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’.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

5/3/11: Richmond and Barnes: Fallow Deer, birds and heathland

Off to Richmond Park today for a London Natural History Society meeting about the ecology of the Fallow Deer in the park.

There were 2 Jays at Barnehurst station. From there I went to North Sheen station.

In the environs of the Sheen Gate at the park were 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Mistle Thrush, 13 Redwings, Ring-necked Parakeets and a large number of Jackdaws. On the nearby Adams Pond were- 5m + 3f Mandarin Duck, 2 Egyptian Geese, 2m + 1f Tufted Duck, Common Gulls and Black-headed Gulls.

The leader gave us lots of interesting facts about the Fallow Deer, which he has studied for several years, on a tour of their favourite locations, including one of the prime rutting areas, and showed examples of antlers at different ages. The Red Deer were also seen at fairly close quarters.

LNHS members watch Fallow Deer at Richmond Park

After the meeting I went off on one of my long, roundabout walks back to another railway station. Not far from Richmond Park, on Priory Lane, I found a colony of the plant Claytonia perfoliata spreading out from under a garden fence and slightly overhanging the pavement - only my second record of the species in London.

On Barnes Common (the section south-west of Barnes station) were 1 Jay, Great Tit, Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Wood Pigeon and Magpie. On a retaining wall by Barnes Station were several Hart's-tongue Fern and some Ivy-leaved Toadflax, and by the station approach lane were a number of Greater Celandine.

Along Rocks Lane things got more heathy, with old ant hills - often with Sheep's Sorrel and in one case a couple of Birdsfoot - and Broom plants. Further up the road, near Old Barnes Cemetery, were several Gorse in flower and lots of Silver Birch.

Old ant hill on Barnes Common, with two types of Moss

Gorse in flower on Barnes Common

At St. Mary Barnes Church there were several Greater Celandine.

On Barnes Green pond were (the now near-obligatory for certain parts of the capital) 2 Egyptian Geese, 2 Greylag, 2 white domestic geese, 7 Canada Geese, c25 Tufted Duck, lots of Mallard, 4 Coot, 1 Moorhen and, on the banks, feral Pigeons.

I then made my way to Barnes Bridge station via a quick look at the Thames as it began to get dark.

No comments:

Post a Comment