Tag Archives: nature

Tigers in the bushes

Jersey Tiger Moth Underside tiger in the undergrowth

Lee Tiger and friend Jersey tiger moth

It’s been a while since I blogged, one way and another. Most recently (since June 22, I think), I’ve been laid up with a dodgy back, unable to cycle, sit or take public transport. After the first week the severity lessened, and I’ve been able to take shortish daily walks to local parks where I’ve become pretty obsessed with the variety of wildlife populating S E London.

Most of all, I’ve been noticing the spread of the beautiful Jersey Tiger Moth, Euplagia quadripunctaria. I’d never seen one before, and now I’ve seen 10, all within a short distance of the local railways. They were formerly regarded as a South Coast species in the UK, but a population is thought to have established itself in the Devonshire Road nature reserve in 2004, and they seem to have spread from there. There is a suggestion that they have spread by the railway, and the locations of my sightings would support the hypothesis.

Other London sightings:


Elmley Marshes

Yesterday, we went to Elmley Marshes to look at birds, which involved about 17 miles cycling and a fair amount of walking.

The last leg of the ride to the reserve was down a semi-made-up track, and required quite a lot of care. So it wasn’t particularly energy-sapping, but it was tough on the hands and arms, and by the end of it, my backside felt like an endangered species, although there appears to be plenty of it.

It was a beautiful day, and we saw all sorts of birds, but the highlight was a short-eared owl, hunting among the long grasses and reeds, just before twilight. Then it settled on a post, and one of the other birders trained a spotting scope on it, and gave us a look. It was really a splendid bird, and so clear and easy to see with the scope. It made me hanker after a spotting scope, but I guess it’s too early to start making up this year’s Christmas wishlist already.


View from one of the hides at Elmley

So an enjoyable, if tiring day, but marred at the end by my neighbours’ decision to throw a party, in a terraced house, with a DJ and bass cranked up until it caused the pictures on my wall to vibrate, even in the rear wing of my house that has no party wall with their house. The music went on until about 4:30 this morning, and pretty much wiped out today for both Molecule Man and myself. Bastards.