Sunday, 27 July 2014


 Tufted Duck with young- was getting a bit worried that no broods of Tufted Ducks but two broods have appeared in last few days
 Goldfinch flocks are building now- up to 60+ around, also a few Linnet and 1 Skylark on the mound
 Six-spot Burnet- still 30+ on the mound
 Small Tortoiseshell - good numbers still around
 Toadflax Pug (I think- first for farmlands if so)
 Dichrorampha vancouverana (first for farmlands if correct id)
 Grapholita lunulana (If correct- a first for the farmlands)
Purple Loose-strife and Mustard flowering on the Northern Lake

Had a walk for the Hackbridge locals today but only one local resident turned up. Luckily a few others from further a field were there so we had a look over 100 acre and ended up on the mound.
4 Common Sandpiper, only 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 3 Teal and good numbers of Butterflies.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Graduation Day

Went to my sister's graduation yesterday. She's hoping to specialise in nature-themed therapy.
Ian Redmond was awarded an honorary degree for his life time achievement in conservation. He has worked with Diane Fossey and Gorillas in the mist and loads of other stuff:  IAN REDMOND
(quiet dissident voice- considering the plight of the world's biodiversity, has anyone achieved anything in conservation worthy of merit ??).
I sometimes watch all this stuff and can't help but think it is actually part of the problem? Its like an industry of good will, awards, gestures, 'great' achievements and 'great' ideas. I guess it has its place- but just can't help thinking although it appears all this stuff is at the top of conservation society values, it is actually the bottom of priorities for protecting biodiversity. The priority is reaching the majority of the population and developing a common sense of value for biodiversity so that consideration for nature is ingrained in all behaviour .In an anthropogenic evolving world- nothing but that will preserve biodiversity.
Exclusion and intimidating elitism is the enemy of that. It's like there is some kind of delusion/ paradox going on here.
The war for protecting Biodiversity is being lost (there is complete agreement on that), despite there being over-whelming popular and democratic support to protect it.
Are the official protectors and leadership actually (un-conscious) agents of decline? I think they probably have to be if the war is being lost.
Latest pissing in the wind from BBC
The most sincere of congratulations to my sister and welcome to the war- not the party?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Hen Harrier Day August 10th

As far as I know this will be the first time that birders in the UK will be taking the fight to save birds to the streets. Needless to say I'm going to be there.

Monday, 21 July 2014

A lot of moths

 Jersey Tiger
 Marbled Beauty
 Acrobasis advenella
 Catoptria pinella
 Least Yellow Underwing (first for me)
Epinotia nisella (thanks to Sean from Surrey Moths) . First for the farmlands.
 Argyresthia sp ?
Recurvaria leucatella (thanks Surrey Moths). A first for the farmlands.
Eucosma hohenwartiana (thanks to Surrey Moths). A first for the farmlands.
 Bud Moth Spilonota ocellana
 Agriphila tristella

It's been hectic over last few nights during this heatwave. 83 species of moth over last three trapping nights with over 100 individuals in a night (just from one actinic trap at 'the obs' window).

New for the year recently include Ruby Tigers (up to 6), Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Cachlimorpha straminea, Acrobasis advenella, Brown-line Bright eye, Least Yellow Underwing, Cydia speldana, Pebble Prominet, Spilonota ocellana and Agriphila tristella. Up to three Jersey Tigers so far.

The Starling problem continues- caught two to three different birds in the potter trap (see video below). Thought the fright of getting caught might stop them but the raids on the trap continue.

More micros here: Even worse photos

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Rainham Day Trip

 Greenshank and Lapwing

Had a day trip to Rainham today with Sue (was supposed to be a team of six but only Sue and I turned up). 1 Red Kite (rare this end of town), 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Hobby, 3 Kestrel, 6 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 40+ Lapwing, 2 Oystercatcher, 30+ Common Tern on the river, 1 Garganey, Bearded Tits, 30+ Goldfinch, 10+ Linnet, 4 Swallow, 3 Sand Martin, 30+ Swift, Sedge Warblers still singing and one almighty thunderstorm (one of most intense I've been in).

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Hot day

 Meadow Brown (one white spot in eye)
 Gatekeeper (two white spots in eye)
Cochylimorpha straminea (A first for farmlands if correct id) 
 Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull or Lesser Black-backed Gull?
 Purple Loose-strife
Horsetail and Reedmace
The heat wave continues with a few storms going through. A few waders seen by the group this morning; 8 Whimbrel, 3 Snipe, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 juvenile LRP, 15 Lapwing and Derek had 11 Green Sandpiper in the week. About 100+ Swift about, 4 Sand Martin, 6 Kestrel (mainly hunting on the mound), 1 Peregrine, 2 Sparrowhawk, 40+ Goldfinch on the mound, 3 Shoveler and quite a few young Little Grebes. The Shelducks all seem to have gone.
Lots of butterflies about- good numbers of Gatekeeper now. 50+ Six-spot Burnet on the mound.
Mothing now - the first Ruby Tigers of the year, had the first Jersey Tiger a couple of days ago, still lots of Footmans, Smoky Wainscots, Least Carpets etc.