Park life in London SE1

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Early morning bird survey of Potters Fields and St Johns Churchyard next to Tower Bridge didn’t produce any great surprises. The neighbourhood peregrine was surveying his patch from the tower of Tower Bridge as we arrived possibly deciding whether he fancied pigeon for breakfast – he had plenty to choose from as they were by far the most common species, maximum count 23 at one time.

We are carrying out bird and bug surveys as part of a Citizen Science project with the GLA, Team London Bridge and the Potters Fields Trust and so far have recorded 13 species of bird, including the peregrine, several of them showing breeding behaviour, we even had the opportunity to watch two fledgling wrens being fed by the adult in St John’s Churchyard.There have also been rumours of another bird of prey hunting in the churchyard, unfortunately not when our surveyors have been present.

Graham our invertebrate specialist has recorded numerous honey bees (from the hive on Potters Fields) and 3 species of bumble bees as well as numerous other bugs.The bees were particularly attracted to the nectar rich planting of the Piet Udolf designed gardens.

We are hoping that employees from the GLA and other local businesses will record the wildlife they encounter in their local patch, everyone can get involved even if you don’t know your house fly from your hover fly, a pigeon from a peregrine, it doesn’t matter as long as you can take a photo.The experts at The Ecology Consultancy will be identifying things from the images you provide.

If you want to know more please email Peter.Massini@london.gov.uk and you’ll be provided with further guidance. If we get sufficient numbers we’ll organise a brief training session with Ecology Consultancy in early August.

Jane Kendall

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