Thursday 29 April 2021

More patch news

Bit of a running theme of late. So....

Reed Warbler

I breezed through the Park pretty early today, and was through Shoulder of Mutton and Heronry pretty quickly. Nothing to see. It was so poor I swerved Perch and Ornamentals and instead headed to the Flats, quipping to my birding colleagues that they should bring valium if they intended birding the Park.

The Flats was no better really. A big concentration of immature Herring Gulls was on Alex, at least 135 birds, but the main things of note were the immense piles of crap on the playing fields. It was generally quite neatly bagged up and at first I wondered if the Alex scrub had been cleared and was awaiting collection. However as I got closer I realised that this was  actually fly-tipping, with tyre tracks leading from the direction of Capel Road. But this was no ordinary fly-tipping, it was more fragrant than normal! This was the illicit disposal of a full-blown cannabis operation. Four huge piles contained pretty much everything you would need, although quite what the beds were for I am not sure. Perhaps the plants needed full-time husbandry, as a indoor gardener myself I can understand that. Anyway, I called the Corporation of London to report it and suggested that they also involve the police given my suspicions.

Telltale signs of bad behaviour

Heading west to the VizMig point via a Lesser Whitethroat I encountered Marco who had also seen almost nothing, not even drugs. He quickly resolved this by finding a couple of Swallow, and then a group of ten House Martin flew across. It was beginning to get interesting, but then came a message from the Park that there was a Reed Warbler singing on the Ornamentals. But of course there was, as that was one of the ponds I hadn't bothered with, but well done Simon for far better diligence. As this was at the outer fringes of the patch I returned home to fetch my bike, as did Bob, and pedalled up there. Bob just pressed "Go" as his bike is a snazzy electric one.

Anyhow, Simon's Reed Warbler is the bird that ends my quest. Or my third quest I should say, as 107 species before the end of April was the target that replaced the 104 species by the end of April, which in turn replaced 100. Quest numero uno was simply a nice round number. Numero dos was overachieving versus my historic June record of 103, and Third Dan was 106 by the end of July, now also overhauled in April. My August record total is 109, so only three birds would be needed to get there, however at this point I am done. I do actually have the day off tomorrow, and so I could trudge around the patch all day and maybe, just maybe, get those three species. Variety is the spice of life however, and instead I sense a little coastal birding in my future.


  1. I've found 'cannabis production' type tipping down the rural lane near me home a couple of times. Usually the waste includes a load of insulative materials, light bulbs of some sort and a very strong and immediately identifiable smell that leaves no doubt! Mine did not include bedding, yours must be on a more industrial scale.

    1. I reckon a domestic house with a "live in" gang. There were loads of boxes for fans etc, all sorts of watering gear and so on, and then of course all the stripped plants themselves. All gone now, I was back there yesterday morning and nothing to be seen.

  2. You will regret it next year if you dont continue your record breaking quest for the rest of this one...Good Luck, I am enjoying the progress.

    1. Well I didn't stay local on the 30th, I needed a break, I needed some coast. But back there the last few days and Sedge Warbler is now on the list. Still feels really quiet for early May though.