Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Spring finally

Actually has felt like spring for the last couple of days in London. Had 6 Wheatears on the mounds today, a few Swallows and Sand Martins yesterday, Little Ringed Plover calling at night and a few more insects around now too. Had Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Holly Blue and Small White today but the evenings have been cool so still no big moth nights- a couple of Clouded Drabs, Common Quaker, Double-striped Pug- the usual for this time of year. 

Things are picking up at work now too. We had a very busy winter at Little Oak with a major (major for us) Merton council contract and now things are beginning to pick up on the private front too. Quoted for a private wildflower meadow last week and also been working on the Hackbridge wildlife spots over the last couple of days too- the entrance to Beddington Farmlands, Gillian's Garden and Silverdale. Ian from downstairs (former Beddington Park gardener) is helping out now too and if I get elected will have another £10K to chuck at this stuff.

Been all go on the election campaign - attended Hustings yesterday evening as an audience member but unfortunately the Beddington farmlands questions didn't come up. Peter Friel represented the Greens and did a very good job on fielding questions right across a broad range of subjects. 

 Male Wheatear (Five males and one female today) 
 Small Tortoiseshell on Dandelion 
 Clouded Drab (above and below)- extremely variable moth 

 A blanket of Groundsel has carpeted the new meadow on the Southern Mound- not sure if that's the plan? 
 Gillians Garden 2018- need to start an irecord site for here now- had a couple of new species today Groundsel, Beautiful Plume and Germander Speedwell 
Peter Friel representing the Greens at last night's local election Hustings 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Hoopoe with Bufflehead on the side

What a day. Was looking around Little Woodcote for migrants (a fall of Robins, 3 Swallow and a single Whitethroat) with Sid when news came in of a female Bufflehead on the Beddington North Lake. Kojak had found it while doing the WeBS. We presumed it was the escaped silver ringed female that has been doing the rounds- actually been following me round all my main patches- Otmoor, Staines and now Beddington. The gang confirmed it had a silver ring on the right leg. So Sid and I went to twitch the Bufflehead and while watching that I noticed a couple of crows mobbing something over the mound- a Hoopoe! Eventually the bird settled on the main island and a local twitch followed. 

This is the 4th official Hoopoe for the farmlands following singles on August 24th 1956, May 11th to 13th 1959 and April 21st 1968. There is also an unconfirmed report in 1972. Therefore this is the first record since 1968 - the first in 50 years!! A major local blocker. 

As it was a planned nature day with the boys today we spent the rest of the day processing the moth trap, listening to last night's nocturnal sounds and then went for a walk along the Wandle, where we met one of the local fisherman with a beautiful 4lb Brown Trout. 

A few goodies in the moth trap too. 

 Hoopoe in flight 
 Hoopoe on the deck 
 Hoopoe erect 
 First found being mobbed by crows 
 Female Bufflehead- a first for the farmlands (presumably Cat E) totally eclipsed by the Hoopoe 
Female Bufflehead- presumably the escaped female doing the rounds across the South of England. Silver ring on the right leg. 
 Early Thorn 
 Common Plume 
 Pale Mottled Willow
 Twin-spot Quaker 
 Agonopterix arenella (a local scarcity) 
 The Beddington boys
 Me and the boys in the lab 
 Sid's siblings in on the migrant hunt this morning 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Happiness and May 3rd Councillor Elections

Vote for anyone but the established power in the upcoming councillor elections and let's accelerate the process of fundamental reform for a better deal for the majority and nature.
Capitalism is nearly over and Sustainable Futures are coming.

By voting out the established power and then relentlessly attacking the incoming party it will undermine the political system and force the political establishment to re-consider the undemocratic first past the post system. If the one's first past the post are going to win a poisoned chalice of unrelenting abuse and attack it forces them to consider a proportional representation (PR) system whereby voters start to actually vote for who they want rather than just trying to choose between the lesser of the two dominant evils (Duverger's Law).  

PR will decentralise power and turn Parliament into a multi-party decision making body. This will weaken central government and put the brakes on corporate global capitalisation of the majority and nature. It will strengthen central government in terms of long term planning. The short term decision making power will be thrown back to the people locally, to community groups, small businesses and neighbourhood development groups (hyper-local as opposed back to local government who have spent the last few decades conceding to corporate power). If corporations want to do deals they will need to go through the hyper-local groups who theoretically should be less prone to corruption and considering any corporate activity affects them, their family and local area are more prone to broker a better deal for people and the environment. 

If pressure is then put on to introduce a whole series of policies such as a nature and wellbeing act, new nature friendly planning policies etc and further pressure is put onto strengthening wildlife enforcement law and even more pressure put on corporations to start measuring their output in triple bottom line accounts or Natural Capital Accountancy this will start metamorphosing new codes in the DNA of the system itself, fundamentally changing the code from one that measures value mainly in economic output to one that measures output in social, environmental and capital output. 

More power into the hands of the majority and less tied up in a power lusting minority. The more distal something is the more susceptible it is to corruption. The more power hyper-locally and individually, the more chance of decision making that puts people and the environment first and corporate profit and political careers second. 

So vote anyone but the established power and let's get these crocked bastards on the run. If you live in the Wandle Valley Ward vote for me and if I get in power attack me relentlessly.  I need a kick up the arse to keep me going. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Staines Common Scoters

Despite the thousands of Common Scoters being picked up by nocmiggers going overland I still haven't been able to pick up one at night. 

However did manage to intercept some of the birds that have been found on inland water bodies during this influx by stopping off at Staines on the way back from Oxfordshire yesterday.

There were 12 birds in total, 10 on the South and 2 on the North basin with six males and six females. Also had 3 Little Gulls (a first-winter, second-winter and an adult), 2 Common Tern, 4 Black-necked Grebe, a male Goldeneye and what looked like an Arctic Tern also. 

 Common Scoters 
 Black-necked Grebes 
Looks like an Arctic Tern but was extremely distant 

Beddington Farmlands Petition now over 5000 supporters!