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, 23 March 2010

23/3/10: Flooded field birds decline, Kestrel kill

Bird numbers on the previously reported flooded field site, between the Cray and Bob Dunn Way, have tumbled since my last count on 10th March.

Today the numbers were:

Teal - circa 20 (down 12)
Gadwall - about 7 (down 8)
Lapwing - 5 (down 12)
Shoveler - 0 (down 8)
Shelduck - 0 (down 4)

There were also hardly any gulls.

But there was a solitary Little Egret making a probable three in the area, given the fact that I hadn't noticed one fly over en route since I had seen two a short while previously in the watery area south of the sewer bank on the other side of Thames Rd.

A feature of living on the edge of suburbia (apart from the rubbish frequently strewn across otherwise 'wild' greenspace), is the occurence of plants rendered incongruous for being in odd places. Here's a solitary clump of Narcissus, looking like it's got a bit of cyclamineus blood in the genome, by the confluence of the Cray (coming in from the left) and the Darent.

I walked back to Thames Road along the Cray embankment, taking the short-cut to the left of the Council depot, and spotted a Kestrel hovering over a field slated for yet more development (so much for protecting the marshes). Unsuccessful, it flew up and sat on an an electricity pylon cross-member for a while. After another abortive swoop it made a catch and took it to the top of a wooden fence post by Bob Dun Way, where it could be seen from a distance to be pulling some unfortunate food item apart.

Tonight's House Sparrow roost count by Imagination on Thames Rd gave a figure of about 43, but again it was a bit too early and there was still quite a lot of fluttering about in the hedge making accuracy problematic.

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