News of wildlife and other issues
Lake-side clearance by Ornamental Waters
Apart from reports of some new or interesting wildlife observed in the area, unhappily some of the other articles that I post on Wanstead Wildlife tend often to be of a complaining nature – difficult access, unwelcome clearances, and the like.
I was happy to find when I walked along the bank of the Ornamental Water from the bottom of Florrie's Hill towards the Cedar Tree and the Glade that a stretch opposite Lincoln Island had been carefully cleared of the vegetation that had encroached along the bank so much so that the water was difficult to see.
Last December, together with Tricia Moxey, we had an on-site meeting with Geoff Sinclair, who is Head of Operations for Epping Forest. One of the aspects we discussed with him was the possibility of opening up the view of the lake by selectively clearing vegetation – much of which was willow and alder. See here for that report
This has been done for quite a stretch, and what a difference it makes! Now what I perceived to be a somewhat claustrophobic and dark stretch, with Warren Wood on one side and the vegetation lining the lake on the other, is a walk with the channel of the lake between the bank and Lincoln Island clearly visible. Trees have been left spaced at decent intervals.
However, the clearance only stretches so far. The section that I would have started with is still as-was. This is that stretch right opposite the channel between Lincoln Island and Rook Island, which looks down towards the Fortifications and often has a nice selection of ducks, geese, swans, herons and cormorants to be seen – from the couple of metres gap in the trees!
Beyond that, opposite Rook Island and heading towards the Cedar Tree, I note that some relatively small bits of tree-pruning has been done, but not clearance. I was particularly pleased to find one plant – a rather special one considering its location - has also been spared. This is a London Plane tree that grows on the bank. Why it is unusual – for there are some lovely London Planes in the Park – is that this one almost certainly self-seeded there, and self-seeding is rare with London Planes. The ones we see are usually planted.
Paul Ferris, 30th April 2015
Don't say I didn't warn ya!
There it was – gone. Just like the view from Aldersbrook Road, opposite the shops at the Parade, the view from the south side of the Shoulder of Mutton Pond will – I predict – go the same way.
On a visit on 21st April 2015 to what I think is one of the nicest locations in Wanstead Park – the south side of the Shoulder of Mutton pond looking across towards Wanstead – I realised just how much willow had grown up along the shore-line. Much more – and it won't take long – and in-leaf, the view will soon be all-but gone.
Just a few metres further on – on either side of the fence that separates the Park from the Park-lands – all the insect-favoured bramble scrub has been removed. All of it. Just like most has been removed from the other insect-favoured scrub near the top of the Glade, from just behind the Grotto, from what will be the bicycle/pedestrian Roding Valley Way at Whiskers Island, and of course- not scrub but herbs – annually by the east end of Perch Pond. And why was all the scrub and trees removed by Epping Forest Conservation Volunteers from the crater just south of the keeper's lodges. Surely that was only doing harm by acting as a nesting place for birds and a resting place for insects?
see here) others have been in there and changed things a bit. Desire-line paths have been blocked, particularly that which runs between a sward of Wood Anemones. Though this may have been done with the intention of enhancing those delicate flowers, I fear it will have the opposite effect, as the desire to use the path – and indeed to look at the flowers either side of it – may just encourage people to walk over them. There are signs this is already happening.One more. Chalet Wood is looking good right now with its becoming-famous bluebells. I do think the path-edging that I have been suggesting for years has been successful and most people who I speak top agree. There are aspects of the way it has been done that I am not fully happy with – too much scrub has been cut down on the east edge, for example. And since Gill and Alan James and myself – primarily – laid out its pattern in 2014 (
So – back to the Shoulder of Mutton and its willows. I mention that now like I mentioned the potential problems with Floating Pennywort in Perch Pond and New-Zealand Pygmyweed in Alexandra Lake years ago. Both those issues were ignored, now the problems are extreme. Something could be done about willow encroachment now, perhaps, but if not – well, don't say I didn't warn ya.
Paul Ferris, 22nd April 2015
for 2014 additions, click HERE
for 2016 additions, click HERE
for 2017 additions, click HERE
for 2018 additions, click HERE
* in some cases the entry was made some time after the species was found. This may be due to a new identification or a previous mis-identification.
|Species||Common Name||Type of Organism||Date of find or entry*||Found by:|
|Apion frumentarium||Red Rumex Weevil||a beetle||05/11/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Agrochola macilenta||Yellow-line Quaker||a moth||28/10/2015||Tim Harris|
|Trombidium holosericeum||Velvet Mite||a mite||08/10/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Lestes viridis||Willow Emerald Damselfly||a damselfly||06/09/2015||Gill James/Tim Harris|
|Gymnosporangium sabinae||Pear Rust||a fungus||27/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Dysdera crocata||Woodlouse Spider||a spider||23/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Caloptilia rufipennella||Small Red Slender||a micro moth||22/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Parornix devoniella||Hazel Slender||a micro moth||22/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Cryptoblabes bistriga||Double-striped Knot-horn||a micro moth||22/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Autographa pulchrina||Beautiful Golden Y||a moth||15/07/2015||Tim Harris|
|Cosmia pyralina||Lunar-spotted Pinion||a moth||15/07/2015||Tim Harris|
|Chryphia muralis||Marbled Green||a moth||11/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Cydalima perspectalis||Box Tree Moth||a moth||10/07/2015||Tim Harris|
|Synanthedon vespiformis||Yellow-legged Clearwing||a moth||10/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Synanthedon andrenaeformis||Orange-tailed Clearwing||a moth||06/07/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Bembecia ichneumoniformis||Six-belted Clearwing||a moth||04/07/2015||Tim Harris|
|Rhinanthus minor||Yellow Rattle||a flowering plant||21/06/2015||Kathy Hartnett|
|Psychoides filicivora||Fern Smut||a micro moth||19/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Nemophora fasciella||Horehound Longhorn||a micro moth||19/06/2015||Kathy Hartnett|
|Phyllonorycter platani||London Midget||a micro moth||17/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Deraeocoris flavilinea ?||a mirid bug||a bug||17/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Rhynchites aequatus||Apple Fruit Weevil||a weevil||17/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Calocoris (Grypocoris) stysi||a plant bug||a bug||17/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Parhelophilus frutetorum?||a hoverfly||a hoverfly||17/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Apamea remissa||Dusky Brocade||a moth||13/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Ectoedemia decentella||Sycamore-seed Pigmy||a micro moth||13/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Panurgus sp.||(Furry?) Panurgus||a mining bee||13/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Herminiina grisialis||Small Fan-foot||a micro moth||13/06/2015||Tim Harris|
|Abrostola triplasia||Dark Spectacle||a moth||13/06/2015||Tim Harris|
|Tethea ocularis||Figure of Eighty||a moth||11/06/2015||Tim Harris|
|Formica cunicularia ?||an ant||an ant||08/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Xanthorhoe spadicearia||Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet||a moth||05/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Heliothis peltigera||Bordered Straw||a moth||05/06/2015||Tim Harris|
|Argyresthia spinosella||Blackthorn Argent||a micro moth||04/06/2015||Tim Harris|
|Chrysoesthia drurella||Flame Neb||a micro moth||01/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Clogmia albipunctata||an owl midge||a fly||01/06/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Caloptilia alchimiella||Yellow-triangle Slender||a micro moth||29/05/2015||Tim Harris|
|Agonopterix arenella||Brindled Flat-body||a micro moth||27/05/2015||Tim Harris|
|Dichrorampha montanana||Spike-marked Drill||a micro moth||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Dichrorampha sequana||Square-spot Drill||a micro moth||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Onthophagus sp.||a Dor Beetle||a beetle||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Glyphipterix simpliciella||Cocksfoot Moth||a micro moth||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Tenthredopsis sp. (litterata ?)||a sawfly||a sawfly||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Tachypodoiulus niger||White-legged Snake-millipede||a millipede||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Taphrina pruni||a fungi gall on blackthorn||a gall||25/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Ancistrocerus trifasciatus||a potter wasp||a wasp||24/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Philodromus (albidus)||a crab spider||a spider||21/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Philodromus dispar||a crab spider||a spider||10/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Pheosia tremula||Swallow Prominent||a moth||07/05/2015||Tim Harris|
|Roeslerstammia erxlebella||Copper Ermel||a micro moth||04/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Hypera postica ?||Clover Leaf Weevil||a weevil||04/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Harpocera thoracica ?||a mirid bug||a bug||02/05/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Andrena (haemorrhoa?)||Early Mining Bee||a bee||23/04/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Drymonia ruficornis||Lunar Marbled Brown||a moth||21/04/2015||Tim Harris|
|Bibio lanigerus||a March fly||a fly||09/04/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Ichneumon stramentarius||an ichneumon wasp||a wasp||08/04/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Orthosia populeti||Lead-coloured Drab||a moth||05/04/2015||Tim Harris|
|Empoasca vitis ?||a leafhopper||a bug||23/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Drosophilidae (family)||a fruit fly||a fly||23/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Sitticus pubescens||a crab spider||a spider||20/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Amaurobius fenestralis||a lace-weaver spider||a spider||18/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Deraeocoris lutescens||a mirid bug||a bug||14/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Tibellus sp. (obllongus)||a crab spider||a spider||12/03/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Ozyptila sp.||a spider||a spider||12/03/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Euophrys frontalis||a jumping spider||a spider||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Rhyzobius litura||a ladybird||a beetle||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Dromius linearis||a ground beetle||a beetle||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Nabis rugosus||Common Damsel Bug||a bug||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Mocydiopsis attenuata||a hemipteran bug||a bug||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Drymus sylvaticus||a groundhoppe||a bug||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Asiraca clavicornis||a planthopper||a bug||10/03/2015||Rose Stephens/Paul Ferris|
|Acleris ferrugana / notana||a micro moth||a micro moth||05/03/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Asellus aquaticus||Water Slater||a crustacean||27/02/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Tomocerus sp.||a springtail||a springtail||27/02/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Entomobrya sp. (multifasciata?)||a springtail||a springtail||27/02/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Ceratopognidae (family)||a biting midge||a biting midge||24/02/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Tomocerus minor||a springtail||a springtail||17/02/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Blaniulus guttulatus||Spotted Snake-millipede||a millipede||10/02/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Gelis sp.||a parasitic wasp||a parasitic wasp||31/01/2015||Rose Stephens|
|Collembola (family)||a springtail||a springtail||29/01/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Psychodidae (family)||an owl midge||a fly||27/01/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Psychodidae (family)||an owl midge||a fly||27/01/2015||Paul Ferris|
|Swammerdamia pyrella||Little Ermel||a micro moth||06/08/2013*||Paul Ferris|
|Dichrorampha petiverella||Common Drill||a micro moth||19/07/2011*||Paul Ferris|
Bats of the Wanstead area - a status summary
by Tim Harris
A qualifier with these observations is that I typically record bats in our area on 6-8 evenings per season. Lots will inevitably be missed.
Daubenton’s Bat (Myotis daubentoni)
A regular species in small numbers over and around the lakes in Wanstead Park and probably in larger numbers at Hollow Pond although, ironically, not positively picked up on the two waterways transects along the River Roding in August 2013. In 2014 several individuals were detected over Heronry Lake on 30/7 and over Perch Pond on 31/7 and 4/9 (Wren bat evenings).
Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus)
1 near Whiskers Island on 22/8/2013 was detected while on a waterways bat transect for BCT (TH/SP).
Common Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)
A species regularly recorded in small numbers over Wanstead Park, Wanstead Flats and Hollow Pond. Alexandra Lake seems to be a popular foraging area for the species in midsummer, when individuals can be seen at or even just before sunset, and also just before dawn. I have never seen more than 8 together in our area and most observations are of singles.
Leisler’s Bat (Nyctalus leisleri)
1 was detected near Perch Pond on the evening of 26/7/2009 and there was a probable there on the evening of 17/7/2009 (PF/TH).
Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
A common species in summer in Wanstead Park, Wanstead Flats, Hollow Pond etc. Favoured foraging areas include all the waters in Wanstead Park, and Alexandra Lake. My feeling is that the species may be a little less common than Soprano Pipistrelle, which seems to emerge a little earlier in the evening. In 2014 good numbers foraged on suitable evenings around and over Heronry Lake and Perch Pond.
Soprano Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)
Common locally in Wanstead Park, Wanstead Flats, Hollow Pond etc. Favoured foraging areas include all the waters in Wanstead Park and Alexandra Lake. My feeling is that the species may be a little more common than Common Pipistrelle in our area, and it seems to emerge a little earlier in the evening. In 2014, good numbers foraged on suitable evenings over and around Heronry Lake and Perch Pond. This is the species that most often come over my garden in Belgrave Road.
Nathusius’ Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus nathusii)
Two transects specifically for this species were conducted for the BCT in September 2013, around Heronry Lake. On the second of these transects on 22/9/2013, recordings were made and 1 individual was identified (TH/MH). This species is probably under-recorded.
Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus)
Never recorded by me locally, but it probably should be around. This is a harder species to pick up due to its different feeding technique and quiet echolocation calls. Worthy of further investigation!
Tim Harris, 12/09/2014
Mammal Survey in Aldersbrook Exchange Lands
On Friday 29th August 2014, Darren Tansley, Water for Wildlife Officer for the Essex Wildlife Trust, and Tim Harris, from the Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, set out 30 small mammal traps in the Aldersbrook Exchange Lands. This is the site of the old Redbridge Southern Sewage Works and now is mostly part of Epping Forest, with a central area belonging to Thames Water Authority. (for more information on the site, click here)
The traps used were Longworth Traps, which are designed to trap small mammals live so that they may be examined. Even when the trap is sprung there is a small hole for very small mammals to escape; Shrews need to eat continually, or they will die.
This operation was on behalf of our local Wren Wildlife and Conservation Group, and the following morning Darren gave ten Wren Group members some fascinating insights into the behaviour of voles, mice and shrews. The catch was four Wood Mice (2 males, 1 female and 1 that escaped before being sexed!) and a single Field Vole. There was also plenty of evidence of shrew activity, with both Common Shrew and Pygmy Shrew likely to be on site.
Darren raised a number of possibilities regarding the Exchange Lands. He thought there was a reasonable chance of Harvest Mice being present on the site. Apparently this species can colonise in only a few years of changed habitat status, and the site has been changing since it was closed as a sewage works in 1978 and later redeveloped to become part of Epping Forest in the 1990s. He also thought the Roding margins were worth checking for Water Shrews. And then, of course, there are Water Voles and Otters to look out for. Water Voles used to be a common inhabitant of the Roding adjacent to this site as well as through Wanstead Park. They became scarce by the early 1990s, although one was seen in 1998 and again in mid July, 2004. Since then, I have not heard of any being present. This may well be due to the presence of American Mink. Otters, however, are now not far upstream, and there have been one or two unconfirmed reports of sighting in the Roding by Wanstead Park, so surely it is only a matter of time?
Information supplied by Tim Harris - Photos by Rose Stephens
Paul Ferris, 1st September 2014
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