Down in Lesnes Abbey Wood today, working on the Ransoms (Wild Garlic) Glade with LACV, clearing Bramble and Ivy from the ground. Good number of Wild Narcissues coming up. There was even a stunted one already in flower, but the bud had been badly mauled by molluscs.
There was 1 Grey Heron on the Abbey Ponds, and another flew over. Also 3 Mallard. A Sparrowhawk was seen circling over the Abbey. A party of around 7 Long-tailed Tit were seen in the wood itself.
Later on, heading for the marshes, 1 Kestrel came down on a lamp post, 19 Chaffinch were in trees and 7 Magpie were at the fields, sadly now a building site, at the junction of Norman Rd and Eastern Way. 1 Pied Wagtail was on house roof the south part of Norman Way.
The old Belvedere Power Station on the northern part of Norman Rd has been demolished since I was last out here, along with the short pylons. There are signs up flagging it as land for industrial use. But the question has to be asked as to why Bexley Council have not decided to return it to grazing marsh (or at least clear most of the site and allow it to scrub over) - which is what I have suggested they do. The site is specifically listed in the draft Local Development Framework, Site Specific Allocations document which invites comments on land use in the Borough. Much is made in Council publications of the huge importance of the marshes from a Bexley and London-wide perspective, but it just keeps getting eaten away at. OK, so some new ditches have been dug, which is great, but this is simply in line with the Council's apparent view (though never quite overtly expressed as such) that wildlife/biodiversity can be crammed into an ever smaller area as long as this is 'enhanced' a bit ('mitigation') from the likes of section 106 money by allowing yet more concrete and tarmac to be poured elsewhere. So here's an opportunity to cut the rhetoric and greenwash, and show the Council means what it says and isn't going to put money first for a change. Will it be taken?
Meantime, here's what was seen out on Erith Marshes (what little is left of them): 2 Grey Heron, 2 Mute Swan. 40 Teal in a wide drainage channel. More Teal on the (flooded) field between the Sewage Works and that ghastly Incinerator plus over 200 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck and 60 Lapwing. The fact that the tide was right in on the Thames probably had something to do with this. A Fox was spotted trotting along the northern margin of the field, but the birds didn't seem bothered. 30 Canada Geese, a Great Tit, Blackbird and Song Thrush were in the Sewage Works grounds.