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’.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

30/9/10: Danson Park aliens, new plant records and fungi

There were a lot of aliens in evidence at Danson Park, Bexleyheath, this afternoon. Apart from the Canada Geese, Ring-necked Parakeets and Grey Squirrels (slightly fewer after a dog-owner sat impassively on a bench while her mutts chased and killed one), there were a pair of Egyptian Geese which are turning up in parks all over London (but this was my first record of the species in Bexley Borough - no doubt it's been 'clocked' by serious local Twitchers already, however), a bevvy of Norway Maple seedlings, lots of Turkey Oak saplings seeded from the mature specimens and various clumps of Michaelmas Daisies.

A pair of Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus), with Danson Mansion in the background. The natural range of the species is mainly the Nile Valley and south of the Sahara.

In the Old English Garden there was the alien Narrow-leaved Ragwort, which is now all over the north of the Borough, at least from Erith to Belvedere/Abbey Wood, and which top botanist from the BMNH Mark Spencer says will probably be a major invasive nuisance in 20 years. In the 'potager' (mixed flower and vegetable) border of the OEG were some 8 plants of Fool's Parsley. I've only found it in 4 other places in London so far (of which 3 are in Bexley), and only a single plant in each case.

To the north west of the Mansion, where a lot of grit has been spread on the ground, both Swine Cress and Lesser Swine Cress were found, along with a lone Garden Radish.

Other new plant records for me from the Park (all on the sandy mounds/bare ground on the mini golf course near the Crook Log entrance) included Parsley Piert, Weld, a single Common Stork's-bill and 14 plants of Annual Nettle (Urtica urens), the latter probably under-recorded as it looks similar to seedlings of the usual large perennial one, but now I've got my eye in for it, I still think it's uncommon in Bexley - and this is only the third place I've found it in the Borough.

Annual Nettle (Urtica urens), Danson Park mini golf course

There were also several species of fungi out, but I'm no good on ID-ing these so readers will just have to enjoy the pictures without knowing what they are (but if you do, please leave comments .......)

Various Fungi at Danson Park

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