As previously reported there was an excellent turnout of 27 – mainly locals – for last weekend’s (July 4th) London Natural History Society-led event at Crossness Southern Marsh on Erith Marshes, looking at lesser-known invertebrates. The area is part of a Metropolitan (London level) Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
LNHS experts on hand were Tristan Bantock and Mick Massie on insects, ornithologist George Kalli and leading botanist Rodney Burton. Attendees included members from the Ruxley Gravel Pits nature reserve, Lesnes Abbey (Woods) Conservation Volunteers and the Friends of Crossness Nature Reserve group.
While we wait for a definitive list of species found to be compiled, here are some of the other characters that were to be seen (Photos by Site manager Karen Sutton and walk leader Chris Rose – with his LNHS hat on).
Ponies on Southern Marsh
Site manager Karen Sutton (second left) chats to Mike Robinson as the walk gets underway.
Participants discuss species identification. ‘Bexley Wildlife’ contributor Purnendu Roy, who discovered a new species of butterfly in India, on the right.
Martin Petchey, who does Bee transect counts at Crossness.
‘BW’ contributor Mike Robinson, who recently discovered the Marbled White butterfly at Hollyhill, a new (modern, at least) record for Bexley.
Attendees gathered on the Southern Marsh pond boardwalk to get superb close-up views of the considerable Dragonfly and Damselfly action, including Small Red-eyed Damselfly, a new site record.
Lunchbreak. Rodney Burton (red cap, centre), the compiler of the 1983 ‘Flora of the London area’, took advantage of the meeting to gather plant records for the LNHS’s project to produce an updated botanical atlas of the capital.
The volunteers from Lesnes Abbey Woods clearly prefer shadier habitats, and took advantage of a Reedbed to take some respite from the blazing sun!
Rodney Burton explains the finer points of plant identification at the Southern Marsh wader scrape.
Entomologising and botanising the margins of the Southern Marsh wader scrape rounded off an interesting and productive day at Crossness.