Tuesday, 15 January 2019

We visit the Limehouse Basin area (East London)

We had initially intended to wander round the City of London looking for Lichens &c. However, whilst en-route to Tower Gateway on the Docklands Light Railway, we decided, on a Whim, to disembark at Limehouse and wander round the Limehouse Basin area (Grid References TQ3680 and TQ3681, both of which fall within Vice County 21, Middlesex).

The area includes the Limehouse Marina: and it is where both the Regent's Canal and the Limehouse Cut empty into the River Thames.

Birds seen included: Black-Headed Gulls, Canada Geese, Common Gulls (a couple on the Thames' Foreshore), Coots, Mallards, Moorhens, a couple of Mute Swans and Tufted Ducks viz.

Wild Flowers seen included:

Annual Meadow Grass
Black Medick
Bladder Campion (growing beside the Regent's Canal) viz.

Common Bramble
Common Chickweed
Common Nettle
Common Vetch
Cow Parsley
Four-Leaved Allseed (growing beside the Limehouse Marina) viz.

Gallant/Shaggy Soldier
Guernsey Fleabane
Hart's-Tongue Fern
Ivy-Leaved Toadflax
Jersey Cudweed viz.

Red Dead-Nettle
Sweet Alyssum
Water Bent
and Yarrow

Some flowering Mahonia was attracting a few Bees viz.

And lots of Lichens have set up Home there, including:

Friday, 11 January 2019

Beside the Thames in the Woolwich area (in the Royal Borough of Greenwich)

Back to Woolwich (in the Royal Borough of Greenwich) to look for Birds on the Thames' Foreshore and beside the Thames Path.

A few days ago we arrived after the Mud had been covered by the Incoming Tide. Thankfully, we timed this visit, better.

Birds seen on the Foreshore and beside the Thames Path:

a Blackbird
Black-Headed Gulls
Black-Tailed Godwits
Blue Tits
Carrion Crows
a Great Black-Backed Gull
a Great Tit
Herring Gulls
Lapwings (really surprised to see these Guys) viz.

Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
Pied Wagtails
a Robin
Wood Pigeons

Wildlife' Species seen in the Garden (at Home)

We have decided to try to Record Wildlife' Species seen in the Garden during 2019: we will doubtless only scratch the surface but Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained:


to be identified...


Blue Tit
Collared Dove
House Sparrow
Ring-Necked Parakeet
Wood Pigeon


to be identified...


to be identified...

(self-seeded Wild Flowers):

Common Ragwort

&c. &c.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

We go looking for Birds (our first Outing during 2019)

We read that Low Tide in Woolwich (in the Royal Borough of Greenwich) was 10.39 am. Arriving beside the Thames at around that time we found the Tide coming in and no Mud left exposed! But see *** below.

So, we hurried downstream to Erith (part of the so-called, 'Patch'): where much, although not all, of the Mud had also been covered by the Incoming Tide.

Birds seen on the Thames' Foreshore:

Black-Headed Gulls
Black-Tailed Godwits
Common Gulls
a Curlew
Great Black-Backed Gulls
a Grey Heron
Herring Gulls
Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
and Teals

Birds seen in the Grounds of the nearby Church of St John the Baptist included Redwings viz.

*** the Tide Timetables use British Summer Time (BST): not Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Something we had vaguely suspected but hadn't checked on.

Lichens that have set up Home on Trees growing in Lesnes Abbey Park

Just a few of 'em viz.

Above: Xanthoria parietina and Xanthoriicola physciae. With (juvenile) Ramalina fastigiata growing among the Xanthoria &c.

Above: Xanthoria parietina, Physcia adscendens and Lecidela elaeochroma. Also: just in the frame (top right), Punnctelia subrudecta and nearby, possible Physcia tenella.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Our first Hoverflies of 2019

The Morning' Sunshine (and Blue Sky) brought at least two Hoverflies out to play on the Allotments: an Episyrphus balteatus and a Meliscaeva auricollis viz.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Hoverfly' Recording

We started collecting Hoverfly' Records during Early-June 2018, if albeit in a somewhat half-hearted manner.

With 2018 now ended, we must ask ourselves: 'Did we make Progress?'

And the Reply must be, 'Yes: of sorts at least'.

We remain indebted to the UK Hoverfly Recording Scheme for assistance with Identifying the Hoverflies although a time must come when their Goodwill and Patience will Run Out.

Our 2018' Records, for what they are, have been Submitted to the UK Hoverfly Recording Scheme.

Our Data Set shows we have Records for approaching 920 Hoverflies.

The Records are dominated by Episyrphus balteatusEristalis sp., Eupeodes sp.Helophilus sp.Myathropa floreaSphaerophoria sp., and Syrphus sp. 

Representing slightly Excess of 90% or so of the Hoverflies Recorded.

And we do of course see many more Hoverflies than we have Records for, so the foregoing must simply be regarded as a General Guide to Sightings.

Identified Species of Hoverfly:

Chrysotoxum bicinctum
Chrysotoxum festivum
Dasysyrphus altostratus
Episyrphus balteatus
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis arbustorum
Eristalis intricaria
Eristalis nemorum
Eristalis pertinax
Eristalis tenax
Eupeodes corolla
Eupeodes latifasciatus
Eupeodes luniger
Helophilus hybridus
Helophilus pendulus
Helophilus trivittatus
Meliscaeva auricollis
Merodon equestrian
Myathropa florea
Platycheirus scutatus agg.
Scaeva pyrastri
Sphaerophoria scripta
Syritta pipiens
Syrphus ribesii
Syrphus torvus
Volucella inanis
Volucella zonaria
Xanthogramma pedissequum s.s.