2 Sparrowhawk. Lots of Swifts around in the evenings- at least 250 yesterday.
Jersey Tiger in the trap last night. Loads of insects attracted to the trap in the evening. New macros recently include Dusky Sallow and July High Flyer. Also a few new micros. Lots of Common and Scarce Footmans in the evening, Riband Waves and Heart and Darts. Three Tree Lichen Beauties yesterday. Loads of foul smelling beetles got attracted last night too.
Small Copper 
Butterflies all over the new meadow on the mound. Tens of Essex Skipper and Meadow Browns, also Small Heath, Large White, Ringlet, Small White. I had a Marbled White on Sunday- there's been two knocking about. Also Peacock, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshells and Gatekeepers. Day flying moths up on the mound at the moment include Corn Borer, Silver Y and Six-spot Burnet.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Sun at last

Common Buzzard - one of two today, the first of the autumn migration 

14 Cormorants moving west 

Gatekeeper, emerged over the last couple of weeks

xanthogramma pedissequm (i-spot id)- new one for my pan species list

Chloromyia formosa (pan species tick)

Meadows on the mounds- areas of bird's foot trefoil and wild carrot (below)

Finally got a bit of sun following a long wet spell. Plenty of insects out today particularly feeding on the umbellifers (mainly hogweed and wild carrots). Also a few new plants coming into flower and giving me a chance to work them out - e.g. Spiny Restharrow.

The wet spell has had mixed effects at Beddington- good for the vegetation by the looks of it, probably had a bad effects on the insects and Tree Sparrows are a two thirds down from peak numbers so look like they've taken a hit. Starling numbers are lower this year too and a lot of the ducks must have lost eggs when the lakes flooded.

Autumn migration continues to pick up pace- the first Common Buzzards today for the autumn, a flock of 14 Cormorant went over and there's a few waders about- 2 Common Sandpiper and 6 Green Sandpiper. The ringers caught quite a few young warblers this morning.

Looks like the flying ants are out- sky is full of fly catching gulls, crows and starlings. Summer here at least for today!

Friday 20 July 2012

200th Moth

Poplar Hawk Moth
Dewick's Plusia

Got my 200th moth species (been recording moths for 13 months) for Beddington last night- a Poplar Hawk Moth.
Also the last two nights I have caught Dewick's Plusia again. This gives more support for the theory that we could have the only breeding resident population in the UK of Dewick's Plusia at Beddington. We did a write up about it in Atropos:
Dewick’s Plusia, Macdunnoughia confusa Breeding in Britain? Atropos, Vol 12:45 by Peter Alfrey and Derek Coleman

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Hackbridge Church Bioblitz

Small Elephant Hawk Moth (caught at Beddington last night)
Rose Plume (caught at Bedddington last night)
Fairy-ring Champignon at the church
Viper's- bugloss strung at the church by I-spot (Hyssop- thanks Marianne)

We made a start on a local community wildlife gardening project at Hackbridge church today by doing a base line bioblitz study. The project involves the local schools, the Church, the local authority Biodiversity team, the Neighbourhood development group, Hackbridge residents and other local groups such as Sutton in Transition and the Beddington Farmlands Bird Group.

This base line study will give us an inventory of the existing biodiversity before we start gardening. The project hopes to include planting, creating a pond, wildflower meadow generation, installation of bat and bird boxes and putting up feeders. As the project develops we intend to monitor the increasing biodiversity.

We recorded nearly 70 species in the church grounds and I brought a few moths along from Beddington Farmlands to display the kind of biodiversity that we hope to attract in the future. We hope to double the number of species at the church.
The church project is part of a wider objective to create wildlife corridors between Beddington Farmlands and the River Wandle connecting urban spaces and people to nature and interlinking the green spaces within the Wandle Valley Regional Park to create a regional nature network.

Friday 13 July 2012

Shark, Bats and naked birds

The Shark 
Putting up bat boxes at Addington Hills 
Tree Sparrow - note that feathers are not distributed evenly but occur in tracts

Been a steady week- had a few new moths, the highlight being this Shark (above) when Lee came round  Put some bat boxes up with Derek and also did a bit of Tree Sparrow nest box inspecting and ringing.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Svalbard trip pics

Left to right: Greg, Darryl and me 
Svalbard Breakfast

Here are some of Greg's pics of us on the Svalbard trip. Wildlife pics here:
and here:

Darryl's blog and pics here:

Weekend round up

Had a stand at the Hackbridge Carnival about Beddington Farmlands and the Green Spaces in Hackbridge 
Had 6 Blackwits today going east, also 3 Redshank on the enclosed beds, 5 Green Sand, 1 Common Sand, 5 Shoveler and 2 Teal- autumn has started 
Lapwing chick hiding 
Mouse sp by the hide

Friday 6 July 2012

Thursday 5 July 2012

Early autumn migrant birds, butterflies and moths

Little Ringed Plover- 2 adults and a juvenile today
Silver Y- a large influx on the mounds and southern lake (about 40+)
Narrow-bordered Five-Spot Burnet (about 5 of these on the mound)
Painted Lady- another migrant
The Shard from Beddington (Officially opened today- the tallest building in London and Europe)

Green Sandpiper and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover today heralding the coming of the autumn wader movement.
About 50 Stock Dove on the mound- a post breeding flock.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Hawk Moth Debut at the Obs

Elephant Hawk Moth 
Scalloped Oak 
Two happy moth-ers (nephews Dylan and Archie)

Caught our first hawk moth yesterday evening in the obs trap- a stunning Elephant Hawk Moth. Absolutely brilliant. Also new for the list were Scalloped Oak and Coronet plus loads of unidentified micros. 

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Nature and Environmental Art Exhibition

Still working on a nature and art exhibition due for display soon. Here is one of the 'pieces'.

'This is a song referring to the deepening depression that our society finds itself in. Choosing indiviudal gain at the expense of others and the environment generates a disconnection of the individual from their foundation in nature and society throwing the indiviudual into a spiral of chaos-like a moth deluded by a bright light. In order to escape the deepening depression the inference is that individuals may wish to reconnect.'

Lyrics and more info here: