Saturday, 27 May 2017

Local plants

Took a bike ride round the Gun Site, through the farmlands and into Beddington Park today. Not a lot in the way of birds but noticed a few plants and insects and Nick tipped us off about the orchids in Beddington Park. 

 Southern Marsh-orchids in Beddington Park 
 Oxeye Daisy field near the bird group hide 
The Obs wildlife garden 

Friday, 26 May 2017


Tom Brake is claiming he is going to continue protecting our local Green Spaces.
Despite countless correspondences and meetings with Tom Brake about the unfolding ecological collapse at Beddington Farmlands and the intrusion of waste management facilities across the coreland of the Regional Park by Viridor, Tom has never once ever on any occasion spoke out publicly or privately about the unfolding disaster, the continual illegal breach of environmental planning conditions by Viridor and the escalating degrading and decline of one of the largest and formerly most biodiverse green spaces in South London.
On the contrary he was a very vocal and prominent supporter of the Incinerator and a Viridor facilitator- the largest destroyer of green space in the borough.

Tom Brake:
 "Oaks Park is one of my favourite spots in Carshalton & Wallington. It's great to see a new dog-free play area for children and improvements to the cafe.
If re-elected, I'll continue to make sure our lovely green spaces are protected and enhanced."


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

First-summer White-winged Black Tern, Staines Reservoir

What a bird! 

The Big Year WP

Just in case you are not already following this year's most exciting Western Palearctic birding event:

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Jacob and the Beaver Hunt

Took Jacob on his first camper-vanning (mobile obsing) adventure this weekend, to Devon to see Jaffa and Helen and have a look for The River Otter Beavers. Mission successful (although his mum got a bit stressed while I was trying to moth catch and sound record at night while trying to assist in meeting the demands of a six week old too and also she kicked off when we took the buggy off road through a swampy path- Jacob seemed to love it and slept better in the camper than he does at home). 

We arrived Friday evening and I did a bit round the Ladram Bay camp site that we stayed in, Just a few House Martins overhead, Gannet and Fulmar at sea, Whimbrel and Oystercatcher calling at night and also a Bunting- presumably either Yellowhammer or Cirl Bunting calling at night (see sound files below).

Saturday morning I walked along the South West Coast path from Ladram Bay to Otterton Sewage Works- Cirl Buntings, Stonechats, Sand Martin, Swallows, Whitethroats and Brown Hares. In the afternoon we checked out Jaffa and Helen's wildlife garden, walked along the River Otter to Budleigh Salterton and in the evening we had a look on the river up from Otterton to find the Beavers. 

A few plants I didn't recognise along the coast and also plenty of garden plants around Budleigh which would be very unusual in these parts back home. Will have a look through the pics to see if I can identify any of them later (i.e stick them on I-spot). 

Here's a few weekend picture highlights: 

Female Beaver (known as Patricia) presumably pregnant with swollen teats. Amazing paddle tail, 
The size of a dog! 
Juvenile Dipper 
Rock Pipit (with prominent supercilium, if I saw that at Beddington in autumn I'd string it as a littoralis. This bird was singing and holding territory so presumably nominate petrosus). 
Roe Deer in wetland meadow 
Male Stonechat on Angelica hedges - a stunning bit of farmland between Ladram Bay and Budleigh- with singing Skylarks, Cirl Buntings, Stonechats and migrants. 
Ladram Bay cross bedding- if I remember right from my days studying environmental geology in these parts these are Triassic sandstones laid down in sand dunes at a time when south west England was a desert. The red colour is oxidized iron formed in the arid conditions. Fulmars nesting top left. 
Our Pitch Up at Ladram Bay- complete with moth trap (caught nothing as temperature down to 6 degrees at night). 
Jacob's nest in the front of the camper 
Jaffa and Helen 
Jaffa and Helen's wildlife pond- stunning Foxgloves 
Brilliant and original feature in the front garden with the front wall turned into a west country flowering 'lane bank'. Plenty of Short-tailed Field Voles using the bank. 
View over Ladram Bay 

Oystercatcher calling at night over the camper van and also a Bunting call- Yellowhammer? 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Plovers and Pugs

It's been a busy couple of days at work, got a birding bike ride in yesterday morning and also been keeping an eye out of the obs window. Had an Oystercatcher flying over the obs garden last week, the Iceland Gull sitting on the incinerator buildings and had six Ringed Plover fly north yesterday during a down pour. Also Common Sandpiper, Barn Owl and Little Ringed Plover calling at night and the moths are picking up a bit now in the evening. Had my first Common Blue of the year yesterday too. 

 Ringed Plover- traditionally Ringed Plovers continue moving through into mid-late May locally. The highest spring count was 34 on 18th May 1999
 Green Pug
Currant Pug. Also in the trap Silver-Y, Diamond-back Moth, Garden Pebble, Pale Mottled Willows, Marbled Minor, Clouded Silver and a couple of micros