It's been a real struggle to get out in the field recently what with the constant volley of storms and work commitments. Its been difficult finding dry nights to get the moth trap out too.
Oak Beauty at the farmlands last week
Acleris sp (ferrugana?) at the farmlands last week
Resorted to night birding on Thursday after running out of day light hours to go birding. I met up with Steve W and Tomos and we did the park boundary, along the permissive footpath and then Mitcham Common Boundary- not a single sight or sound of any owls. We disturbed lots of roosting Woodpigeons (or is that a Stock Dove above?). Got to try out my new owling torch- a Fenix TK32 which has a tri-colour source which is more sensitive for wildlife beaming
View from the wet grassland hide at night
Maintenance works have started on the Northern Lake. Up until a couple of years ago we used to do this work See here and here but due to our campaigning activity that was taken from us (the necessary sacrifice for any company in our position- nature first, money second). We used to do it for absolute bottom price and also top up the work with volunteer forces but now they are using non-local sub-contractors who also are approaching it with large machinery rather than sensitively. It must be costing them a fortune! Anyway 117 Snipe and 16 Jack Snipe are currently on the SW island, Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler have bred on there and we have had rarities like Hoopoe even feeding in the vegetation that we used to manage. Now (with the blessing of the Conservation Science Group- which I was also booted off for speaking out for science and conservation) they want to clear all vegetation and destroy all the habitat for the Snipe and target species. I've logged my objection to the work proposal but as usual there are just too many people involved at Beddington Farmlands with too many vested interests and too much conflict and personal vendettas- once again the wildlife is set to loose out and someone is going to make a load of money- and once again with the blessing of many of the bird group and the local community stakeholders. I was nominated for local hero in the Birdwatch Local Champion awards this month which is quite ironic.