Sunday 2 September 2012

Wanstead's most attractive Woodpigeon

Came across an unbelievably gorgeous Woodpigeon today. I fear its beauty hasn't much longer to shine though, there is something not quite right with its tail.... It's not every day that a Woodpigeon makes you involuntarily gag, but that's what happened when I was photographing Mistle Thrushes and it strayed into my viewfinder. I wonder what on earth has happened to it? It wasn't particularly alert, not that many are I suppose, but this one appeared to have significantly dulled reactions. Horrible, poor thing.

Do you think it looks better from the left....

....or from the right?

In other news, I saw a Nuthatch today in Reservoir Wood, and then again by Heronry. Nuthatch is an inexplicably rare bird in Wanstead given the lovely habitat that exists in the Park. There must be something I am missing, certainly I can't hope to understand what makes Nutchatches tick, but I've been to lots of places that appear at least superficially to be identical, and they are crawling with Nuthatches. I've seen four in Wanstead in eight years, not a very convincing total, so let's hope that they are on the way back. Not much else going on across the patch, fairly quiet in comparison with recent days. I guess this is the problem with excellence; it becomes difficult to maintain. A Little Egret flying west across the Flats was a patch tick though, seen plenty in the Park but none here before, so most pleasing. I kind of punched the air, but not really as I was standing next to Barry and he doesn't need to know what a saddo I am.

Directions to this crippling mega on the Wiki

Talking of saddos, I am getting drawn in to a handbagging match on the London bird sightings page. I would have done better to have stayed out of it, it's like Birdforum all over again, so a huge 'fail' on my part. In a nutshell a loud-mouthed American has turned up and loves the sound of his own typing. Me too, that's probably why it's all going wrong - but I have a blog for my creative output. He doesn't, so he just uses the blog, sorry I mean sightings page, to tell London birders where they might be so lucky as to see a Chiffchaff or other scarce bird, which branch of a tree it is in, and what the weather is like. I put it down to over-enthusiam, severe obstinance, and cultural differences. I must be overly-traditional, preferring a sightings page to concisely summarise what birds are to be found across the capital. My opinion means nothing though, and unfortunately he has become a cause celebre for seemingly masses of disenfranchised birders who need help with finding Chiffchaffs and other rare breeding birds, and so I now find myself somewhat marginalised and accused of pedantry. Such as shame, as I'm actually right, but that doesn't count. I suspect I'm going to get bored of an editing war long before this guy and his groupies do, and sarcasm has no effect either. Even a great joke about Garden Warblers being borin' went completely over their heads, an indication that there is no more I can do. So, completely powerless in the face of a mounting storm of verbal diahorrea that is swamping what used to be quite an easy to use resource, I'm giving up. Given my heritage it pains me to say that I hope his visa is only temporary. If he ever does see the light and start a blog though, I'm going to be the first follower, the style is, is, well, words fail me if the truth be told.

Oh, and yes, I did get assaulted by a dog on the patch today, just as I knew I would. Once again it was my fault (camera), and it improved my already great mood massively.

And breathe......


  1. Looks like a potential split...'Stejneger's Pigeon'

  2. Your woodie has an abscess in the nares and throat, very likely related to a trichomonas infection. It's a goner.

    Wanstead is too small and too isolated to hold nuthatches or get them passing through regularly. They have fairly big territories and short dispersal distances, so need well-wooded landscapes - Wanstead park is a bit too marooned in the urban sprawl. But with increasing population pressure they might eventually colonise. Have a read of Erik Matthysen's book The Nuthatches to see what makes them tick. Not cheap, but great book.

  3. Hey Billy, just so you know, I am in almost complete agreement with your comment that I am not going to publish. I should just get over it.

  4. No worries, I expected you to publish it anyway. I guess I'm just being too liberal.

  5. Oh ugh, I am eating lunch. However it is better to view that than to experience it. Nature red in tooth and beak.

  6. P.S. I notice you are a little cranky recently, and was wondering if work is getting to you, but then I reflected that all of the individual instances you mention seem extremely irritating, so maybe it's just that the world is full of dumbasses. Truth!

  7. Good photos and grretings from my spanish blog