Wildlife Walk with Newham Green Hands Group

At 12-00 on 13th July members of Wren met up with Newham Green Hands for a walk through the Alexandra Lake area to look for wildlife. It was great to see a dozen young people from Newham keen to take in the diversity of plants and animals hiding in the undergrowth.

Every clump of Common Ragwort seemed to be covered in the orange and black caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth. A patch of Weld or Dyer’s Rocket was found on a piece of burnt ground. Many Meadow Brown butterflies flew about us, with smaller Skippers, a few Gatekeepers and two Marbled White. Marbled White are just about annual on the Flats but often just fly through, so this was a treat. Soldier Beetles, a Crab Spider (Xysticus sp.), many leaping crickets and spider nurseries were seen. Birds were not obvious in the heat of the day, with a few Goldfinch and Woodpeckers more easily heard than seen, until we approached Alex. lake where Mallard, Coot, Moorhen and Greylag, Egyptian and Canada Geese sailed the waters. A couple of juvenile Black-headed Gulls were amongst the 30 or so adults, with Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls of various ages on the western side near the car park. Black-tailed Skimmers, a few Red-eyed Damselflies and Pond Skaters were gliding over the lake, while the Red-eared Terrapin on a log proved rather popular.

Thanks to the Green Hands initiative this was a very enjoyable stroll through the “jungle” on our doorstep. Thanks also to the experts from Wren who named virtually everything we saw!