Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Otmoor yesterday

A very pleasant Otmoor visit with Jacob yesterday. Ebird list HERE.

 Common Crane- one of the local birds on Greenaways
 Whinchats- five and one Wheatear at Noke . 
 A couple of Greenshanks flying over Greenaways. This weekend had Osprey, Whinchat and Greenshank as Otmoor ticks- Otmoor list now on 115 species HERE
 The fields were being hay cut attracting Red Kites. Here's an adult with moult advanced to p6 with p7 to 10 still old. The tail is in heavy moult with several retrices still in pin. 
 Red Kite adult- same bird as above. Ageing is confirmed by dark streaks down breast. 
 A younger bird showing white blotches/streaks on breast with some adult type streaks beginning to show. This bird is also in active primary moult with p6 still growing. A full juvenile from this year would be in pristine plumage with no moult limits so this bird is a second calender year bird 
 Flounced Rustic? At the Old Vicarage moth light. 
Flame Carpet at the Old Vicarage. The Old Vicarage bioblitz is now up to 502 species (IRECORD DATA HERE ). 

Monday, 14 August 2017

CATTLE EGRET- A first for Beddington Farmlands

Just about managed to get back in time to see the Cattle Egret found by Prof and identified by Dodge - a first for Beddington Farmlands. The first systematic bird recording started at Beddington Farmlands around 1918 so a first for the site is the first in a Century! Cattle Egret takes the total number of bird species recorded at the farmlands to 260 ( list HERE- last updated 2012) - an incredible figure for an inland site and even more incredible in London.  My personal 219th bird species for the site-  second only to Beddington legend Garry Messenbird who has seen 226. Currently I'm racking them up at less than one a year which is why I started my Beddington Farmlands pan-species list which is at 1211 species HERE which I last updated a year ago so probably had 20 or so more since then. The total pan-species list for Beddington is 2029 (last updated in July 2015) HERE so birds clearly only representing 10% or so of the species on site (and probably much less than that as still a lot of work to do on the pan-species list). 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Butterfly transect drama

 The plan was for Jacob and I to do our North Otmoor butterfly survey this morning. Considering the weather was perfect for butterflies there were surprisingly few around- highlight was this Small Copper. There were more dragonflies around than butterflies. Had Brown Hawker, Southern and Migrant Hawker and Ruddy and Common Darter. 
 Male Ruddy Darter I do believe
 A young Common Darter I strongly suspect 
 A few migrants in the Blackthorn hedge included this young Redstart and I'm also pretty sure I heard a Spot Fly call but couldn't locate it- also a few Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffys. 
 and then a few steps later this male Redstart popped up- maybe a family party around? 
 Then I suddenly caught sight of a raptor being mobbed by the Red Kites. At that precise moment Jacob started kicking off ( I had him in a holder on my chest) because he wanted some milk. I discovered it was impossible to reason with a 4 and a half month old baby and the basis of  'I could have a bloody Pallid here so wait and stay still' 
I managed to get a couple of shots which (on later inspection) look like most probably the 2nd calender year male Hen Harrier that has been around moulting its outer primaries giving it the impression of restricted black in the wing tip. 
 Presumed Second-calender year male Hen Harrier 
 By now Jacob was going into proper milk demon mode so I knew I had to get the milk out but just as I was about to, the Red Kites were onto something else- a bloody Osprey! I managed to knock out about three shots before I had to sort poor little chap out. 

 I think the milk demon summonsed up a herd of cows because next thing I knew is we were being stampeded by a herd of dairy so literally had to run and jump over a fence with baby on front, clip board in hand, camera on one shoulder, bins on other and baby man bag on back with jeans that were beginning to fall down so restricting the gait on the hurdle. I made it despite the odds! 
And alls well that ends well. Had a few more Buzzards going over.

Ebird list here

Friday, 11 August 2017

Thee Bryans

Here's a song performed with the kids about the eternal struggle of everyone of us agaisnt the negative forces in the world for a fair deal for ourselves and nature. In the eternal cycle of order-corruption-chaos its a song about a new order out of this current chaos- which will come from individuals who fight for it by climbing the ladder of Chaos- not much more of an exciting and fun climb!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Frankie, Tank and I found Beddington's 4th record of Sabine's Gull this morning, a stunning adult in full summer plumage. The bird was first on the North Lake and then flew over to the South Lake and settled down to be admired by a steady stream of twitchers in the torrential rain. 

Calling (similar call to first phrase in this xeno canto sample HERE