Been a busy few days, did a couple of days in London working, visited the farmlands and went to see a show with Fran in Central London, more family days out this weekend (Black Country Museum, a break from a nature themed attraction) and trying to keep up with everything at the Old Vic. Spent all day today doing stuff round here, starting with moths and quick bird survey, cleaning and filling the feeders , then had to prune the pumpkin plants, dig out a load of potatoes, harvest carrots and tomatoes, muck out the chickens, clean the aquariums and also move the small aquarium from Jacob's room to the office ahead of Jacob starting year 2 school next week.
Mark Constantine called last week with the exciting news that Roy Dennis and Co are looking into the possibility of a high profile bird reintroduction project in London . We shared some ideas and I’ve put out feelers for feedback too. Fingers crossed this develops further with the possibility of Beddington being involved .
Less than two weeks before the trip to West Papua so still preparing for that . The Azores pelagic ended yesterday - sounds like a good success (see my Twitter for reposts ). Basically all good on all fronts .
The mini-farm, in our attempt to keep the whole thing 'chaining', Bryan has put in a load of broad beans that are beginning to grow. Still got Sweet corn and Pumpkins to come and loads more Tomatoes, Cabbages, Green Peppers and Potatoes, Runner beans, Apples and Pears and Carrots. This year in addition to the above we've had Beetroot, Sugar snap peas, Broad Beans, Early Potatoes, Plums, Strawberries, Raspberries and Gooseberries (a bad year for them), Lettuce, Rocket, Garlic and Onions. Can't wait for the Chickens to start laying eggs (should be November).
The prize potato harvested today
Pruned the Pumpkin plants today- we've got about 10 of these this year (from over 20 plants) so not a great year (we did put them in quite late) but some of the first food we've grown from our own seeds from the previous year
Not sure if our cockerel is a pedigree Light Sussex with brown areas appeared recently around the nape and scapulars. Still a good looking bird though and after a bit of practising over the last two or three weeks it's now doing full on 6am cockadoodles. If the neighbours complain will have to eat it for xmas and just keep the hens for eggs. The tails feathers have grown now, an incredible rate of growth, born in early June and it's already nearly mature and the three hens we've got should start laying around six months (November)
Literally shocked to see that this Yellow-bellied Toad is still alive and well in the Paludarium. We haven't seen it for about four months. Amazing that even a tiny microcosm habitat can have pretty big secrets.
Another surprise in the Paludarium was this wax moth that has pupated from the wax worm grubs we feed the Common Frogs. It did well to get to adult stage (but was eaten soon after). Not quite a Bioactive system yet but one small step closer.
Dark Spectacle- don't get too many of these
A couple of these recently, Common Marbled Carpets (second brood presumably)
I presume just a Square-spot Rustic variant. More of these appearing now. Still getting 250 moths a night but only of 40 or 50 species and mainly dominated by five or six species. Still getting good numbers of Rush Veneers but looks like moth migration has shifted back to being concentrated on coast during these low pressure systems, there's been huge number of migrants at places like Portland but no corresponding up tick here. The best migrant period here was during that sustained period of high pressure where we were disproportionally doing well here in relative terms to the coast (with not that much going on there).
Feathered Gothic- new for year
The closest I can get to this is Ginger Button
A couple of gelechiids- the one above I think is Dark Groundling and the one below another Beet Moth (had three of these in what appears to have been an influx last night with numbers reported in other sites in the Upper Thames area) . Update 300822- nope they are both Beet Moths (thanks Stephen Palmer).