Friday 29 December 2023

Notable deaths in 2023

Bob the Turaco 2008-2023

I didn't actually know it had been named Bob, but this popular Wanstead bird passed away this year in a local Old Turacos home. I'm not sure of the full story but apparently he was found unwell in a garden, easily scooped up, and transported to a vetinary hospital. Old age or illness had taken its toll, and he died on December 3rd. Bob, a White-cheeed Turaco, was first seen in Wanstead around 2008, the earliest photo of him I can find is from February 2010. A local legend frankly, amazing that a bird from Ethiopia could survive here all these years - including some really cold spells. Local residents used to leave out chopped fruit, and he quite liked hanging out with Chickens. I attracted him into our garden from time to time by whooping and clucking which generally worked a treat. His red wings were nothing short of spectacular when he flew, and of all the birds that live here this was the one that non-birders most often mentioned to me. RIP Bob.

World's Stupidest Black-necked Grebe, 2021-2023

In early May 2021 a Black-necked Grebe took up residence on Alexandra Lake, a pond so unsuitable for it that you had to question whether it was firing on all cylinders. It stayed for something like six months and became a bit of a looker over the summer. The following year, in April, it returned - clearly this was a very dim bird indeed.  The next year, 2023, it returned in March, and this time brought a mate. I mean really, what an idiot. Mrs Grebe hung around for a few days, dismissed it for the dump it was, and left. What followed was tragic and ultimately very sad. The Grebe called for days, a plaintive "why hast thou forsaken me" moan, but to no avail. A few weeks later it was found on the side of the pond in bad shape. It was collected, taken to Grebe hospital, and died overnight. Of a broken heart we suspect. RIP.

It even looks a few slices short of a loaf in this photo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the two obituaries. Sorry to hear of the death of the White-cheeked Turaco. Most years since 2008 it appeared in Appendix II of the Essex Bird Report. How it survived for so long and where it was when unreported is a mystery.