Tuesday 29 August 2017

Thee Bryans- 17th March 2018 Live


17th March 2018

Here's a sample- this song goes nuts at about 2.47 mins. 

Nature Conservation Activism Model

Tidied up this graphic on nature conservation activism.

Here's an extract from a previous blog post on the content of that activism- the aims and objectives and some of the mechanisms/ instruments involved in achieving those aims and objectives:  

For the State of Nature Alliance  to deliver the objectives set out in their Response for Nature which can include specific objectives such as :

1) A Nature and Well Being Act to redefine the important of nature within society
2) Compulsory natural history education and regular engagement with nature reserves within the National curriculum
3) Mandatory biodiversity provisions for all new development e.g. habitat creation, housing design to accommodate wildlife, wildlife gardening etc, green roofs. Also to extend to industrial development. 
4) Mandatory biodiversity provisions (stewardship) for all agricultural activity (including upland management) e.g. biodiversity strips, hedges, set aside, sacrificial crops, reduction in intensive practises etc
5) Mandatory biodiversity standards for all imports from abroad and for production of all goods- e.g conservation grade accreditation schemes
6) Strengthening of enforcement powers by planning authorities to enforce mitigation measures and ecological conditions onto powerful corporations including greater powers in s106 and community infrastructure levy agreements
7) Strengthening of the nature conservation network with increased protection powers for SPAs, LNRs, SINCs etc. No development means no development!
8) Specific area targets for nature reserves and nature corridors to be met by given dates e.g.50% of all land area to be managed within biodiversity frameworks and e.g. 15% of all land to be nature reserves
9) Specific targets for marine reserves too
10) Strengthening of wildlife law and enforcement

Most importantly these objectives can only be implemented in an environment of systemic change which includes:

1) Electoral and constitutional reform to provide a more representative and fairer democratic system that represents not primarily elitist/captialists interests (generally anti-nature) (see Green party attempts at introducing this in the last election)
2) Control on lobbying powers of corporations to prevent corporations buying policies that suit them- effectively populating decision making committees with socio-environmentalists
3) Control on growing inequality, which leads to power bias (often anti-nature)- capping CEO wages, controlling the bonus culture, increasing wages across the population (and extra money for conservationists!), controlling the housing market and creating genuinely affordable housing
4) Basically controlling fundamental capitalism and introducing triple bottom line indices to manage company performances - which should be based on economic, social and environmental performance
5) Re-defining societal values and developing advanced futures 

Sunday 27 August 2017

Beddington weekend

Spent this weekend at the London pad as tomorrow we have a work exhibition at the Carshalton Environmental Fair. Caught up with the 2017 Beddington report, did some work around the obs garden, caught up with the backlog of unidentified micro moths and also working on getting all our data onto national recording schemes (our Ebird profile is coming on well thanks to Amy HERE).

The long term plan is to digitise sufficient data onto the national and international recording schemes so the farmlands biodiversity details are available in any scientific searches which if required can lead back to our databases which contain fine grained information. In theory these biodiversity recording schemes should be feeding data into the planning system to steer planning decisions so important that all our data is available to these schemes especially the Biological Records Centre- there is a statutory requirement for planners to search this as part of the planning process. The planning system is far from perfect but important we have done all we can our end. Presumably in the future these recording schemes will play a more important role in the decision making process. 

Had a bit of walkabouts too, here's a few pics: 

 Common Buzzard- this once local mega is now resident. There's at least one bird on Parkside and one by the Gunsite and a regular one outside my window over Irrigation Bridge
 Willow Emerald Damselfly- two on Mile Road Bridge today. Looks like this species has a small population now- the first record was last year. The species is spreading across the county so its arrival was anticipated. 
 A Beddington lifer- Forest Bug Pentatoma rufipes. 
 Adult and Juvenile (below) Green Woodpecker in the obs garden 

The cladding is going on the incinerator- I hope its fire proof! 

Azores Pelagic 2017- this week

The Azores pelagic 2017 goes out this week led by Pierre Andre-Crochet. Will be very interesting to see what they get. I can't make it this year as on baby duties at home. Here's what we've been up to in the past (Click for Birding Frontiers article):

Monteiro's Storm Petrel by Gareth Kness- the entire world population is confined to the island of Graciosa on the Azores. The main target of our pelagic and one for WP and World Listers. 
 Swinhoe's Petrel- recorded on all six trips since 2012. One for the WP listers. Also we regularly get 'Grant's Storm Petrel' (the cool season breeding band-rumped Petrel), Barolo's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm Petrel and Bulwer's Petrel in addition to a few vagrants (see article) 
 Sowerby's beaked Whales by Rich Bonser- see the table on the Birding Frontiers article about the impressive range of cetaceans also seen on these trips : BIRDING FRONTIERS- AZORES PELAGICS
 Heading out

Saturday 26 August 2017

Recent Beddington insects

 Tawny-barred Angle- the second record for the farmlands following one in August 2014
Female Oak Bush-cricket with sickle shaped ovipositor (see comments- these are actually Southern Oak Bush-crickets, which differ from Oak Bush Crickets most significantly by the very small wings- they are flightless More here. Considering the light trap is on the third floor- it must have been quite an effort for these to get up here! ) 
Male Oak Bush-cricket with twin pincer like cerci at tip of abdomen. Oak Bush-crickets are attracted to the light trap. In addition to moths and bush-crickets the trap also attracts  green lacewings, caddisflies, water boatmen, leafhoppers, wasps, lots of diptera species (mainly midges but also occasional centurion flies and hoverflies) and  various beetles (image below shows some that I collected and were identified by our local beetle expert Bettlejuice Roger Booth). 

Still working on it - Surrey moths is going for gypsonoma sociana (cheers Stevie)
 Marbled Piercer ? 
White-bodied Conch Cochylis hybridella
Still working on it. Got a shout out for  Batrachedra praeangusta from Surrey moths. 
Yellow-barred Brindle (first for year) and Burnished Brass of the f.aurea form where the broad brown central cross-band is entire (in the other form f.juncta the band is broken). 

Thursday 24 August 2017

Clifden Nonpareil

Twitched this beauty at Steve Gale's this evening- absolutely stunning. Finders account HERE

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Night recording

Had a couple of waders last night calling from the farmlands during the thunderstorm conditions. The Curlew was the first for the year. Also had Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Grey Heron, Magpie and lake birds calling.

Sonogram of Greenshank call showing the typical triplet call and also an alarm call 

Curlew sonogram (in red box) showing two note rising pitch call

The obs night monitoring kit- moth trap, bat detector and sound recording equipment at the lab window

Inside Croydon Article

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Dragonflies on the menu today

 Willow Emerald Damselfly I presume- three along the permitted footpath along the Northern Lake. I had a tip off from Gordon Hay that they were out in force at Holmethorpe and presumably would be at the farmlands too. Graham Spinks found the first one for the farmlands last year but these three represent the first sighting since and a Beddington lifer for me- 30 years in the game man and boy and still seeing new things most times I go out - Cheers Gordon! 
 Migrant Hawker- about 15-20 across the site today 
 Common Darter- a few of these around too. 

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching this Hobby eating the above: 

Monday 21 August 2017

Otmoor and the Old Vic

Despite the failed Bird Fair mission still managed to get over to Otmoor and do some moth trapping this weekend and had some interesting activity at the Old Vicarage. Otmoor check list HERE.

Second calender year male Hen Harrier at Otmoor moulting to first adult plumage with retained juvenile feathers in secondaries, outer primaries and coverts. 
Looks like most of the tail is moulted with dark tips to the central retrices. 
Retained juvenile feathers on mantle and scapulars . This bird has been around since the winter (see picture below taken in January 2017 which is presumably the same bird). In this current transitional plumage it could potentially be mistaken at distance for one of the other male Harriers as it does show dark markings on the underparts (could suggest Monty's) and also restricted dark in wing (could suggest Pallid). 
Presumed same male Hen Harrier in juvenile plumage (January 2017)
 The Greenaway Cranes at Otmoor. Last year the breeding season pair left in mid-August so expecting them to depart soon 
 Quite an influx of Lapwing this week with over 140. Also 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Snipe and 1 Greenshank. Otmoor life list now on 117 (HERE)
 A few good moths this weekend including Poplar Hawkmoth and Dusky Thorn amongst the usual mix of Setaceous Hebrew Character, Brimstone, Agriphila geniculea, Agriphila straminella, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Common Wainscot. 
Agriphila selasella ??
Found this dead Bordered Beauty in the toilet at the Old Vic. 
Reeve's Muntjac feeding under the Apple tree in the Old Vic garden today! Also had at least two and most probably 3 Spotted Flycatchers in the garden. 

Sunday 20 August 2017

Bird Fair aborted mission

Planned to go to the Bird Fair today but I think the Universe was sending us a clear message to stay away after over sleeping, then traffic and then the sat nav sending us to some cul-de-sac in Northhampton and then it was Jacob's feeding time so we had to stop at Frankie and Bennies when the main reason we were going to the Bird Fair was for a hot dog anyway. So we aborted and went to Wilko instead.

I've enjoyed the Bird Fair in the past and great to meet up with friends and colleagues. However what with social media now it's like there is a constant minute to minute, 24/7, 365 days a year Bird Fair, with regular updates and engagement with friends from all over the world and announcements from natural history companies of new products, books, trips and news of most recent natural history discoveries and conservation issues. It's pretty epic- a permanent network which has proven to be utilised very effectively in all manner of birding matters from daily rarity news to coordinating conservation campaigns.

However there is a limit to the social media network- you can't get a hot dog (or a drink with your mates) so I guess the physical Bird Fair is indispensable and here to stay too.

Also as far as I'm concerned the network that has evolved is just the beginning and in the future we will see the emergence of a well defined nucleus/HQ for that network and also the configuration with other communities that have shared objectives with the birding/natural history community to oppose and replace the run away system currently wreaking havoc over nature and human well being .

The writing is already on the wall- the Alliance for Nature (51 conservation organisations working towards a single campaign), the bio-diversification of birding and integration with the wider natural history community, the politicisation of birding, the appearance of Generals (like Avery, Packham and McRobert), the working towards a final global taxonomy, the appearance of global recording networks like Ebird, natural history technology etc etc- it's part of an immense reorganisation, part of globalisation and in the future will evolve into a new system that governs and manages Nature and will replace/ integrate with the current system.

Nature eventually will be governed and managed by the natural history community and not 'government departments'- which are simply archaic structures desperately clinging on to life. As the negative consequences of system failure escalate the resulting chaos will keep driving the changes forward and in my opinion some of the most important changes will be very very rapid during a period of maximum failure.

So no matter who is who in birding/natural history from the NGOS,  universities, the bird groups, the facebook groups, the twitter community, the information services, technology suppliers,  the narcissists and their sycophants, the recorders, the white walkers, the listers etc etc etc a great re-organisation is under way that involves everyone, good, bad and ugly (particularly ugly in our community)- a selection, a distillation, an evolution, a revolution.

A new system is evolving- I just hope the vegetarians aren't really some form of advanced life form or else I'm going to miss my Hot Dog.

Saturday 19 August 2017

Scarce Bordered Straw - First for Beddington Farmlands

 Scarce Bordered Straw- a first for the farmlands last night. Identified by Steve Gale (Cheers Steve!). An immigrant from Southern Europe/ North Africa that occurs mainly in Southern Britain as an annual migrant in variable numbers. Increasing since the 1990s. 
 Red Underwing- at the old Vicarage

 Vine's Rustic (on left, the most numerous species in the trap at the moment with up to 15 a night) and Scalloped Oak  
Wheatear- on the mound at the farmlands in the week 

Hackbridge Neighbourhood Plan out for Consultation

Friday 18 August 2017

Little Oak Environmental Management Consultancy

So that we can provide our customers with a complete 'one stop shop' service we now offer green space management plans, green space design, tree reports and ecological surveys in addition to fully costed works for all aspects of green space management and the undertaking and completion of those works.

Basically for any work in the garden, communal garden, church yards, schools, nature reserve, park or any other green space- give us a call.

BBC Newsnight: Economic Growth is Killing Us

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Otmoor yesterday

A very pleasant Otmoor visit with Jacob yesterday. Ebird list HERE.

 Common Crane- one of the local birds on Greenaways
 Whinchats- five and one Wheatear at Noke . 
 A couple of Greenshanks flying over Greenaways. This weekend had Osprey, Whinchat and Greenshank as Otmoor ticks- Otmoor list now on 115 species HERE
 The fields were being hay cut attracting Red Kites. Here's an adult with moult advanced to p6 with p7 to 10 still old. The tail is in heavy moult with several retrices still in pin. 
 Red Kite adult- same bird as above. Ageing is confirmed by dark streaks down breast. 
 A younger bird showing white blotches/streaks on breast with some adult type streaks beginning to show. This bird is also in active primary moult with p6 still growing. A full juvenile from this year would be in pristine plumage with no moult limits so this bird is a second calender year bird 
 Flounced Rustic? At the Old Vicarage moth light. 
Flame Carpet at the Old Vicarage. The Old Vicarage bioblitz is now up to 502 species (IRECORD DATA HERE ).