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by Harry Whitehead
is the evidence for of new animal species setting up home figures are a national average and in
climate change? For here - some in SE9 - and a number of our some cases may be more dramatic in
hundreds of years, a variety of people original species becoming rarer. Eltham.
have kept records of when natural In your garden, you are growing plants
events occurred. In the past, they were Since 2001, many spring events are now once thought too tender such as
often eccentric country parsons and a week or more earlier and autumn also bananas; little plantations are in local
dotty rural squires, and their records are is starting later than in the past. This can parks and sheltered gardens. Agapanthus
now increasingly important and being create problems, for example caterpillars is commonplace as are bottlebrushes,
closely studied. may be feeding before the fledglings eucalyptus and olives. The list keeps
have hatched that
2001 2009
need them as food or
Firstleaf Elder 30rMar 15rMar
plants flowering before
Hawthorn 03rApr 22rMar
there are sufficient
Lawnfirstcut 01rApr 20rMar
insects for a full
Nesting Blackbird 27rMar 19rMar
successful pollination.
Bluetit 04rApr 29rMar
Flowering LesserCelandine 15rMar 03rMar
The rise in temperatures
Firstfrogspawn 12rMar 04rMar
is allowing some
FirstButterflies Peacock 14rApr 31rMar
species to expand
RedAdmiral 07rMay 18rApr
For the last 50 years, Kew Gardens have rapidly and they may
also kept records of 100 native plant in time replace existing ones which are growing. As I walk Eltham’s streets, I am
species, when they flower and produce unable to find suitable territories with regularly surprised to see in gardens
a leaf. The Woodland Trust has been the right conditions. plants that perhaps 30 years ago would
monitoring in a similar way. All this has have been thought too tender.
led to the new science of ‘phenology’. The table insert compares annual event
Additionally, Britain is seeing a number timings between 2001and 2009. The
Bird Watch
than 20 bird species The most common species seen in the
were observed by the Tarn, opposite Mottingham station,
Friends of the Tarn during their annual were feral pigeons (40), mallard ducks
Big Garden Birdwatch. (17), moorhen (14) and blue tits,
parakeets and coots (8 each).
The count confirmed the decline in
house sparrow numbers, only one of
House Sparrow
which was seen, having fallen in recent
years from being the most common
Long Tailed tit
Among the birds seen were long-tailed
A similar tale was found at the birdwatch
tits, jays, a great spotted woodpecker
in Well Hall Pleasaunce. No sparrows
and a collared dove.
were observed; 14 species were seen,
most numerous being blue, coal and
Reports from the birdwatch will
great tits.
contribute towards the RSPB’s annual
national census of the birdlife in our
parks and garden.
Collard Dove
Be active in your community
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