Another busy morning of chauffeuring, this time to a cricket match in West Ham Park. I've never knowingly been there, and so whilst preparations for the T20 match got underway, I had a quick poke around. Step aside Lindo, I am now the urban birder. It's well known for attracting Pied Flycatcher more or less every autumn, but I have to say that I found it a little sterile. Then again, I arrived at 9am when it was already getting a little busy. Overall though it just seemed a bit over-manicured to be particularly attractive to birds, and on my circuit I saw nothing that I wouldn't see in my garden over the course of a few days. Predictably a couple of very slightly wilder areas held a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap, but overall it is lacking the scrubby habitat and margins that migrants tend to head for, and that we have so much of on my patch, and that makes it difficult to find anything. Whack a bramble patch and a couple of sycamores in the middle of West Ham Park and it could be dynamite. None of this detracted from it being a very nice and pleasant outdoor space to go for a walk, and as parks go, it really is extremely good - worth a bit of time in the future, if only for a family walk - as it looks far better than Wanstead Park for fun and games, bikes and balls. I think they must lock it up at night, as it is spic and span, with very little evidence of the sort of trashing that goes on in Wanstead on an all too regular basis.
I racked up a decidedly unimpressive 23 species - I think the lack of water, unless I missed it, is a big gap. Highlights were a few Swallows going through, and more than a few Blackbirds busily catching worms, no doubt for nearby broods. Mistle Thrushes look to have already fledged, as I saw a big family group rattling around the place. But as I say, it was very pleasant, albeit not unlike a massive garden, and Wanstead won the cricket too, included number one son taking a catch that would have caused me to duck for cover.
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