Thanks to the fantastic summer weather this week I was able to help with both butterfly and bird surveys. These involve following a set route around the park and noting down where and when different species were spotted, along with things such as weather conditions and the sex of individual. It takes far more skill than I had anticipated to be able to ID birds and butterflies, and the Junior Ecologist is able to tell a great tit from a long tailed tit just from the duration of its cheeps. Since the park is home to over 150 bird species it is safe to stay bird ID is still a mystery to me (for now)!
I also enjoyed helping out with another children’s session as part of the education side of my project, which this time was for Feltham Community and Development Association who are a youth group for children from selected estates in the local area. They particularly enjoyed following clues around the fishing lake as part of a treasure hunt! The clues had wildlife related facts sneaked into them to add the educational aspect, such as true or false questions they had to answer correctly to get given the next clue.
As with every job role I was office bound some afternoons and added data from the park’s surveys to the Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) database. This is a centralised database that aims to analyse London’s wildlife as a whole, so that each individual greenspace can be managed as a component of a wider interconnected system. This is useful not only for small scale issues such as individual species protection and making sure there are the minimum number of habitats available to maintain populations, but also for wider scale issues such as which areas in London need to be targeted for the improvement of air quality.