Friday, 27 January 2023

Day in Kent

Another day in Kent, this time on Sheppey with Sue looking at various investment opportunities . Did a bit of incidental birding which was pretty impressive 6 Wild Swans (presumably Bewick's) , 180 White-fronted Geese, 140+ Red-throated Diver and 2 Hen Harrier was a good haul for stopping and scanning a couple of times. 

In other news met up with Zach on Wednesday at Beddington Farmlands- it's all still in limbo over there and apparently we photographed and recorded a moth species in West Papua which will be a first for I-Naturalist (if confirmed to research grade) which is quite sweet here and here . Seems like its a common species in West Papua (here) so all seems plausible. 

Back at the Old Vic, the moth year list is underway (we could be here for most of this year so might as well make the most of the good mothing here) - Pale Brindled Beauty, Mottled Umber and Winter Moth attracted to the lights on the side of the house. 

Also some of the Portuguese Rarities Committee reports and one paper that we contributed to have been added to mine and other committee members ResearchGate profiles so are now available to read HERE which hopefully will help them coming up in searches more easily. 

Finally my gambling is getting better (probably not for long) and my playing around with investing in green transition stocks and shares (admixed with shorter term stocks) has resulted in a position where I am only 0.16% down. Which is the closest I've ever got to actually breaking even. So still loosing but not as bad.   

...and even more finally (just catching up with the week's reading), seems like good news for wildlife farmers as DEFRA announces the new farm subsidies regime. It's not all the time I agree with the Guardian and George Monbiot but there seems to be a broad agreement that this is one of the advantages of Brexit. See HERE. For UK Naturalists, Brexit could have been critical , the EU Common Agricultural Policy was basically the single fundamental cause of nearly all the UK's biodiversity problems, these changes in farming policies enabled by Brexit could put the UK in a lead position to demonstrate a global model for sustainable farming. Indeed Brexit could affect the economic dominance of the UK but for anyone who has de-growth sympathies that might not be a bad thing. I always held the view that Brexit was the fastest, most dangerous and painful way to get to where we need to get to and staying in Europe was the long safer but more drawn out road.  It will be very ironic if Brexit proves to be the gateway for Leftist ambitions considering how vehemently that camp opposed it.  Will be good if that realisation addresses polarisation and brings people back to more central ground. Will see. All still early days.   

Here's another interesting development from this week- Triodos bank have loaned £5.2 million to a new wildlife charity (a re-wildling group) who intend to pay the money back through crowd-funding. HERE . Meanwhile in Scotland another millionaire re-wilder is forking out £10 million to get in on the action HERE. The nature conservation gold rush seems to be well and truly on- just got to get in on this!   

Adult Med Gull (aboves) at Shellness
Adult Common Gull- I need to revise the wing formula for Russian Common Gull so will do so as soon as i get five. Update 290123- I rarely get five and will synchronising nowadays so here's a tweet to show what I should be looking for from DS here. On this bird looks like black doesn't reach primary coverts on p8, there's a large mirror on p9, looks like a pale tongue tip to p7 and the markings on the head extending over the crown all look good for a European Common Gull 
These wild swans are being reported as Bewick's and they presumably are but were always at about a mile away so wouldn't put my life on it but look like it from this image too. However at least one of the young birds looked rather Whooper-like and I wasn't completely convinced they weren't a mixed group so hopefully others have had better more conclusive views. Pictured below with the group of White-fronted Geese. 

Brents- no shortage of these on the Swale
A confiding Turnstone at Shellness 
An obliging Little Egret 
View from Warden Point towards Shellness. What with the epic birding on Sheppey plus the Eocene geology containing bird fossils (been wanting to do a bit more paleobirding for a while now- I did make a start last year here but just got into moths too much ) it would be great to spend more time in this area. It's certainly one of our investment search areas. Off to Selsey/Pagham area next week to view some more investment opportunities. Considering we will be moving out of the Old Vic much much sooner than planned, will need to make some decisions on all this very soon. The previous plan has obviously been knackered (as all good plans tend towards) and still not clear yet on where this is all heading. It's between moving to either East Kent, Sheppey, Selsey or staying in Bucks/Oxon or a combination of two of these options.   

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