Ragged Robins, Red Admiral and Wigeon at Danson

I came across two flowering Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) by the rock garden pond at Danson Park today, which according  to GiGL’s database is only the second site for it in the Borough, the other having been Foots Cray Meadows with records from 1955, 1964 and 1985.

There is no evidence to suggest that anything has been sown here by the Council since the pond was dredged earlier in the year, so it may be a relic of a sowing some years ago that has re-appeared after seed was brought to the surface. Or it may have been brought in by birds. Or perhaps a member of the public had bought or collected some seed from somewhere and broadcast them here.

Two Ragged Robin plants found by the bog garden pond at at Danson Park constitute only the second site in the Borough for the species (Photo: Chris Rose)

Two Ragged Robin plants found by the bog garden pond at at Danson Park constitute only the second site in the Borough for this species (Photo: Chris Rose)

A female Wigeon (or maybe male in eclipse plumage before moulting back into breeding colours?) was an unexpected find given that this is a bird normally associated with the Thames and adjacent marshes. I have subsequently discovered that Ian Stewart saw two Wigeon here on October 2nd.  There were 4 Little Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 6 Egyptian Geese amongst other species. Winter is coming and Coot numbers have consequently risen significantly since my last visit.

The Himalayan Balsam is not going without a fight, and a further 10 spindly plants had sneaked up amongst dense waterside vegetation and were in flower. I pulled them out without losing any seed from popping pods, and put them in a dry shady spot away from the lake where nothing is growing.

Another search for Alder Tongue Gall failed to reveal any, but a Red Admiral butterfly was tucked away amongst the leaves near the tip of an Alder shoot, out of the strong breeze and drizzle.

Chris Rose.

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