Crossness – latest newsletter highlights massive importance of this jewel in Bexley’s wildlife crown

Karen Sutton, Nature Reserve Manager and Thames Water Biodiversity Team Leader says ….

I am pleased to make available our latest Friends of Crossness newsletter, packed full of great wildlife information and photos from the site  – at the foot of this posting , or 4MB, downloadable here:

https://app.box.com/shared/static/9bhn8w3t8g3ab21z9xd947llmtqmwkvs.pdf

 

There’s a great programme of events planned for the summer which you will find at the back of the newsletter. Two of these occur this month with a wildflower walk on Weds 20th May and on Friday 29th May, we have a bird calls and songs event with the renowned, and much-published birder, Dominic Couzens. These events are all free and most have some light refreshments included, so do please let me know if you would like to attend any of them so I can provide enough. You don’t have to be a FoCNR  member to come along.

There’s lots going on at the reserve at the moment. As you will see from the front cover blurb, all the migrants are in and the reedbeds are subsequently alive with the sound of Reed and Sedge Warblers (and Cetti’s warblers appear to be everywhere!). Kestrels appear to be breeding on site, and Marsh Harriers have been seen frequently of late; a Buzzard was also seen last week. We’ve had Snipe, Green sandpiper and Lapwing on the wader scrape recently, and a lot of geese activity.

There are currently 6 Canada geese goslings sticking close to the adults on the scrape at the moment and more adults on eggs.

Bees, butterflies and other invertebrates are now in abundance. We had our first bumblebee queen recorded in February, but now there are lots of Common Carder bees, White-tailed and Buff-tailed bumbles about. The first Green-veined White butterfly of the year nationally (!) was recorded last month by Mike Robinson, who also spotted our first Green Hairstreak of the year on site on Tuesday (28th April).

This Green-veined White at Crossness on 30th March was the first reported to Butterfly Conservation from anywhere in the UK this year. (Photo: Mike Robinson).

This Green-veined White at Crossness on 30th March was the first reported to Butterfly Conservation from anywhere in the UK this year. (Photo: Mike Robinson).

First Crossness Green Hairstreak of 2015. (Photo: Mike Robinson).

First Crossness Green Hairstreak of 2015. (Photo: Mike Robinson).

Plenty of Small Whites, Peacocks, Red Admirals and Orange-tips are also being seen.

Last week saw our first damselfly too! Martin Petchey recorded Large Red Damselflies on 28th April. Tuesday was a good day, because I also saw the first dragonfly of the year. It was too distant to record with certainty, but appeared from a distance to be a female Broad-bodied Chaser.

Richard Spink recorded some rather exciting Pochard breeding activity in the Protected Area, so we are very much hoping that Crossness will soon be with Pochard child.

All the wildlife sightings over the past few months are tabulated in the newsletter, showing that we are still fortunate enough to get a fabulous array of species here even though only a very small fragment of anything like the original marshland still remains.

It’s a very exciting time to visit Crossness Nature Reserve. If you’re not able to visit under your own steam, do sign up for some of our events coming up the next few months. Indeed the more people come and show an interest, the better for the site’s long-term protection.

I look forward to seeing you enjoying the Crossness sun and wildlife soon.

Kind regards. Karen Sutton – Biodiversity Team Manager, Thames Water Crossness Nature Reserve, Crossness Sewage Treatment Works, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood.  London SE2 9AQ. Tel: 07747 643958. Email: Karen.sutton@thameswater.co.uk

 

Download the PDF file .

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