Tuesday 14 February 2012

Canary Wharf Update

Wanstead has been very quiet the last couple of days. Despite finally connecting with Lesserspot and Linnet, the passing of the cold weather means we're back to our Wheatear holding pattern. Although Goldeneye was the clear winner in the "Bird I'd really like Jono to find" poll, I fear that the return of spring has put paid to anything like that. When I checked the Basin this morning the ice had retreated markedly, and the story was the same on Heronry. And as if to properly prove things are back to normal, a Song Thrush was singing as I made my way across the Flats to the bus.

So, a filler then? Sadly not. Half an hour into my Canary Wharf route-march, with the species total on a paltry 15, I happened to glance at one of the docks almost right next to my building. I then almost fell into it when a Little Grebe appeared from behind a pillar that suspends part of a building above the water. It had a little swim around in the open water, and then disappeared back underneath the building. Gosh, I said. This is the second Little Grebe in 11 years, the other was right over the other side of the Wharf near that scout boat, and wouldn't be visible from my now reduced patch. Mega, as they say.

The next half an hour or so was, relatively speaking - and it's all about context - phenomenal. A Tufted Duck was asleep on a jetty thing, there were Magpies actually on the patch, and as I walked through the bit above the Jubilee Line station a male Blackbird made itself known. But then it got better still. Almost back out into full-on concrete, movement caught my eye to my left. I raised the bins and gasped. A magical bird, mind-blowingly colourful, glowed at me from a patch of soil. A Robin. A massive rarity, and on the patch, just staring back at me, with only me aware of it's presence. Amaaaazing - I soaked it up for at least two minutes and then headed back to my desk. I'm sorry to say that I told no-one (apart from Twitter). Yep, suppressed it. It was the right thing to do. With only two tube stations and one riverboat pier, Canary Wharf could not have handled a twitch of this magnitude. Arrangements may be made for the weekend if extra transport can be laid on, but this is entirely up to the estate management. So, for now, have a gripping picture.

What do you mean you can't see it?

I advise you to sit down before viewing this image


  1. So for the rest of eternity, that small little bush will be known as "The Magic Bush" - hooray! Every patch should have one!

  2. Good job it wasn't a Red Flanked Bluetail they'd have carted you off in an ambulance.