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’.

Monday, 18 January 2010

17/1/10: Beddington - glorious mud + Tree Sparrows

Went to Beddington (Hackbridge, South West London) - a former sewage works, now a landfill site, large chunks of which are being re-worked to improve habitat for water birds - on a London Natural History Society field trip. Had to get up too early again - 6 a.m. this time Not my idea of fun!

Although it was a sunny day, so wet had it been that most of the trackways, even those along the top of high embankments, were like something out of a First World war battlefield. All recently sculpted by machinery. Bare, sodden and sticky clay with flints adhering to the wellies in unfeasibly large quantities.

Up on the 'hill' there was a gaggle of hard core twitchers trying to relocate the Lapland Bunting that had been seen for several days in a row, and earlier today. But there had been no sign of it by the time we left.

The main purpose of our trip was to see the only known (breeding) population of Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) in London, which we duly achieved. I saw 5 in fairly open positions along a line of low scrub near the site entance. This is a Red Listed species due to a serious decline in numbers -

I also saw:
- a Stonechat
- Green Sandpiper
- Skylark
- Kestrel
and 10 or more Herons

There were huge numbers of Carrions Crows on those parts of the waste tip yet to be buried. Various duck species were on the 'completed' lake, but nothing unusual.

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