Wednesday 28 November 2012

Gulling and mushing

First-winter Caspian Gull 
Immature partially leusitic Herring Gull 
A range in Herring Gull uppperpart colouration across the argentatus/argenteus cline (above and below) 

As yet un-identified mushrooms (above and below) 

It was really miserable weather again (hence the terrible photos). Did a bit of gulling (see above) and found some mushrooms growing on the side of the mound. 6 Wigeon around now which is an increase on 3 since the weekend. 4 Snipe from the Southern Lake.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

November at the Obs

Long dark evenings writing up this year's stuff and planning next years trips
New birding man bag and re-burbished 7D after breaking it again on the Azores. Birding man bag contains i-pod and speaker with all Western Palearctic and Nearctic Bird calls, digi-scoping kit, entomological specimen containers, notebook, waterproof coat, gloves, hat, flask and museli bars  
Winter Peas in the window farm. Also working on the obs estate ground management plan for next year 
New winter energy saving toy for the obs 
Lush stuff for scrubbing up after muddy cold birding days
Moth trap in the Bugry trying to catch a December Moth 
Winter view from the obs over Irrigation Bridge
Its wet, windy and horrible out there so I've been hiding away in the obs and been shopping. Also been working on the Beddington Bird Report for 2012 and also up dating the Beddington Bird List and the Moth List. Hopefully Steve is updating the Botany List and Derek was planning on publishing some Malaise trap data so we would have made a good start in sorting out the Beddington Pan-species list by spring hopefully.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Duck Influx

Common Teal on 100 acre beds- 300+ on site 
Shoveler over the Northern Lake- 100+ around 
Wigeon (flapping bird), Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Coot, Teal and Grey Heron
Male Mute Swan (a cob) showing off to a female (a pen) 
Pan-species ticks for the day- Tar Spot Rhytisma acerinum
and Spindle 
More ducks have arrived at the farmlands with 100+ Shoveler, 3 Wigeon, 200+ Teal, 20+ Mallard, 30+ Gadwall and 60+ Tufted Duck today. Also 14 Mute Swans with some of the males displaying. 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Snipe and 80+ Linnet.
Recently added Yellow-lined Quaker, Spindle and Tar-spot (a fungus) to my Beddington pan-species list which now stands at 870.

Saturday 24 November 2012

A few November Bits

Tufties on the Northern Lake
A bit of an influx of ducks recently with 300+ Teal, 90+ Shoveler, 30+ Gadwall, 30+ Tufted Duck and 1 Wigeon. Also 30 Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe and 2 Green Sandpiper today. 70+ Linnet, 10+ Mipit, 2 Skylark, 15+ Chaffinch and 2 Reed Bunting on the mound. 1 Brambling from the obs this morning and  a few Redwing over.
Planning on doing Bikers and 100 acre tomorrow and then meet the ringing crew on the mound.
One November Moth last night.

National Tree Week

Friday 23 November 2012

Beddington Park and Trees

Weeping Willow over the Mill Pond
Giant Redwood by the Grange
London Plane by the Meadow
Yew Trees in the Church 
Pines at Carew Manor

A break in the weather meant an excuse to have a walk round the Park with Gillian to look at the autumn trees. A real good tree selection including in addition to the above Swamp Cypress, Dawn Redwood, Liquidamber, Caucasian Wing-nut, Indian Bean, Mullberry and quite a few more.
When Beddington Farmlands finally opens as a public nature and country park it will be a contiguous public space with Beddington Park. We walked back through the farmlands along the permitted path- saw a male Wigeon on the North Lake. 

Thursday 22 November 2012


London Wetland Center
Adult Med Gull at Beddington

Autumn migration is pretty much over, peak winter birding is still a way off, most of the plants are dying off, not many moths or insects so its basically a great time to do some work.
Been an interesting week at work. On Monday I was having a look at a section of the River Wandle with the Wandle Trust for a project aimed at increasing biodiveristy along the river. On Tuesday we met with architects drawing up plans for the wildlife corridors between the Wandle and Beddington Farmlands. On Wednesday we were working in a graveyard on a sustainable method of dealing with the dead  and yesterday I met up with John at the Wetland Centre to have a look at reducing trees to alleviate the predator threat for breeding waders. Other work highlights this week include good progression with a legal dispute with a rogue Estate Managment Agency, an invitation to the House of Lords for an environment and communities event and as usual and most importantly meet ups with our regular private garden costumers.
I did bunk off on Tuesday for an hour of two to do the gulls at Beddington- an adult Med was the highlight.
Work website:

Wednesday 14 November 2012


Adult Kittiwake 
First-winter Med Gull 
Black-headed and Common Gulls 
Yellow-lined Quaker (I think)
Spent a couple of hours at the farm this morning. Highlight was an adult Kittiwake which was flying around before landing on the mound. Also a first-winter Med Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.
A mild night and quite a bit of bugry action. Yellow-lined Quaker (a tick), Cypress Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, monopsis obviella, Grey Pine Carpet, Light Brown Apple Moth, White Shouldered House Moth and Pale Motted Willow.
Popped in to the church project to have a look at the best place to put some bird boxes and then had a look around the Wandle between Bennets Hole and Ravensbury Park with Gillian- brilliant autumn colours.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Room with a View

November sunrise 
Taken from the Bugry 
The tipping face has shifted adjacent to my window so I can do the gulls now without leaving the obs. Couldn't see anything of interest today.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Sunny Sunday

Lesser Redpoll- one of eight birds feeding on Mugwort 
Prater Bros at work 
Autumn colours on Mile Road Bridge and the new Hackbridge development (Centrale)
Nice late autumn/early winter day with clear blue skies and rather mild too. Bird of the day was a Short-eared Owl (which I missed) but also 1 Jack Snipe on the Southern Lake and a couple of Brambling on 100 acre. A few Fieldfares and Redwings flying around, a couple of Reed Bunts, loads of Dunnocks and a few other bits and bobs. 

Saturday 10 November 2012

Day Out- Bedgebury Pinetum

Liquidamber in autumn colours

Swamp Cypress and other conifers 
Visitor's Centre 
Little Oak team 
Cauliflower Fungus at the base of a Pine
One of our work team, Hysni is moving to Sweden (the second good guy we have lost to Swedish women!) so we went out for the day to say our goodbyes. We had a game meal at a nearby pub and then checked out the tree collection at Bedgebury.
A few Woodcocks flying around at dusk.
Here's what we do at Little Oak:

Friday 9 November 2012

Winter begins

'Caspo'- a local term for a large white-headed gull showing several features consistent with Caspian Gull 
Features which are not perfect for Caspian Gull include the chequered greater coverts, streaking on the crown, dark around the eye, diffuse shawl and Herring Gull like mantle and scapulars. Pro-Caspian features include the lanky, snouty and full breasted structure, dark tertails with white thumb nail tips, contrasting white head and relatively pale underwing 
November Moths- caught 5 yesterday, also Common Marbled Carpet and Light Brown Apple Moth

Gull numbers are building up at Beddington and we had the first 'Caspo' of the winter today. Gary had a Jack Snipe too.
Highlight of the day was 5 Crossbill which flew over.
It was rather mild last night and had a few moths for the first time in a while, mainly the aptly named November Moth.
Conservation Science Group meeting this morning where we discussed the new Beddington Conservation Management Plan.

The Hackbridge Project- latest flash point

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Wildlife Gardening

Cyclamens on Bedzed
Pyracantha on Bedzed
Berberis hedge at Silverdale
The Church project 
The Green Project

Been doing the Hackbridge wildlife habitats over the last few days. 2500 bulbs, more shrubs and a scattering of annuals and perenials have gone in on four sites; Bedzed, Silverdale, All Saints Church and the Hackbridge Green through the efforts of the Local Environment NDG sub-Group and local school.
Had a Marsh Harrier go past the window this morning.