Sunday 30 June 2019

Weekend in Oxfordshire

A bit of crammed weekend as off to Uganda tonight in search of Shoebill and Gorillas but managed to get the heath trap out last night at the Old Vic, completed the Otmoor butterfly transect, planted out some Pumpkins with Jacob and helped out at Sunfest where Holly was hosting an art stall. 

 Another Privet Hawkmoth at the Old Vic 
 Scarlet Tiger in the trap- the first one I've had round here at light 
 Four-dotted Footman- I think a first for the Old Vic 
Holly's card stand at Sunfest- I think I ended up spending more on cheeseburgers and drinks in the 32 degrees than she made in sales. Here's Holly's online shop HERE

Well it is Sunday

The main problem is that green issues have been annexed and stolen by the left wing. Left, right and central politics is tribalism and the climate and ecological emergency is beyond tribes- it is beyond political tribes, beyond nation states, beyond left and right, beyond social groups, beyond race- this is the white walker threat, this is the threat of extinction of the entire species, this is death versus life.
While tribalism provides the human species with the ability to differentiate and specialise, it also provides the necessary compartmentalisation for self selective extinction. Those extremist elements of one tribe will conflict with other tribes and will self annihilate. It will be those individuals who are blinkered with hatred or blind obedience to hateful leaders that will choose to thin themselves out for the benefit of the whole species. Additionally some spiritual martyrs will also sacrifice themselves while highlighting options to the self destructive- who will destroy their rescuers.
Beyond politics, beyond tribalism there seems to be no better unifying concept than individual morality and the projection of positive or negative consciousness, actions motivated by emotions, emotions in the context of species level ideology and the recognition that goals should be set within the framework of one planet, one infinite nature, one human species, one chance.
The end (of the unsustainable capitalist dominated paradigm) really is near (within a generation or two) and the best chance of survival is for the right to deliver moral based (moderated by environmental and social indices) market force driven corporate structures, the left to provide the solutions to market failure and to deliver non-fiscal wealth generating structures and for the centrists to provide the bridge between the left and right.
In the meantime the forces of extremism; primarily fundamental capitalism but also fundamental religion, extreme liberalism and extreme tribalism/nationalism, extreme human-centrics will push the planet to the brink of the abyss, to the very edge of extinction of all life and all humans - where in the darkest hour, that final chance- everything will change and the new sustainable paradigm will be forged from that immense pressure in that immense global showdown, where unification, morality and faith will have to prevail in some shape and form to counter the threat of the emerging super human ruling class, a global dictatorship, mass enslavement, the collapse of global ecosystems and the destruction of Earth.
It will not be environmentalists or the left wing that save nature from the human threat (the biggest threat environmentalists face is the wishy washy hypocrites and extremist contingent of their own tribe). Only a pan-tribal, pan-political movement will do the job.

Saturday 29 June 2019

New moth trap set up

So I've managed to set up the Robinson's trap up in the moth room at the Beddington 'obs' by building a platform at the window. When I say platform I mean a table and a load of books with the trap balancing on top. 

Despite the recent hot days the nights have been cool and there has been a brisk east cool breeze and I haven't had a chance yet to see how well this will work. 

The highlight has been a Shoulder-striped Wainscot a new for year. 

The actinic conversion 
The MV conversion 
Shoulder-striped Wainscot 

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Big Moth Night

A muggy night at the Beddington Farmlands light trap produced the biggest night of the year so far with 77 species. A few highlights below.

Painted Ladys are undergoing an invasion at the moment with large numbers on the south coast and penetrating into Surrey and London. I'm seeing ones and twos more or less everywhere. The invasion is occurring right across Eurasia to at least as far East as the Caucasus. 

Spent most of the day working through the moths and also did a bit in the Obs garden. 

 Blue-bordered Carpet
 Silky Wainscot 
 Obscure Wainscot 
 Reddish Light Arches 
 Bulrush Veneer, Calamtropha paludella 
 Diamond-back Marble, Eudemis profundana (above and below) 

 Marbled Bell, Eucosma campoliliana
 Poplar Shoot, Gypsonoma oppressana ?No it's  Epinotia tenerana- thanks Billy Dykes once again !
Hawthorn Cosmet , Blastodacna hellerella
 Broad-barred White 
Common Yellow Conch,  Agapeta hamana
 Bud Moth, Spilonota ocellana 
 The Actinic set up last night 
 Viper's Bugloss outside the obs 
 Mints and Lavender in the obs garden 
Salvias, Snapdragons and wild Cut-leaved Cranesbill in the Obs garden 

Sunday 23 June 2019

Inside Croydon Wildlife Walk- Roundshaw Downs

A successful visit this morning to Roundshaw Downs with the Inside Croydon Readers group. Roundshaw Downs is part of the North Downs and the habitat is mainly Chalk Grassland with areas of scrub and a small area of Woodland. 

The weather was overcast and fairly cool with a brisk breeze. There were plenty of Skylarks singing and we managed to find a few Chalk Grassland specialities such as Small Blue Butterfly, Pyramidal Orchid, Greater Yellow Rattle, Knapweed Broomrape and good range of other plants and insects.

 Small Blue- we found two in the Paddocks
 Common Blue- a few of these. Other butterflies seen included 3 Painted Lady, Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Small White, Brimstone and Ringlet. Day flying moths included Yellow Shell, Burnet Companion and we also found a Heart and Dart.  
 Pyramidal Orchid was the plant highlight of the day. Other chalkland species included Greater Yellow Rattle and Yellow Rattle, Wild Marjoram, Kidney Vetch, Agrimony, Wild Mignonette, Wild Carrot, Hedge Bedstraw, Grass Vetchling and Knapweed Broomrape. 
 Grass Vetchling 
 Broomrape sp. (Knapweed Broomrape is a species listed  for Roundshaw Downs)
Sparrowhawk with what looks like a Great Tit. We also had Hobby, Kestrel and Roger saw a Red Kite. Other bird species included plenty of Skylarks, Whitethroats, the odd Blackcap, Swifts, Song Thrush, Starlings, good numbers of House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff and a few other common woodland species. 
 Inside Croydon Editor Steven Downs and Inside Croydon Readers Group 
 We also bumped into the local Quakers who offered lunch and exchanged a few wildlife sightings 
One from the Beddington Farmlands moth trap last night- Small Elephant Hawkmoth, a new one for the year 

Saturday 22 June 2019

Progress at Beddington Farmlands

A relentless busy week but with some good tangible progress. I did five hours at the Farmlands today- finally mustering up the energy to go to the Bedddington Lane entrance and go through sign in process. Viridor have been making good progress with the restoration at the farmlands with the wet grassland habitat coming along well, the hides are now in place and connected to the permissive path , the fencing and tree planting along the cycle ways is really coming along and the enclosures and maintenance of the southern mound is well developed. The last landfill cell has now been capped and is ready for restoration.

On our side of the reserve, the side that Viridor/Council are trying to prevent us from developing so that they can use the nature reserve to promote their incinerator, things are not going so well as we missed a deadline for a £97,000 funding bid as the council as usual failed to provide the necessary support. This week we did some maintenance work on the Hackbridge entrance and also helped out the Social Orchards project- not a lot more we can do while Viridor and the Council conspire agaisnt the local community. 

The big news of the week is a brand new Robinson's Moth Trap with MV and Actinic conversions. After years of my safari trap and small Heath Trap, I decided to finally go pro. 

 The new hide over looking the Wet Grassland 
 The Wet Grassland area 
 Wet Grassland area looking east 
 The Southern Mound grassland and copse mosaic
 The Beddington Farmlands entrance at Hackbridge after a Little Oak makeover (above and below)

The Social Orchards Project has fallen behind so we spent Friday strimming around the trees to reduce the competition on the establishing trees 
 Pale Water Venner, Donacaula forticella (above and below). A first for the farmlands I do believe. A local species, a reed bed specialist 

 Bordered Sallow- the second for the farmlands 
Cock's Head Bell, Zeiraphera isertana (I think)- if so the second for the farmlands 

 Still working on this one Pexicopia malvella- thanks Billy!
 Heart and Club (above) and Heart and Dart (below) showing the different diagnostic eye brow pattern

Painted Lady
 New Robinson's Trap 
Couldn't fit the new trap on the Window sill so I tried just hanging the actinic unit at the window to see if it would increase the catch in the safari trap. It didn't work and actually reduced the catch in the safari and all the moths and insects were scattered around the room. Will try something else tonight.