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, 31 January 2011

31/1/11: Barnehurst and Bexleyheath multi-site birding

The white-cheeked male Blackbird was in my Barnehurst garden again today, the first time I'd seen it since I first spotted it early in the month - see 6/1/11 post. There were also 3 female and 2 other male Blackbirds.

Taking a long and round-about route to Bexleyheath Broadway, the ports of call and some of the species seen were as follows:

Bursted Wood (former Pitch and Putt course): 2 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 8 Wood Pigeon. Within the wood itself were 10 Grey Squirrels within a narrow segment of the eastern end of the site alone .....

Russell Park: Basically a recreational park that is pretty bleak for wildlife, but could easily be improved without compromising its main function. Blackbird, Robin, 2 Carrion Crow, 1 Wood Pigeon, 10 House Sparrow (north west corner hedging, others could be heard from other boundary hedges).

Hall Place North: 4 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit, 2 Carrion Crow. Much less than usual about, probably because of the racket being made by Council contractors - 1 bloke driving a tractor and trailer, 2 inefficiently creating piles of leaves to scoop up using intrusively loud petrol blowers (a good old-fashioned rake would have been vastly quicker and quieter ....) and 3 more standing around chatting.

One of a number of roads around the Borough, the name of which alludes to a heathland past ....

Looking south from the top of Broomhill Rise, out beyond the A2 and over the valley of the Rivers Shuttle and Cray to the Joydens Wood area on the high ground beyond

Grass verge plants in Broomfield Rd included Parsley Piert, Buck's-horn Plantain and Spotted Medick.

The Warren, off Broomfield Rd. Somewhere I've never been before. A hill-top site with some open grass areas and a small amount of woodland. 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Wren, 3+ Ring-necked Parakeets, 7+ Blue Tit, Great Tit (heard), 1 Blackbird, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Robin, 1 House Sparrow.

Woodland at The Warren

Norway Spruce at The Warren. Presumably a 'guerilla planted' Christmas throw-out ...

Plant species at the Warren included this Iris foetidissima (a native species, but probably a garden escape here), of which there were about 24 plants, most youngish and clearly self-sown off this larger clump.

There were several Shining Cranesbill (Geranium lucidum) in a front garden on Mount Road, only the third place I've found it in Bexley Borough so far.

There was a Grey Heron flying east over Sandford Rd, near Danson Park, being chased by a lone Ring-necked Parakeet. It was then joined by a second Grey Heron.

Danson Park: There was still a significant amount of ice on the lake, though somewhat thinned out. 1 Green Woodpecker - my first for the site, feeding on grassland near trees south of the lake, 2 (possibly 4) Greenfinch, 2 Egyptian Geese, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron (may have included the two seen earlier over a nearby road), circa 80 Wood Pigeon, 36+ Ring-necked Parakeets, 54 Canada Geese, Carrion Crows, 1 Magpie, Blue Tit, 2 Mute Swans, lots of Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Black-headed Gulls.

A pair of Mallard stand on the still part-frozen lake at Danson Park, with the Mansion in the distance

A male Mallard hybrid (cross with a domestic duck) on Danson Park lake

The late afternoon sun is reflected off the lake at Danson Park

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