A Spotted Flycatcher spotted at Mudchute. Photo via John Archer.

A Spotted Flycatcher spotted at Mudchute. Photo via John Archer.


The following birdwatching news comes from Tower Hamlets Biodiversity Officer John Archer.

There had been a big fall of passage migrant birds in London this week with many species passing through Mudchute on their journeys. First reported on 26th, on 27th was 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 male Redstarts and 4 to 5 Spotted Flycatchers in the paddocks, along with a few Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Blackcaps. These are probably Scandinavian breeders, brought across on the South-Easterly airstream and grounded by the heavy rain on Wednesday. A few birdwatchers from various parts of London have been visiting Mudchute to see the flycatchers and redstarts.

Have you spotted any unusual birds on the farm? Do send us a tweet @mudchute!

A Redstart spotted at Mudchute. Photo via John Archer.

A Redstart spotted at Mudchute. Photo via John Archer.


A rare pink variant of the Meadow Grasshopper.

A rare pink variant of the Meadow Grasshopper.

The warm sunshine this summer has created fantastic conditions for minibeasts of all sorts on the farm! We’ve pulled together a roundup of just a few of the man remarkable creatures that make Mudchute their home. We’ve spotted bright pink grasshoppers, beautiful blue butterflies and all manner of creatures between! The weather is set to be warm and sunny this weekend too, so be sure to keep an eye out for minibeasts on your next visit! To share them on social media, just use #mudchute!

A look at the courtship of the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus). The chirping sound we hear across the farm is produced by amorous males who rapidly rub their hind legs against their wings. This video shows the action in approximately 10x slower than real life.


Leaves of all shapes and textures.

Leaves of all shapes and textures, including Mallow, Burdock and Mayweed.

As a part of our ongoing muck heap works, a new bank was created from well rotted manure behind the pens of our Saddleback and Potbellied pigs. This loose, nutrient-rich area was left unplanted to allow local flora to colonise and in just a few short months, it has quickly turned a lush green, filled with new foliage. This morning, I visited the site with local botanist and Mudchute trustee, John Swindells, to find out more about some of the plants which have found their way to the new bank.

The area which was bare ground only months ago is now lush and green.

The area which was once bare ground is now lush and green.

Botanist John Swindells examines the colonising flora.

Botanist John Swindells examines the colonising flora.

Henbane and Sowthistle are among the many plants establishing themselves.

Henbane and Sowthistle are among the many plants establishing themselves.

Common Mallow is among several of the plants currently in flower.

Common Mallow is among several of the plants currently in flower.

Field and Opium poppies are also in flower, alongside the yellow flowers of Nipplewort.

Field and Opium poppies are also in flower, alongside the yellow flowers of Nipplewort.

The distinctive shape of Shepherd's Purse.

The distinctive shape of Shepherd’s Purse.

Italian Rye Grass also appears to be thriving.

Italian Rye Grass also appears to be thriving.

It's no too hard to imagine how the Spiny Sowthistle got its name!

It’s not too difficult to imagine how the Spiny Sowthistle got its name!

Mayweed flowers. The delicate feathery foliage of this plant makes up much of the growth on the mound.

Mayweed flowers. The delicate feathery foliage of this plant makes up much of the growth on the mound.

Disturbed land and a lack of taller plants provides opportunities for low-lying plants like this Lesser Swinecress.

Disturbed land and a lack of taller plants provides opportunities for low-lying plants like this Lesser Swinecress.

Fat Hen and other Chenopodium are also thriving.

Fat Hen and other Chenopodium are also thriving.

Black Horehound with its distinctive odour when disturbed.

Black Horehound with its distinctive odour when disturbed.

Invertebrates such as this ladybird larva have also moved onto the mound.

Invertebrates such as this ladybird larva have also moved onto the mound and we found evidence of fox activity as well.

Flowering Fat Hen, Poppy and Potato (perhaps an allotment escapee!).

Flowering Fat Hen, Poppy and Potato (perhaps an allotment escapee!).

It was great to see so many wild species moving into the area so quickly and we look forward to watching the area develop and mature. The plants found growing on the mound are also found throughout Mudchute, so be sure to keep an eye out for these species on your next visit!