Monday 15 March 2010

Wanstead still in the Headlines

Wanstead is still grabbing the news for all the wrong reasons. My patch has become a crime scene, and is also described as an East London Beauty Spot. Hmmmm. And I am a birdspotter, who likes to look at birds in trees, but doesn't like to watch them fall out. I suppose this is true, but birdspotter sound rather naff. Mind you, I should be thankful I've not yet been labelled as a twitcher. That would be quite wrong.

No more birds have died since Saturday. That unfortunate Pigeon on the ITN broadcast was the last one. I spoke to Keith from the Epping Forest dept again today, and it actually died there and then. I had only pointed it out some fifteen minutes previously as one that didn't look too good, so to have it die that quickly, well, that says poison to me, and a pretty potent one at that. The corpses are all still being analysed, so we still don't know. But at least it has stopped.

The pond remains taped off, and will stay that way until the results are known and the area is deemed safe again. Personally, I'd be happy if the car park never re-opened. Actually I'd probably go a step further and ban everybody from the Flats. Forever. Apart from me and the other local birders. Then I could go birding in peace. I wouldn't miss the insomniac dog-walkers walking straight through the Skylark nesting habitat. I wouldn't miss the Model Aircraft flying low across the acid grassland. I wouldn't miss all the empty drinks bottles that the footballers leave everywhere every weekend, and I wouldn't miss the shenanigans in Long Wood. I'd also happily never have someone stop me and tell me about a funny bird they saw again, or ask if I'd seen any of those green Parrots. When the BBC man asked me today what I was hoping would happen now, I had to grit my teeth and say I was looking forward to it all being open again. I'm afraid that when I'm out birding, I'm actually rather antisocial. Not that you'd know it. I nod and smile, and I am friendly. But deep down I am wishing you would go away and leave me alone. I might just be joking though. But how would you tell?

Actually I think I would like it all to go back to normal. It would be better if Wanstead were not in the news. I suppose it's been interesting to find out how the media works behind the scenes, quite how many people (loads) are involved in getting a story into the news, and stuff like that, but the most exciting time of year is upon us, and that's what I need to concentrate on. Before the press turned up again, that is exactly what I was doing. However, apart from a fresh Comma, nothing doing.

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