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London Butterfly Survey


complete with images and now HD video to help identification


small copperSmall copper

Larger Moths

moth surveyLime Hawkmoth

Little marvels of nature covered by my Independent survey of butterfly and moth populations - tracking the effects on butterflies and moths of climate and environmental change in London, South East and the attached rural areas of North Kent to the M25. 1976 to date...


Nature - Rookery Estate

A Personal diary in words pictures and HD film of one of suburban London's most undiscovered wildlife refuges


Diary 1976=2015

rodney compton

A Personal diary in words & pictures recording daily sightings and impressions from January 1976 to date



Nature Blogspot Diaries 1976-2013

little owl

Little Owl Diary

Two successful seasons for the little owls meant that another two young were reared in 2009 and 2010. 2011 proved to be a quite different year altogether. The dry spring that started in March left the ground solid, forcing the owls on to short rations and I only recorded one evenings activity during June, when after rain, the adult birds were feeding worms in the nest to the two young. The young finally emerged at the beginning of July, but in the space of four days I was only recording one young bird. It was being fed by a single adult and before long the adult was making the most determined attempts to get the young bird to fly away from the host tree. I cannot say what happened to the other young bird, or the other adult, but the remaining young was still approaching the adult for food (mostly without luck) towards the end of July. Stag beetle activity during the rather cold July evenings was scant, by comparison with previous years. I am assuming that the other young bird and the other adult dispersed to a nearby territory, but that might be optimistic. There are now three territories for the Little Owl in the locality 2012 reversed the trend of the previous year, with much needed, but excessive rainfall and thus much easier access to the muddy pastures and fields that hold the prize worms so important to this species. 2013 started cold but soon recovered to be a bumper year for the stock of invertebrates and thus the birds that feed on them.

Butterflies 2011-2013

The level of fieldwork in 2011 was rewarded with some great shots and video of butterflies. The extent of the distribution of the purple hairstreak from one end of the borough to the other has has been as astonishing as its very prevalence. The white admiral is evident, but most surprising of all; was the sight of a CHALK HILL BLUE on Elmfield on the 1st of August. The washout of 2012 was reversed by the bumper summer of 2013, which saw the first clouded yellow and white letter hairstreak







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Another regular bird to visit the woodland feeders during the winter was the goldfinch, which normally arrived in small troupes of five or six. Unlike its dainty appearance on the wing, it is a hardy survivor. Where food is concerned, the bird is occasionally inclined to a defensive or threatening display - the posture shown here is definitive and shows what a tough guy it can be.


Robin - one of the best images from the extemporary hide I set up in the clearing. A lovely tame bird in the garden, this more cautious 'woodland' robin was still up for some aggression when another redbreast came into it's feeding territory.



Greenfinch - The greenfinch had become scarcer in 2009 but a pair were seen feeding in the sloes prior to the early winter snows of 2010 and are back breeding by the allotment gate 2011 - 2013. To catch up on this and other stories you can log into my daily nature blog.