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, 17 January 2011

17/1/11: Crayford birds, high water and a load of rubbish

Having had a meeting near Crayford Way to discuss Bexley Natural Environment Group's submission on the Site Specific Allocations part of the Council's draft Local Development Framework, and the future of BNEFG in the wake of the unexpected death of its Chairman, Jeremy Cotton, over Christmas, I took the opportunity to check out the river and TRW.

Following heavy rain and, no doubt, a contribution from ground saturated by previous snow-melt, the Cray was the highest I'd ever seen it ...

The dry Reedmace stems (centre in the above photo) mark the normal margin of the river

The Cray passing the Riverkeeper Volunteers yard by Footpath 106. The tufts of vegetation sticking out of the right hand side of the river mark the normal extent of the water.

Maiden Lane bridge with the water nearly touching the underside of the roadway

Negative impact: large numbers of plastic bottles and cans, presumably dislodged from places on the riverbank where they had been inaccessible to River clean-ups, or hidden in summer vegetation growth, were now strewn all along the banks by By-way 105

The water level in the Wansunt, where it crosses Thames Road Wetland, was up compared to normal levels, but not as noticeably as on the neighbouring Cray

Water levels on the TRW pools were not much higher than normal, though they had crept outwards up the shallow banks a bit, and in this photo were getting the Brookweed's feet wet in amongst the clumps of dark green rushes (just left of centre)

25 Goldfinches were seen along By-way 105 by the River Cray, and there were a couple of Coot on the river near the Thames Rd bridge, as well as 2 more on the TRW 'lake'. Looking south from the east end of the Sewer Embankment, a Little Egret was spotted in the distance, following a Grey Heron west over the farm between the Cray and the Dartford Loop railway line. There were 10+ Teal and 3 Moorhen on a watery field here.
Circa 240 Starlings were on the electricity pylon at the junction of Thames Rd and University Way. More Teal, 12 Shoveler and 2 Mute Swan were on the flooded fields on the Dartford side of Crayford Creek.

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