The Gates of Mordor aren't really called that, that's just the name I have given them. They probably don't even have a real name, and are just one of these anonymous locations that when quizzed about a bird you end up saying "Oh yeah, er, it was by that bit, er you know, those gates near the big trees with the green grass...". So instead you can, as I have done, give somewhere a catchy name and thus be instantly understood - provided you have briefed people in advance about the stupid name you have given it. Otherwise they just stare at you blankly I find. The Gates of Mordor are now relatively well understood, but in the early days I remember calling Nick to find out about where something was, and he said whatever it was was underneath the stump by the Gates of Mordor. I dutifully trotted off there and on finding no stump, discovered that he called a totally different set of gates The Gates of Mordor - you can imagine how silly he felt when I told him.
Other good patch names are Motorbike Wood on Wanstead Flats, which in true urban fashion, for a period of time held a burnt out moped. This is long gone, but from now until eternity it will be called Motorbike Wood, and unless you birded the area in about 2008, you will have no idea why. The wood that surrounds the petrol station is called Esso Copse, and a very distinct part of the SSSI is called the Boggy Bit. Other bits of patch are named after memorable birds, so we now have a large patch of broom known as the Dartford patch, and of course "the bit near Alex where the Wryneck was".
Today I learnt a new patch name from Steve - Dangerous Dog Ditch. I had wonderful visions of this being an infamous location where Steve had once been assaulted by a particularly vicious Pomeranian, but it turns out that it is a boggy depression near the Roding where once upon a time there had been a signpost that had warned of unstable ground, and that someone had graffitied it with a further warning that it was dangerous for dogs, which could sink. Although the sign now lies on the ground obscured by grass - one presumes felled by an irate person who had until recently owned a dog but had not read the sign in time - it will evermore be known, by Steve and now by me, as Dangerous Dog Ditch. Today there was a Woodcock in it - Steve didn't see it, he was too busy watching where he was treading....
|Took me a long while to select this photo, had to make sure I hadn't mentioned of inferred Moorhen anywhere in my post....|