Monday 27 February 2017

The Beddington Farmlands Bird Group Effort

I did some calculations today on the work of the bird group. Here's a summary of what we do and the hours spent on it: 

RECORDING (Birds, butterflies, moths and other taxa, including British Trust for Ornithology BBS, WeBS Surveys and on-going ringing effort)  
25 (max) bird group members, approximately 5044 hours per annum

REPORTING (Daily news, website, social media, national recording schemes and comprehensive annual report). 
Reporting team of 5, approximately 250 hours per annum 

PHOTOGRAPHY (For promotional material, reports and photo specimen collecting)
2 main photographers, approximately 728 hours per annum 

TOURS, TALKS AND WALKS (6 tours a years)
2 guides, approximately 48 hours per annum

PRESENTATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS (Carshalton Environmental Fair and other local events)
Team of 3-4, approximately 30 hours per annum (including prep) 

ADMINISTRATION AND MEETINGS (BFBG Exec Comm meetings, CSG,  CAMC and Local Community Forum meetings. Also group accountancy and membership administration)
1-2 people, approximately 48 hours per annum 
2 people (accounts and admin), approximately 24 hours per annum 

CONSERVATION (Small local projects including Tree Sparrows, maintaining access to Mile Road entrance, bird group wild flower meadow by hide, bird feeders etc)
Small team approximately 45 hours per annum 

CAMPAIGNING AND CONSULTATION (Response to public consultation and planning applications, campaigning for public engagement in planning process, publicising issues through national media etc)
1-2 people, approximately 100 hours per annum

This picture is mainly the Green Party but we had members here and work closely with other local groups

In total that is around 6000 volunteer hours every year.

A phenomenal effort for an independent local group.  

Sunday 26 February 2017

This weekend

 Juvenile/first-winter Iceland Gull- the same bird that has been present since December and has been seen on the Thames and Walton Reservoirs.  
 Buzzard over the Gun Site. This bird has set up a territory in this area.
 Great Spotted Woodpecker. No sign of the Lesser Spotted in the oak wood but a couple of Greens. 
The removal of 100 acre and Irrigation Bridge concluded today. The only access points now to the farmlands from the west are the Gun Site bridge and Mile Road Bridge. A long distance between the bridges  (I took this photo by standing on the Gun Site Bridge and looking towards Mile Road Bridge which you just about see in the distance) which will not assist encouraging public access. Hopefully a replacement bridge will be forthcoming.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Bridge Demolition Day

Despite years of campaigning to save these bridges for access to the developing reserve, today the demolition begins.Please see mini-movie below about the bridges story and also please sign the petition: 

Friday 24 February 2017

Thursday 23 February 2017


Looks like the same juv/first-winter Iceland Gull is still around. The bird has very contrasting white primaries, visible in this vid when the bird preens. 

Tuesday 21 February 2017

The Old Vicarage Works

 Toby removing a hanger from a Willow
 Removal of an Ash growing on the brook bank and unfortunately too close to the house and small bridge so had to be felled
 Several log piles were created around the site
 Excess material and arising were incinerated 

 The Old Vicarage recording areas 
The Old Vicarage in Summer

Spent today doing some tree work at the Old Vicarage. We felled an Ash, lifted the trees along the drive, removed some hangers and cleared a lot of brush piles and created some log piles.

Hopefully will return soon to open up the wild area and vegetable patch area by removing some conifer stumps and excess vegetation. Bryan and James are up for doing some landscaping which will be exciting- a stunning space with loads of potential for improvements and also creating some nice habitats.

Sunday 19 February 2017

More Viridor Bullshit

Early Spring at Thursley

Stonechat and Dartford Warblers

Went with Dave Lambert to Thursley to have a listen to the Woodlarks, Dartford Warblers, Crossbills, Siskins, Stonechats and Skylarks warming up for Spring.

Here's a couple of sound recordings by Dave.

Red Crossbill
Dartford Warbler

Saturday 18 February 2017

Glauc again

A few bits on the farmlands today; the juvenile Glaucous Gull again, 4 Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 9 Shelduck and 4 Greylag Geese.

A bit of excitement with the Beddington Farmlands Ringing Group over last couple of days:

Wednesday 15 February 2017


Tufted Duck x Pochard hybrid

The hybrid was on the Northern Lake again today and also the Black Swan. What with the Ross's Goose and Barnacle Goose I had at Otmoor on Monday it's been a week of whacky wildfowl.

Also had the juvenile Glaucous Gull from the obs window this morning. 

Monday 13 February 2017

Otmoor Visit

 Golden Plovers and Lapwings 
Red Kite and Lapwings

Spent the morning at Otmoor. Impressive numbers of winter birds including 3000+ Lapwing, 3000+ Golden Plover, 1 Hen Harrier, 2 Marsh Harrier and a Barnacle Goose and a Ross's Goose amongst the Canada and Greylags. 

Saturday 11 February 2017

AZORES PELAGIC 2017- Booking Now

A few places are still available on the Azores Pelagic 2017.

Monteiro's Petrel and Swinhoe's Petrel have been recorded on all of the six trips since 2012.

Option 1: Saturday 26th August to Saturday 2nd September including Azores Bullfinch £1540
Option 2: Sunday 27th August to Friday 1st September (Pelgaic Only)  £879

For more information email me at

Monteiro's Petrel- the main target species of the trip. We visit at a time where the cool season breeding 'Grant's Petrel' can also be encountered. (Gareth Knass) 
Swinhoe's Petrel- recorded on all of the last six trips
Wilson's Petrel- recorded on all 8 trips since 2010 with upto 15 birds (Richard Bonser) 
Barolo's Shearwater- recorded in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015
Great Shearwaters. Up to 300 Great Shearwaters on some trips. Cory's Shearwater is an abundant resident. 
The Azores Pelagics have thrown up a few surprises including this Zino's Petrel in 2012. (Harro Muller) 
This South Polar Skua was recorded in 2014 (Richard Bonser) 
 Sooty Tern breed on Praia islet in some years and have been recorded in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Azores Bullfinch- this endemic species is possible to see in the extended version of the tour 
Cetaceans are frequently encountered including rare sightings such as breaching Sowerby's Beaked Whales (Richard Bonser) 
Spotted Dolphins (Vincent Legrand) 
Sperm Whales- a frequently encountered resident species 
Loggerhead Turtle- recorded on most trips
Blue Shark and Pilot Fish are frequently encountered 


2014 team

Read More about it: (Birdwatch Article 2014)  

TRIP REPORT 2016 by Josh Jones 

For more information or to book a place please email me:

Friday 10 February 2017

A few Butterflies from Ghana

 Thanks to id from Isaac Nkator FB PAGE HERE
African Beak
African Emigrant
Black Spotted Ciliate Blue
Clouded Flat
Common Bematistes
Common Commodore
Common Cremy Glider (Female) 
Common Grass Yellow
Common Missile 
Common Orange Sprite
Common Pathfinder 
Common Tiger 
Constricted Club Dot Sailor 
Cream Flat
Dark Blue Pansy
False Tiger (male) 
Forest Mother of Pearl 
Forest Pied Pierrot
Hairstreak possibly Large Fiary
Large Vagrant
Veined Swallowtail and Swordtails
Wandering Donkey 
Widespread Forester