Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Inside Croydon Article

Dragonflies on the menu today

 Willow Emerald Damselfly I presume- three along the permitted footpath along the Northern Lake. I had a tip off from Gordon Hay that they were out in force at Holmethorpe and presumably would be at the farmlands too. Graham Spinks found the first one for the farmlands last year but these three represent the first sighting since and a Beddington lifer for me- 30 years in the game man and boy and still seeing new things most times I go out - Cheers Gordon! 
 Migrant Hawker- about 15-20 across the site today 
 Common Darter- a few of these around too. 

Spent the rest of the afternoon watching this Hobby eating the above: 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Otmoor and the Old Vic

Despite the failed Bird Fair mission still managed to get over to Otmoor and do some moth trapping this weekend and had some interesting activity at the Old Vicarage. Otmoor check list HERE.

Second calender year male Hen Harrier at Otmoor moulting to first adult plumage with retained juvenile feathers in secondaries, outer primaries and coverts. 
Looks like most of the tail is moulted with dark tips to the central retrices. 
Retained juvenile feathers on mantle and scapulars . This bird has been around since the winter (see picture below taken in January 2017 which is presumably the same bird). In this current transitional plumage it could potentially be mistaken at distance for one of the other male Harriers as it does show dark markings on the underparts (could suggest Monty's) and also restricted dark in wing (could suggest Pallid). 
Presumed same male Hen Harrier in juvenile plumage (January 2017)
 The Greenaway Cranes at Otmoor. Last year the breeding season pair left in mid-August so expecting them to depart soon 
 Quite an influx of Lapwing this week with over 140. Also 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Snipe and 1 Greenshank. Otmoor life list now on 117 (HERE)
 A few good moths this weekend including Poplar Hawkmoth and Dusky Thorn amongst the usual mix of Setaceous Hebrew Character, Brimstone, Agriphila geniculea, Agriphila straminella, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Common Wainscot. 
Agriphila selasella ??
Found this dead Bordered Beauty in the toilet at the Old Vic. 
Reeve's Muntjac feeding under the Apple tree in the Old Vic garden today! Also had at least two and most probably 3 Spotted Flycatchers in the garden. 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bird Fair aborted mission

Planned to go to the Bird Fair today but I think the Universe was sending us a clear message to stay away after over sleeping, then traffic and then the sat nav sending us to some cul-de-sac in Northhampton and then it was Jacob's feeding time so we had to stop at Frankie and Bennies when the main reason we were going to the Bird Fair was for a hot dog anyway. So we aborted and went to Wilko instead.

I've enjoyed the Bird Fair in the past and great to meet up with friends and colleagues. However what with social media now it's like there is a constant minute to minute, 24/7, 365 days a year Bird Fair, with regular updates and engagement with friends from all over the world and announcements from natural history companies of new products, books, trips and news of most recent natural history discoveries and conservation issues. It's pretty epic- a permanent network which has proven to be utilised very effectively in all manner of birding matters from daily rarity news to coordinating conservation campaigns.

However there is a limit to the social media network- you can't get a hot dog (or a drink with your mates) so I guess the physical Bird Fair is indispensable and here to stay too.

Also as far as I'm concerned the network that has evolved is just the beginning and in the future we will see the emergence of a well defined nucleus/HQ for that network and also the configuration with other communities that have shared objectives with the birding/natural history community to oppose and replace the run away system currently wreaking havoc over nature and human well being .

The writing is already on the wall- the Alliance for Nature (51 conservation organisations working towards a single campaign), the bio-diversification of birding and integration with the wider natural history community, the politicisation of birding, the appearance of Generals (like Avery, Packham and McRobert), the working towards a final global taxonomy, the appearance of global recording networks like Ebird, natural history technology etc etc- it's part of an immense reorganisation, part of globalisation and in the future will evolve into a new system that governs and manages Nature and will replace/ integrate with the current system.

Nature eventually will be governed and managed by the natural history community and not 'government departments'- which are simply archaic structures desperately clinging on to life. As the negative consequences of system failure escalate the resulting chaos will keep driving the changes forward and in my opinion some of the most important changes will be very very rapid during a period of maximum failure.

So no matter who is who in birding/natural history from the NGOS,  universities, the bird groups, the facebook groups, the twitter community, the information services, technology suppliers,  the narcissists and their sycophants, the recorders, the white walkers, the listers etc etc etc a great re-organisation is under way that involves everyone, good, bad and ugly (particularly ugly in our community)- a selection, a distillation, an evolution, a revolution.

A new system is evolving- I just hope the vegetarians aren't really some form of advanced life form or else I'm going to miss my Hot Dog.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Scarce Bordered Straw - First for Beddington Farmlands

 Scarce Bordered Straw- a first for the farmlands last night. Identified by Steve Gale (Cheers Steve!). An immigrant from Southern Europe/ North Africa that occurs mainly in Southern Britain as an annual migrant in variable numbers. Increasing since the 1990s. 
 Red Underwing- at the old Vicarage

 Vine's Rustic (on left, the most numerous species in the trap at the moment with up to 15 a night) and Scalloped Oak  
Wheatear- on the mound at the farmlands in the week 

Hackbridge Neighbourhood Plan out for Consultation

Friday, 18 August 2017

Little Oak Environmental Management Consultancy

So that we can provide our customers with a complete 'one stop shop' service we now offer green space management plans, green space design, tree reports and ecological surveys in addition to fully costed works for all aspects of green space management and the undertaking and completion of those works.

Basically for any work in the garden, communal garden, church yards, schools, nature reserve, park or any other green space- give us a call.