Wednesday 29 August 2012

Church and Pub

Meet up this morning with Anna from Sutton's Biodiversity Gardens Project to do a Phase One Survey on the Church grounds and learnt a bit about grasses and dandelion looking plants- which basically are all really confusing.

White Ermine (I-spot id)
Meadow experiment area in Church Grounds- quite a few Agriphila geniculea moths in the longer grass and plenty of composites amongst the grasses e.g. Cat's ears, Hawkweeds, Smooth Sow-thistles. Hopefully we can introduce some more colour into the meadow with some cornflowers, knapweeds, scabious etc. 
 Spent the rest of the day going through the Beddington Farmlands Energy Recovery Facility Planning Application and the evening in the pub with Derek and Keith planning our response.

A few of the Beddington Farmlands ERF Planning docs

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Carshalton Environmental Fair 2012

Our Stand
Sis Christine helping out 
The Old Man 
Issy listening to thee Bryans
Had our nature photography exhibition at the Carshalton Environmental Fair yesterday. All the family helped out.
A good success promoting Beddington Farmlands as a Wildlife Photography location (got over 50 people signed up for a photography walk), also got to display some photos from the Azores and other travels and had a little Bryans corner for the kids.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Hobbies and Hawkers

Migrant Hawker 
A good catch in the nets this morning with good numbers of passerines along the lake margins. A few raptors about including 2 Buzzards, 1 Peregrine, 2 Kestrel and 2 Hobby. Not brilliant for waders so far this autumn but about 15-20 Green Sands, 4 Common Sands, 15 Lapwing and wildfowl numbers are up with 20+ Shoveler, 15+ Teal, 2 Gadwall yesterday and 5 Little Grebe.
About 3-4 Migrant Hawkers in front of the hide. Good numbers of Jersey Tigers still in the evenings ( 10 tonight so far).

Friday 24 August 2012

News from the Bugry

Me in the Bugry 
Jersey Tigers- part of the 28 a few days ago 

Been some busy nights in the Bugry recently. Last night I had 85 moths of 39 species flying round the room. I try and catch as many as possible and pot them up or store them in the storage tank so that I can count them all- in addition to the ones that actually stay in the trap. Since last June I've had 231 species of moth in that blinking room including a 2nd site record for Surrey- a Rose Plume and also the Dewick's Plusias which probably represent the only breeding population in the UK. Probably (definately) misidentifying and missing all sorts of stuff too.

Thursday 23 August 2012

August flowering etc

Purple Loose-strife with Honey Bees 
The Reeds we planted are doing pretty well 
Golden Rod 
Sunflower in the obs wildlife garden 
Juv Green Woodpecker
Things are ticking over- 20+ Green Sandpipers, up to 6 Common Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, 15+ Teal, 10 Shoveler in the last day or two. Been the odd Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail seen by the other chaps.
Still getting Jersey Tigers in the trap. A few new micros recently and also a Burnished Brass (above), a mini influx of Square-spot Rustics and a few Straw Underwings in addition to a good range of other moths.

Monday 20 August 2012

Jersey Tiger Invasion?

28 of these last night!

Back to Patch

Jersey Tiger- up to seven a night of these in the trap. Plenty of moths over the last couple of weeks including Iron Prominent, Cloaked Minor, Rush Veneer, Ruby Tiger and a few new micros. Loads of Meadow Browns on the mounds (about 100+ across the site).

Things are feeling a bit more autumnal on the bird front- up to 30 Green Sandpipers, 6 Common Sands, 1 Greenshank and a Black-tailed Godwit today. About 50+ Swifts still about and the young Sand Martins are buzzing around. Quite a few Chiffys calling in the bushes but other warblers are keeping their heads down. A few Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler in the morning nets indicated that there were more warblers on site but just being elusive. The ducks are on the move also with 11 Shoveler and 12 Teal about. On the mounds there's about 60+ Goldfinch and 10+ Linnet.

Last weekend went with Gillian to check out a nearby London Wildlife Trust Reserve- Hutchinson's Bank in South Croydon. Meadow land is going to be one of the major habitat types at Beddington so interesting to see how the reserve is managed there- including the use of Dartmoor Ponies and Sheep.

Chalk grassland at London Wildlife Trust Reserve Hutchinson's Bank 
Grazing at Hutchinson's Bank
Wild Parsnip and Majoram at Hutchinson's Bank

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Zino's Petrel !

Photo by Harro Muller

Following up on our recent pelagic we discovered some better images of the Pterodroma petrel we had. The images were sent to Bob Flood who has identified it as a Zino's Petrel. More details will appear in Bob and Ashley's forthcoming multi-media id guide of Pterodroma petrels.

Geolocation studies have revealed that aside from Maderia, the Azores is the best place to see Zino's Petrel during the breeding season (between April and September).

This is the first 'sight' record for the Azores.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Azores Pelagic 2012 Photo Diary

Day One 290712
Sao Miguel
Azores Bullfinch- 10+ seen in the Tronqueira Mountains. Had a look around the wetlands in the Furnas area with Gerby (

Day Two 300712
Terceira and ferry crossing to Graciosa
Hudsonian Whimbrel at Cabo da Praia- one of two birds present. Also Semipalmated Plover and adult Least Sandpiper.
Northern Botttlenose Whale (I think)- seen from ferry
Sowerby's Beaked Whale- seen from ferry. Also a pod of Spotted Dolphins, one Minke Whale, 3 Bulwer's Petrel and 2 Band-rumped Petrels
Flying Fish
Day Three 310712
Graciosa viewed from the Bank of Fortune
Monteiro's Petrel- moulting inner primaries indicating a hot season breeding indiviudal
Band-rumped Petrel- a fresher looking individual. The brownish cast indicates an adult bird (juvenile hot season birds ((Monteiro's)) are sooty black) suggesting a cool season breeding bird (sometimes called Grant's Petrel)
Band-rumped Petrel (non-moulting bird). Cool season breeding birds are beginning to return to the Graciosa colonies and mixing in with the hot season breeding Monteiro's Petrel. Monteiro's can be identified by moult with birds beginning to moult their inner primaries at the end of the breeding season. Fresh looking birds are presumably either Grant's (cool season) or juvenile Monteiro's (but should be sooty black).
Band-rumped Petrel

Day Four 010812
Graciosa (The Bank of Fortune)

Spotted Dolphins

Swinhoe's Petrel- found on the Bank of Fortune and attracted to the boat with chum. The first documented record for the Azores (one to two birds were reported in the past by seabird researchers but no further details)
Swinhoe's Petrel. Typically the bird is holding the tail closed in travelling flight (more obvious in top photo)
Swinhoe's Petrel. The bird appeared about the same size of a Band-rumped Petrel but the wings looked slightly longer with deeper wing beats in flight. The size and slightly forked tail eliminates the possibility of Matsudaira's Petrel.
Fea's/Desertas/Zino's Petrel. While waiting for the Swinhoe's, this flew into the chum slick and had a look around before moving on
Fea's/Desertas/Zino's Petrel. The dark underwing and relatively heavy bill seems to eliminate the possibility of Zino's Petrel. (However see here for better photos and post trip analysis ZINO'S PETREL!
Fea's/Desertas/Zino's Petrel
Wilson's Petrel. As we had discovered a small group of Wilson's on the Bank of Fortune last year in June we were expecting to find larger numbers this year later in the southern winter. However we only found 4-6 birds.

Day Five 020812
Graciosa (The Bank of Fortune)

Risso's Dolphin- a pod of 20-25
In the calm weather conditions we didn't find too many birds on the Bank of Fortune. Band-rumped Petrels were found in rafts- presumably waiting for the wind to get up. Bird of the day today was Solitiary Sandpiper that flew over the boat calling heading towards Terceira! (photos to follow)
Band-rumped Petrels
Bulwer's Petrel- about 15 seen today
Sperm Whale- 3-4 seen. Also a pod of Spotted and Striped Dolphins, several Loggerhead Turtles, Hammerhead Shark and a 'Medusa' jellyfish.

Day 6 030812
Graciosa (Circum-navigation)
Barolo Shearwater - one of two seen
Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin
Olof and Harro. Also present on this trip were Vincent, Richard, Erica, Ingvar, Chris and the boat crew Happy punters all round. Trip report and more photos to follow.

Going out again next year (probably August again- maybe a bit later). If you would like to join please email me

For more information on birders trips to the Azores see Trips to the Azores on the links bar above.