Tuesday 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013 - All's well that ends well

 Juvenile Iceland Gull
 Male Kestrel
 The Northern Lake- flooded, all the islands are submerged
 Yellow and black Longhorn Beetle from earlier on in the year
 Yarrow Plume from earlier
Small Nettle- been walking past masses of this for over 25 years presuming it's Common Nettle (thanks Frankie!) 

Been pretty good over the farm over the last few days with the juvenile Iceland Gull showing frequently, a couple of Caspian Gulls about, up to 5 Jack Snipe on the mound, good numbers of Pochard (up to 38) and Gadwall (up to 119), a Redshank a couple of days ago, 4-5 Green Sandpiper, 25+ Snipe, 2 Stonechat, 250+ Teal, 32 Lapwing, 5 Water Rails, 2 Water Pipit, 25+ Great Black Backed Gull and Peregrine knocking around too.

Been working through some of the photo specimens I collected over the summer to try and identify them to add to the Beddington species inventory (and my own personal pan-species list). Managed to identify (string) 10 new species which puts me on 1004 species for the farm. So I managed to hit my target to reach 1000 species on the patch! Success!! Forgot what it felt like. All is well that ends well and this year has now ended well. Here's my list:

Saturday 28 December 2013

2014 PLAN

I'm not one to allow complete and total annihilation to dampen the spirit so despite this year's revelations that:

a) the only government in charge of protecting our local environment is one that cannot afford to enforce it's own rules e.g. there is no government
 b) that a bunch of glorified pikies (Virdor) are at large on doing a glorious bodge job on the single most important part of the green and biodiversity infrastructure of South London,
c) the conservation, environmental and social NGO's in self appointed charge of protecting the local environment and people are self appointing themselves (and others NGO friends) the funds which are awarded for improvements
d) the local people and wildlife who are in a spiral of decline and are the supposed recipients of all this attention are either completely unaware of what is being done in their names or are non-sentient beings (who probably aren't even aware they exist before they go extinct) .

here is my plan for 2014


1. Attempt to increase the number of members in the Beddington Farmlands Nature Reserve support camp
2. Partner with local conservation and environmental NGO's and attempt to help with well focused spending that actually deliver more in the way of real improvements. Try not to call anyone a useless swindling career conservationist toss-pot in the process. 
3. Do what we can in the Judicial Review period. Expose the facts publicly, be aware that the judges are all in on all this way of the world stuff and just hope we (I) get out alive! Go in light, drop the facts off and get out quick. 
4. Continue with the species monitoring, pan-species inventory and reporting- not because scientific facts that prove a declining state have any power over human greed/ weakness but because its good fun. 
5. Continue with public engagement activities and try and connect to the people all these improvements are supposedly aimed at (and try and disengage the free-loaders and green w#nkers) 
6. Work on the green infrastructural improvements that integrate the reserve, the village and the Wandle
7. Try and keep the insults about Viridor to a minimum- they have all powerful omnipotent rule and can quite easily execute all of us (take away the keys and sue us for the shirts off our back)
8. Of course as ever while I'm killing time with all of the above keep looking for that rare gull and/or mega bird. 

1. Get out of this shit hole and get to the Azores as often as I can.


1. Keep writing and singing this nonsense instead of becoming a terrorist. 

Monday 23 December 2013

Happy Xmas

Here's our Xmas song- a song for everyone.

A reminder that it is not local beliefs or ideas that unite us- it is our common insanity (and nature)


Friday 20 December 2013

Beddington Farmlands Review 2013 (and brief Viridor review)

A few personal highlights (and low lights)  from the local patch this year. A year in pictures.

For more background on this see: http://peteralfreybirdingnotebook.blogspot.co.uk/p/whats-it-all-about.html

The year started off with a January cold snap
Adult Caspian Gull
Beddington Birders in the freezer
The winter never seemed to end with spring delayed by several weeks
Finally spring arrived in late April ( A Bee-fly) 
A singing male Wood Warbler was one of the spring highlights 
It was a good year for Garden Warblers - with two pairs breeding on site
The first of several local community walks in late April- this one with the local ramblers
The Bird Group took part in the Local authority led Garden Wildlife Showcase promoting wildlife gardening (on how to turn your own green space into a mini nature reserve) 
Bird group and local community members were involved in planting wildlfower meadows (above ) and bulb planting (below) in the nature reserve and along the adjacent wildlife/green corridors 

Wildflower strips were put in along the local road verges
The development control committee met in April to decide on the Incinerator proposal which attracted local protests
Viridor (land managers) did some minimal restoration work ahead of the DCC meeting to pretend they were actually doing something for wildlife and the restoration. Some (most) of the trees died due to not being maintained/ watered during the summer drought. 
The Incinerator got permission in May despite the lack of adequate mitigation, complete failure of the current conservation management plan, delay in public access and lack of honouring previous planning conditions 
Red-rumped Swallow- incredibly one of two birds this spring
Poplar Kitten- one of many great looking moths recorded during regularly moth trapping
New habitats were planted up on the entrance to the nature reserve by local community members
Toadflax Brocade- another new moth species for the site
The Bird Group had an exhibition and did a presentation at the Wandle Conference 
High summer biodiversity recording (by day) 
Recording biodiversity (by night) - moth trapping
Six Spot Burnets had a great year- and benefited from the new restoration (absolute minimal work by Viridor) of the southern mound
Green Sandpiper- as usual numbers peaked in early autumn
The new bird and wildlife report for 2012 was published in July. Sponsored by Viridor who argued about the costs and refused to pay the full amount (despite the high quality production and the great PR for them).  
Kent Black Arches in July- another first for the site
The Bird Group did another exhibition at the Carshalton Environmental Fair
Bird Group members also took part in the Local authority Bioblitz event
Chalkhill Blue- a first for Beddington Farmlands- a wanderer from the chalk downlands
Broad-bodied Chaser
Chocolate Tip- another first for the site
Purple Loose-strife on the Northern lake in August (natural vegetation that has grown up) 
August Thorn 
Bird Group and local community members (Paul Pickering, Stop the Incinerator chair person above)  were interviewed for BBC and ITV news in August ahead the GLA approval of the Incinerator
Early autumn local community bird and wildlife walk
Common Redstart in the obs garden 
Biodiversity planting in the obs garden 
December moth- another first for Beddington
Data from the Tree Sparrow projects reveal the species is on the brink of local extinction- part of the overall near complete failure of the current conservation management plan

Group PBT £200.5M and Viridor £57.6M

Previous relevant post:

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Azores Review 2013

A few personal highlights from my trips to the Azores in 2013:


More on this here: http://azoresnature.co.uk/?page_id=15

Going out again next year- let me know if your interested (Monteiro's Petrel, Grant's Petrel, vagrant seabirds and marine life). Email:  littleoakgroup@btinternet.com

Swinhoe's Petrel- second year in a row that we've found this species on the trip
Monteiro's and 'Grant's' Petrel were recorded
Fea's/ Desertas Petrel
Brown Booby (with Arctic Skua and Cory's Shearwater) 
First-winter Roseate Tern
Long-tailed Skua
Blue Shark (with Pilot fish) 
Asian Oystercatcher

2013 Team

CORVO 2013

Cedar Waxwing 
Cliff Swallow (Vincent Legrand) 
Glossy Ibis- record numbers this year
Azorina vidalii