Thursday 30 June 2016

Sunday 26 June 2016

Members Day

Had the associate members summer bird and wildlife walk today. We covered the south mound, had a look at the north and south lagoon, the northern and the southern lakes and went towards Home Mead for the Tree Sparrows. 

Map by Helen Cavilla 
Two distant fly over adult male Ruffs were one of the highlights. There was also a juvenile Peregrine around chasing the gulls. We estimated at least 30 Grey Herons. Also a couple of Pochard, Little Grebe and 2 Cormorants. 
 We twitched the Tree Sparrows and found this family party-looks like a juvenile on the bottom right so breeding success confirmed! Four pairs this year- an improvement on two pairs last year.  
 Small Tortoiseshell- a few of these on the mound, also first Essex Skipper of the year, 10+ Small White, 15+ Meadow Brown, 10+ Black-tailed Skimmer, 1 Common Blue and 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies
 This migrant Rush Veneer was the first of the year, also Silver Y up there, Garden Grass Veneers and S.Verticalis. 

For more details of becoming an associate member of the bird group see here:

Saturday 25 June 2016

Izzy Day

Spent today with niece Izzy who was up for a shopping/ nature combo day out. She blew the day budget by 11am so we went back to the obs to do the moths (another good evening) and then we went over the farmlands for a walk and having a look at the butterflies and day flying moths. 

  Not many better starts to the day

 Lab work 
 Marbled White- first for the year. Also increasing numbers of Meadow Brown and Common Blue on the mound. More Silver Ys up there. If the weather is good tomorrow will do an intensive search up on the grassland tomorrow as looks like entomological communities are building now. 
Rusty Dot Pearl. First for the year. Other moths new for the year yesterday and day before included Dwarf Cream Wave, Mottled Rustic, Dark Arches, Straw Dot, Grey Tortrix, Bee Moth, Double-striped Pug,  C.falsella and Barred Yellow

Friday 24 June 2016

Painted Ladies etc

Did an hour or so on the mound this evening with Christian. The species rich grassland is flowering well now but the wet weather seems to be keeping insects numbers down. A few Black-tailed Skimmers up there looking docile too. 

 Painted Ladies- at least two to three on the southern mound
 At least three Skylarks with one singing 
 The lakes were well flooded following the recent storms and water was pooling on the mound even attracting water fowl. 
The good moth evenings continue.  I thought this looked like a Freyer's Pug? 
 Burnished Brass- first for the year 
 Light Arches and Coronet- both firsts for the year 

Had a Barn Owl in flight calling last night from the bugry window. Presumably one of the birds reported by Tomos on Mill Green recently (tried for them with Martin a couple of days ago but no luck). 

Thursday 23 June 2016

Revolution not Referendum

The idea that changes to the centralised political system is the answer to all our problems is pure fantasy (Steve Cutts).

There seems to be a consensus of opinion amongst the environmental community that being within Europe is better for UK nature conservation than being out. Personally I am happy to support this consensus but at the same time keen to make the point that voting is such a tiny and insignificant part of an individuals contribution to the well being of each other and nature. Voting in the political system is almost the least important part of being a citizen in a modern evolving democracy- the most important part is everyday behaviour and engagement within the various streams of ideology within a liberal democracy. 

For unity, peace and the environment support each other not the Capitalist Empires (EU or UK). 

Nothing better to do than spend more time birding and in nature especially with mates- that's basically life sorted!

A few other ideas:

Support the NGO's/ conservation groups who are getting good results.

Vote with wildlife in mind. Write to your MP about local wildlife issues.(I would add attend local planning meetings and comment on planning applications etc) 

Use less energy, create less waste etc

Support products, services and brands which are doing good. E.g. conservation grade products, organic, high quality local products and services etc

Talk, write and social network about nature - tell your friends and spread the word about nature.

Do some wildlife gardening, volunteer for a conservation organisation, do anything positive

Offer wildlife gardening services to other people, buy some land (or get permission) to manage it for wildlife, set up a bird and wildlife tour company to show other people nature. Use profits from any eco-business ventures for conservation. If you manage any land- manage it with wildlife in mind. 

Let everyone know when an organisation is up to no good- write about it, social network it, protest about it

Buy what you need, work only for the good guys (preferably yourself!) don't get caught up in the money mad rat race and then you'll have more time and money to spend on the above

Wednesday 22 June 2016

High Summer Stuff

 Sedge Warbler- an adult bringing food to young free flying birds 
 Still three Shovelers around- although no sign of any young. Also 6 Teal, 4-5 Gadwall and Pochard. Mute Swans on 100 acre are still sitting on eggs (presumably cold), three young have been lost on the North Lake but all is well on the Southern Lake with six young still. 
 Four Med Gulls flew over high today- also 1 Green Sandpiper on 100 acre- the autumn movements have started 
 A Common Tern- another migrant today 
 Female Mandarin on 100 acre on Jim's Pit
 Young Grey Wagtail- another breeding success 
 Anania perlucidalis- a first for the farmlands (thanks Steve from Surrey Moths for id confirmation). Been pretty good for moths in last few days.  
 Rosy Footman 
 Ephestia unicolorella (left) and something (right) 
 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix
 Large Red Damselfly- one or two in Gillian's Wildlife Garden 
 Fly sp- pretty distinctive, the abdomen looked like a lady bird? Gymnosoma rotundatum - new for site? 
Ichneumon wasp Amblyteles armatorius
 Wetland habitat east of the incinerator- currently being put forward for de-designation from MOL (where will all this end?) 
 Great Lettuce - I did well encouraging Gillian to keep this growing in her garden- a 'super-sized weed' - about 12ft high. I think it's a brilliant plant but after getting away with it for so long had to follow orders and dig it up. 
 Prickly Lettuce- similar to the Great Lettuce but basically prickly and not so great  
Hairy Tare? Growing on the Bedzed field 
Gillians Wildlife Garden - five years on this little bit of habitat is doing well and also aligned with neighbours efforts to improve their patches too- there now a nice little strip in this area. We planted this in 2011: PLANTING GILLIAN'S GARDEN
The new Sutton Council Plan also outlines proposals to re-designate this land. The only area of semi-natural grassland in the SINC. 
The bird group wildflower meadow has become an Ox-eye Daisy meadow- plenty of insects feeding on them 

Monday 20 June 2016

Summer Solstice

A short song from Thee Bryans.

About the requirement for unrequited and unconditional love for nature in the face of her complete indifference at best and punishment for all those who cross the line at worst.

Azores Nature Natural History Trip 2016

Holly's- the Old Vicarage

Started my bioblitz of Holly's garden. Not the best day for it and pouring down with rain all night and most of the morning so only got a couple of hours in. As suspected some interesting stuff lurking.

 Spotted Flycatcher- looks like they are breeding in the garden- at least two birds. Also Goldcrest singing. Great Spotted Woodpecker and Song Thrush holding territory and Kestrel in the paddock.
 Red Kites overhead 
 Brown Rustic in the moth trap last night. The feathered antennae are distinctive as are the white spots along the wing edge (a moth tick for me). Despite the very wet weather (local flooding) had Flame, Common Swift, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Brown House Moth and a couple of caddis. 
 Syrphus sp- two or three hoverfly species about 
 Mining bee sp
 Plenty of drenched Bumblebees
 The garden stream (who has a stream in their garden!) 
 Some stunning trees in the garden including this Weeping Willow
 The veranda garden- plenty of insects in this part of the garden 
Bryan's 1972 Morgan recently renovated- some great stuff around the Old Vicarage