Thursday 31 July 2014

Glossy Ibis Dip! A first for Beddington Farmlands

 We scoured the site- no Glossy Ibis but did find one of the two or three Tree Sparrows left from the once thriving population (nearly 1000 birds in 2007)
 Webb's Wainscot- a first for me
Mottled Rustic (I think)

Mike and Neil found a Glossy Ibis this morning but it didn't hang around. Devilbirder, Kojak and I spent the afternoon turning over the whole site but no luck.
We did have two Tree Sparrows- a site year tick for us.
Also Dave had a juv Med Gull.
Glossy Ibis is a first for Beddington Farmlands- the all time bird list is now 258.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Hayday- Mitcham Common

 Hay cut. Meadows are being managed to increase biodiversity.
 Juvenile Green Woodpecker
 Rosebay Willowherb
London Hay

Had to look at some tree work in Mitcham Common today and took the camera along. Interesting management of Mill Green meadows- hopefully we can get the same kind of management at the farmlands meadows. Mitcham Common is basically the north part of the Regional Park in this area- its an extension of the farmlands- quite different habitats and interesting wildlife. 

Nice Light

 Juvenile Kestrel
 Female Sparrowhawk
 Little Grebe (one chick hiding on the back of the adult too)
 Clouded Yellow (first for the year- found by Mike on weekend)
  Tachystola acroxantha (new for the farm- thanks again to Surrey Moths Facebook group) 
View of Northern Lake (love the colours this time of year) 

Monday 28 July 2014

Jersey Tigers

Its that time of year again. 20+ last night.

Sunday 27 July 2014


 Tufted Duck with young- was getting a bit worried that no broods of Tufted Ducks but two broods have appeared in last few days
 Goldfinch flocks are building now- up to 60+ around, also a few Linnet and 1 Skylark on the mound
 Six-spot Burnet- still 30+ on the mound
 Small Tortoiseshell - good numbers still around
 Toadflax Pug (I think- first for farmlands if so)
 Dichrorampha vancouverana (first for farmlands if correct id) Surrey Moths id: probably  D. petiverella
 Grapholita lunulana (If correct- a first for the farmlands). Actually Dichrorampha petiverella (cheers Billy!) 
Purple Loose-strife and Mustard flowering on the Northern Lake

Had a walk for the Hackbridge locals today but only one local resident turned up. Luckily a few others from further a field were there so we had a look over 100 acre and ended up on the mound.
4 Common Sandpiper, only 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 3 Teal and good numbers of Butterflies.

Saturday 26 July 2014

Graduation Day

Went to my sister's graduation yesterday. She's hoping to specialise in nature-themed therapy.
Ian Redmond was awarded an honorary degree for his life time achievement in conservation. He has worked with Diane Fossey and Gorillas in the mist and loads of other stuff:  IAN REDMOND
(quiet dissident voice- considering the plight of the world's biodiversity, has anyone achieved anything in conservation worthy of merit ??).
I sometimes watch all this stuff and can't help but think it is actually part of the problem? Its like an industry of good will, awards, gestures, 'great' achievements and 'great' ideas. I guess it has its place- but just can't help thinking although it appears all this stuff is at the top of conservation society values, it is actually the bottom of priorities for protecting biodiversity. The priority is reaching the majority of the population and developing a common sense of value for biodiversity so that consideration for nature is ingrained in all behaviour .In an anthropogenic evolving world- nothing but that will preserve biodiversity.
Exclusion and intimidating elitism is the enemy of that. It's like there is some kind of delusion/ paradox going on here.
The war for protecting Biodiversity is being lost (there is complete agreement on that), despite there being over-whelming popular and democratic support to protect it.
Are the official protectors and leadership actually (un-conscious) agents of decline? I think they probably have to be if the war is being lost.
Latest pissing in the wind from BBC
The most sincere of congratulations to my sister and welcome to the war- not the party?

Thursday 24 July 2014

Hen Harrier Day August 10th

As far as I know this will be the first time that birders in the UK will be taking the fight to save birds to the streets. Needless to say I'm going to be there.

Monday 21 July 2014

A lot of moths

 Jersey Tiger
 Marbled Beauty
 Acrobasis advenella
 Catoptria pinella
 Least Yellow Underwing (first for me)
Epinotia nisella (thanks to Sean from Surrey Moths) . First for the farmlands.
 Argyresthia sp ?
Recurvaria leucatella (thanks Surrey Moths). A first for the farmlands.
Eucosma hohenwartiana (thanks to Surrey Moths). A first for the farmlands.
 Bud Moth Spilonota ocellana
 Agriphila tristella

It's been hectic over last few nights during this heatwave. 83 species of moth over last three trapping nights with over 100 individuals in a night (just from one actinic trap at 'the obs' window).

New for the year recently include Ruby Tigers (up to 6), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Cachlimorpha straminea, Acrobasis advenella, Brown-line Bright eye, Least Yellow Underwing, Cydia speldana, Pebble Prominet, Spilonota ocellana and Agriphila tristella. Up to three Jersey Tigers so far.

The Starling problem continues- caught two to three different birds in the potter trap (see video below). Thought the fright of getting caught might stop them but the raids on the trap continue.

More micros here: Even worse photos

Sunday 20 July 2014

Rainham Day Trip

 Greenshank and Lapwing

Had a day trip to Rainham today with Sue (was supposed to be a team of six but only Sue and I turned up). 1 Red Kite (rare this end of town), 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Hobby, 3 Kestrel, 6 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 40+ Lapwing, 2 Oystercatcher, 30+ Common Tern on the river, 1 Garganey, Bearded Tits, 30+ Goldfinch, 10+ Linnet, 4 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 30+ Swift, Sedge Warblers still singing and one almighty thunderstorm (one of most intense I've been in).

Saturday 19 July 2014

Hot day

 Meadow Brown (one white spot in eye)
 Gatekeeper (two white spots in eye)
Cochylimorpha straminea (A first for farmlands if correct id) 
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull?
 Purple Loose-strife
Horsetail and Reedmace
The heat wave continues with a few storms going through. A few waders seen by the group this morning; 8 Whimbrel, 3 Snipe, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 juvenile LRP, 15 Lapwing and Derek had 11 Green Sandpiper in the week. About 100+ Swift about, 4 Sand Martin, 6 Kestrel (mainly hunting on the mound), 1 Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawk, 40+ Goldfinch on the mound, 3 Shoveler and quite a few young Little Grebes. The Shelducks all seem to have gone.
Lots of butterflies about- good numbers of Gatekeeper now. 50+ Six-spot Burnet on the mound.
Mothing now - the first Ruby Tigers of the year, had the first Jersey Tiger a couple of days ago, still lots of Footmans, Smoky Wainscots, Least Carpets etc.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Tales from the Bugry

 Started getting Starlings coming into the bugry and eating the moths so I borrowed Darryl's Potter trap and caught this one. Interesting to see the moult out of juvenile plumage.
 Scorched Carpet
 Oegoconia quadripuncta
 Swallow-tail moth
 Soldier fly sp.
 Ledra aurita- a large leafhopper with unmistakable large ears projections
Common Grass Veneer and Orchard Ermine (i think)
It was hectic last night in the heat wave conditions. Well over 100 moths and 12 new for year including Tree-lichen Beauty and Swallow-tail moth. A real mix of insects with lots of beetles- ground, rove and water beetles, ladybirds, leafhoppers, caddisflies, a mayfly, a robber fly, a soldier fly, picture-winged fly, loads of mosquitos and midges- its was manic. Lots of micro moths too.
Just heard a Turnstone calling from the window.