Sunday, 31 July 2016

Dacres Wood, Lewisham

Yesterday I working at Dacres Woods Nature Reserve another pretty dull and overcast day although the sun did appear briefly. The reserve occupies 2.5 hectares in the London Borough of Lewisham, to the east of the main railway line between Forest Hill and Sydenham stations. It was formerly part of a large Victorian garden, and includes an important remnant of the old Croydon Canal.

The snake carved bench was donated by Froglife's London Dragon Finder Project and offers lovely views across the pond. We spotted lots of froglets and a few toadlets as well as an adult toad which we moved from the storage garage that the volunteers were tidying.


View from the bench

View from the dipping platform towards the bench

A hiding Toad

Speckled Wood butterfly

Froglet

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

On Friday I was working at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. My first visit to this fabulous little nature reserve nestled beside the River Thames on it's south shore and just west of the Thames Barrier. Unfortunately the weather was pretty overcast but at least it gave the view of the river an atmospheric look!

Looking east towards the Thames Barrier

Looking east towards the Thames Barrier





The Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park was created on the site of an old steelworks by English Partnerships, the Government regeneration agency. The four and a half acre urban wildlife park was completed by early 2000 and opened to the public by the Trust for Urban Ecology in February 2002.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly below




Hoverfly above probably a Sphaerophoria




Young Moorhen below on lily pads













Monday, 25 July 2016

Common Carder Bumblebee

Had a few Common Carder Bumblebees Bombus pascuorum in my garden today, this is the first time I have noted them in my garden and definitely the first time I have photographed them, or at least tried to! They are a small bumblebee at 10-15mm and gingery coloured, they are also pretty much continuously moving as they forage, they particularly like the lavender and Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'  in my garden.
Common Carder Bumblebee
Carder Bumblebees earn this name from their habit of combing material together (carding) to create a covering for the cells containing the larvae. They usually create their nests above ground, often in grass tussocks, in old mouse runs through grass, in tangles of vegetation or just under the surface of the soil. Colonies vary in size, and can contain up to 200 workers. Only young queens survive the winter; they establish new nests in spring. The average nest lasts for about 25 weeks.
Common Carder Bumblebee takes off!
There were also good numbers of Buff-tailed Bumblebees and Honey Bees around the lavender bushes.
Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Honey Bee
There were also quite good numbers of butterflies around today, mainly large and small whites, one or two gatekeepers and meadow browns and one each of speckled wood and Essex skipper.



Essex Skipper

Essex Skipper

Monday, 18 July 2016

Butterflies

Beautiful hot and sunny day today and more butterflies than usual were around our garden including the Meadow Brown and Small Skipper.
female Meadow Brown

female Meadow Brown



Small Skipper

Small Skipper


Monday, 11 July 2016

East Wickham Open Space

Spent the morning at East Wickham Open Space in Bexley, it is a ten minute walk from Welling train station. The wetland area restored by Froglife's London Dragon Finder project are looking good. With lots of lush vegetation now around the whole area and still a reasonable level of water in the ponds. You can follow its development here.



Fodder Vetch


Lots of Skipper butterflies around.
Essex Skipper





Empis livida one of the danceflys

Honey bee Apis mellifera

Honey bee Apis mellifera




Walked along the Thames from Charring Cross Station to Blackfriars Station









Sunday, 3 July 2016

Day in the garden

For a change we had a reasonable amount of sunshine today with no rain! So I spent the day catching up with jobs in the garden. There were good numbers of Hoverflies around all day, none of which did I identify to species! My first Small Skipper of the year just would not stay still long enough to photograph, a few bumble bees, a Thick-thighed Flower Beetle again and another Nursery Web Spider's nest.
Thick-thighed Flower Beetle

Honey Bee

Hoverfly

Hoverfly

Buff-tipped Bumble Bee

Hoverfly






Our adopted cat Miagi


Coco



Shed roof ornament