Tuesday 31 May 2016

Mark Avery Guest Blog

We've got a guest blog on Mark Avery's blog today.

Mark Avery is one of the UK's most prominent conservationists, former director of conservation at the RSPB and currently a campaigner for front line conservation.

Latest picture of the Wet Grassland Habitat 

Monday 30 May 2016

Bank Holiday Bits

 Redshank at Rainham yesterday- a record breeding season apparently. Also 60 pairs!! of Lapwings on the reserve. Amazing conservation success story. Also saw 2 Avocet, Hobby and Cuckoo. Its been another good year at Rainham, London's premier birding spot thanks to the RSPB. 
 Will try and get an id on this when I can- great looking little fella. 

A few bits from the moth trap
 Turnip moth- looks too small? (or an early Heart and Club? or something else) 
 Poplar Grey 
 Setaceous Hebrew Character (First of the year)
I thought this was an early Square-spot Rustic but not sure now- Garden Dart? Surrey Moths have come back with Small Square-spot (a new one for me). The internet for identification always amazes me- any individual can learn some of the most familiar things and then when they see something different go to the forums. The democratization/ digitalization of natural history- a beautiful revolution. 

Sunday 29 May 2016

The sources of Power- Money or People

A Sunday sermon from Chunky.
As the root cause of the conservation crisis is the lack of projection of public will, the link between social justice and natural justice is one which is basically, like they are the same thing.

Play this at the same time as Chunky speaking- I like it.

Saturday 28 May 2016

The week that was- a few highlights

Beddington Farmlands 

 Male Gadwall, there's about 6 or 7 Gadwalls hanging around the farmlands and also saw a female flying round at height being chased by males who were snapping at each other in the air  (a bit like Mallards were doing earlier on in the season). Hopefully they'll breed. There was a Wood Sandpiper in the week and a couple of Black Terns last weekend. 
 The evenings have been cool and my moth traps have been playing up too so its been pretty dire on the moth front. Had a few the other night and a few bits and bobs including Treble Lines (above), Pale Mottled Willows, Shuttle-shaped Darts, Common Wave, Eudonia angustea, Flame Shoulder, the first Vine's Rustics for the year, the first Square-spot Rustic yesterday, Lime-speck Pug, Heart and Dart, Light Emerald, Tachystola acrowantha and Cydia unicetana in the grass around the hide (I think)
 Female Eristalis inticaria- a sexually dimorphic bumblebee minic with a yellow scutellum. Unlike other bumblebee mimics the hind leg is half black and half yellow. In the wildflower meadow that we planted. A few other hoverflies around. Had Large White, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Orange Tip this morning. 
 The bird group wildflower meadow - dominated now by Oxeye Daisy (where did the Yellow Rattle go??) 

Mitcham Common
 Been doing quite a bit of work on Mitcham Common recently, mainly tree maintenance but hoping to get some scrub clearance and habitat management work- removing Buckthorn and scrub and re-creating acid grassland. Hoping to spend some more time on Mitcham Common over the high summer to check out what about and different to the farmlands- its all part of the same contiguous space (now being called The Wandle Valley Metropolitan Park). Here's a link to Mitcham Common natural history info: MITCHAM COMMON
 Adder's-tongue Fern - a local speciality 

Local wildlife gardening (holding back the plague) 
 We re-planted the entrance to the farmlands with the species that survived the onslaught last time we planted it up. This time Acanthus spinosa and Euphorbia sps- they were the ones that survived the dogs and droughts and vandals and lack of the council coming to water them etc. Those bastard council people were supposed to be sending Youth offenders to keep the bridge painted and clear the rubbish from the footpath. As usual with all community biodiversity projects it is the council that drop the ball- too busy milking their alliances with big business round here. God knows what its going to be like when all the green spaces go over to a private company next year- all depends whether that company is run by compete capitalist arseholes (probably will be if they won the carve up race to get the contract) or by a benevolent green space management company (who wouldn't be anywhere near the privatisation war).  
 Been trying this out- leaving areas of long grass in the mowed lawns on the drip lines of trees - so they are naturally kept more watered 
 A good little habitat for inverts- looks okay I reckon too. Just left the areas were the daffs and other bulbs were earlier in the year. 
 One of the Aliums in the obs wildlife garden- what's going on with that second head?
The old Californian Poppies - keep coming up and flower for a long time- these are such an easy win for a bit of colour in hostile urban environments. Not sure what that other stuff coming up is- something we planted- will find out when it flowers. 

Escape Plans
 As I'm going a bit mental having to deal with the ravages of this Tory hell and the unstoppable force of Capitalism carving up all the green spaces and a hopeless situation at the farmlands for the foreseeable future I thought its time to become an ecological refugee and split my time between doing whatevers possible round here and disappearing for lengthy periods to Eastern Europe and beyond (the other side of the Capitalists plague).  I'm pretty sure within a decade or a generation they will have been overthrown and would have had a system overhaul with people and nature taking a higher priority- it really is heading to the pits of hell in the UK with the right and left polarising and Im pretty sure that is going to translate into less safety on the streets, worsening state for biodiversity and for opportunities for naturalists/ecologists, socialists and financial and personal misery for more and more people. Nobody will fucking listen though and join forces to do something about this- my whole experience at Beddington has shown there's just a load of small community groups fighting each other, the council (the monkey rather than the organ grinder) rather than focusing on causing tangible inconvenience to corporations, the directors and their developments. There's very little community within the naturalist community either (most of them are insular minded and working alone competing and sneering at others, engaged in nothing but using nature for hedonism and nihilism or funding a diluted version of the capitalist value system - I've given up contacting other groups to join forces). Anyway fuck the lot of them, I've made my million, paid off my mortgages and got ongoing sustainable projects ticking over from working in natural history in a sustainable way (it really is easy to build nature and people minded businesses/ communities, that provide good incomes and good meaningful work and good conditions,  all it requires is a good group of focused and committed comrades- the catch is there aint many of them). Chaos and hardship will bring the necessary change for everyone else- fuck them all (nature is incredibly resilient with the potential to bounce back within the blink of an eye of whatever humans can throw at it- once the tipping point  has passed, it will fall off the edge for unsustainable communities very quickly). Heading out with Holly (below) in the summer- sometimes one person is all the community you fucking need! :-) 

Friday 27 May 2016

When reason fails

Next time I meet Viridor and the Council it's going to be like this. Should be fun.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Pioneers

Made a bit of music today- something to do! Here's the first take on The Pioneers.

A song about the end of Capitalism and the rise of the Socio-environmentalists

 'Everyday is closer to just dreaming, closer to a place to where we have gone, it seems so far but distance is eluding, we'll blaze the paths and they'll follow when we've gone'

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Day out- Glastonbury

Spent the last couple of days duffering about in Glastonbury, stalking the tourist sites and joining the walking dead window shopping for souvenirs and novelties. It was actually quite pleasant, in a kind of resigning yourself to a eternity in hell way. My descent into the dude and duffer abyss continues, falling, falling.... I thought the monks of old were trying to tell me something

 Glastonbury Abbey- I wonder what the old monks would have thought about Glastonbury now being the Pagan centre of the entire universe (I'd love to see their smug scalped faces respond to that revelation that their entire lives spent wondering around the Abbey grounds, praying, abstaining and studying the ways of the Universe and constructing,projecting and enforcing a world view that would later evolve into the anti-christ of Capitalism was all so that the Pagans could take the lot and turn it in a mystical centre for orbbing, dowsing, rimming, witchcraft and wizardry- hahahahha- you stupid bald bastards!! lol) 
 Lovely long grass in an orchard- now Gaia is safe and the future of humanity is secured cuz someone's saving money by cutting down on the lawn contractors and  'letting it grow'- three for the price of one, less hours for the Polish, more money for the contractor boss (and he's really intelligent and complex idea of what nature is) and more grass for the inverts (grasshoppers and other things that nobody gives a fuck about and nobody's recording anyway). 
 I might actually copy this- letting it grow under the trees- that will save the boss having to pay the Polish to get the strimmers out
 The Abbey Nature Reserve- relatively speaking a tiny patch in the corner, nicely settled within Glastonbury town centre, a town centre surrounded in the bleak wasteland of the wider intensively farmed countryside where the Silent Spring has arrived 
 A lovely pond- the pinnacle of humankind's devotion to Gaia, her 3.6 billion year history (of slaughtering and destroying wave after wave of her disappointments)  
 Some blossom- awwwwww. If we just focus on that blossom and shut the entire rest of what is going on, on this shitty planet- all seems well- in a positively psychotic, deluded and hell bound way.
 More loveliness- plants and herbs with healing properties-chew on some of that to appease the storm and don't worry about the plague of humans devouring the entire biosphere
 Fern-leaved Beech- actually quite a nice tree
 Buckeye Chestnut- a new one for me. 
 Something distinctive that would be easy to identify if I could be arsed too
 Nuthatch breeding in the wildlife area
 A distinctive looking hoverfly which would require me looking in Roger Morris book to remind myself of the name because I've forgotten it and now can't be arsed to look it up again
I've even qualified to top level in Zombieland- got myself one of these- a bloody girlfriend.Can things really get any worse! (She's actually lovely and well up for destroying the capitalists and then driving off into Western Sahara this winter to get away from all this WANK!!!!!!) 

Friday 20 May 2016

On Netflix at the moment.


Good to see this side of things developing.

This is what we need more of, the disruption of unethical business practises. The only language that these boards understand is the one that affects their bottom line and their shareholder reports. In nearly all ways the official democratic process of consultation, petition signing, voting etc has become a distraction, a buffer to exhaust energy of the general population. It is corporate boards that fund the political process and use that funding to get the policies and regulation that they want.

It has become blindingly obvious that political negotiation and enforcement of social and environmental obligation is very limited in serving social and environmental priorities unless backed up by democratic enforcement. I would say there is a social and environmental obligation by all members of civil society to vote with their behaviour and engage in civil disobedience when a civil society has transformed by stealth back into an uncivilised and corrupt society, one that is upheld by a political system which have been charged with the duty of defending civil society, and have betrayed that trust.

In fact I think it is a theme that continues to recur throughout history and we simply find ourselves at a time when the general population are forced to demonstrate their collective power- again. 

Tuesday 17 May 2016

A few bits from a regular day

  Had a quick on the farmlands lakes this morning- the Mute Swans cygnets are out on the Northern Lake now (so two pair of the three pairs now have young) 
Adela cuprella in the meadow by the hide
Blue-tails and Common Blue Damselflies are out now 
Holly Blue in Gillian's Garden
Spent the afternoon in the Hackbridge wildlife gardens- first at Gillians and then to Silverdale 
Adam on Bedzed has got a new shed with a green roof 
Bedzed gardens 
Picked this hand sized bouquet yesterday from my sisters garden- which has become wonderfully overgrown- Bluebells, Forsythia, Lilac, Green Alkanet, Field forget-me-not, Wisteria, Meadow buttercup, Lawsons Cypress, Rowan, Daisy, Rosemary and Herb Robert.

Monday 16 May 2016

The 'Insane Campaign'

The Insane Campaign begins. Unfortunately reason has failed e.g:.

The Battle for Beddington  All for nothing  Local Government Ombudsman ruling  Stop the Incinerator
Latest from Local Paper Local chaos

The objective of this campaign is to tackle fundamental capitalism that is destroying our local area and bring balance between capitalist organisations, the authorities and the local community. Will see how we get on.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Day out with Sid

 Green Hairstreak at Rainham- adults out now (peak time) 
 First-summer Hobby (Rainham)
Goldfinch and Meadow Buttercups (Little Woodcote)
 Mute Swans and young (Beddington)
 Sid and I
 Checking for bird news 

Started off at Rainham where we met Sue. Had a walk round the reserve- highlights being Green Hairstreak, first-summer male Garganey, Cuckoo and 2-3 Hobby. Then we had lunch at the centre, had a chat with Howard about rebel stuff (that Sid declared as boring lets go!) before heading over to Penny's where we picked up a box of dead bird specimens (say no more, say no more). Then we headed back to Beddington- the Mute Swans on Southern Lake have hatched. We did a bit of sweeping the vegetation and now I've got an evening ahead trying to identify some of the bugs we caught. 

Saturday 14 May 2016

Regular May Day

Great Crested Grebe- a pair still prospecting
Reed Warbler- good numbers around
Common Whitethroat- good numbers around of these too 
Mute Swan- three pairs on site 
The hybrid duck is still around- Yellow-billed Pintailx? 
Lots of this around at the moment- Field Forget-me-not 
First-winter Great Black-backed Gull with Herring Gulls