US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

12/1/10: River Cray and Thames Rd wetland/Dartford Marshes

The Cray Riverkeeper Volunteers are taking over the man-made wetland between the River Cray, Thames Rd, railway and Sewer Pipe embankment. More on this sometime in the future.

Having done a basic botanical survey in the summer, I thought the snow would increase the possibility of some interesting bird life using the water. But it was almost entirely frozen over. A couple of things I couldn't identify flew up and disappeared back into the dead reed/bulrush stems, but that was it.

Up on the embankment there was a small party of Chaffinches (I think) and 2 Redwings.

Before I checked the wetland there had been 3 Mute Swans just upstream of the Thames Rd bridge, and when I came back out there were 2 Cormorants on the river, giving a close view as they took flight in a hurry.

Mute Swans on the Cray near Thames Road

Man-made wetland area next to where Thames Rd crosses the River Cray. This former field was excavated to below the already high water table, and planted with Reemace and other species. The raised strips of ground with channels between are designed to attract Water Voles.

Numerous animal tracks in the snow leading up to the Sewer Embankment - it's not just Thames Rd that has heavy traffic!

There was a Redwing in a tree in the canalized 'gulley' on the downstream side of Thames Rd. A Heron flew over just as I came under the railway line.

Just before it got too dark to see what was going on, 2 female Shoveler duck, a probable male in flight and a male Pochard were seen on a ditch on Dartford Marshes. 3 Lapwing were spotted, one flying within a few feet of me on the inside the Council compound's fence as I made my way back to the main road.

Around 54 Starlings were in the air behind the 'Jolly Farmers' pub.

25 House Sparrows were seen (and judging by the sound there were more) in low hedging by the 'Imagination' company building on Thames Rd, and more were heard in the bushes in the centre of the Perry St roundabout.

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