Wednesday 15 May 2013

Urban Birding

Tottenham, London - Whilst on grandparent duties an early morning circuit of the local park in cool, wet conditions yielded, unsurprisingly, very little bird activity. However, on the plus side there seemed to be plenty of breeding House Sparrows and Starlings, while a Mistle Thrush `bounced` around on the football pitch dragging forth worms. Several Goldfinches twittered away, a pair of Lesser-black Backs flew over and a Green Woodpecker called from the hospital ground in St Anne`s Road.
  We took the little bloke to the Natural History Museum today and I swear the bird exhibits haven't changed since I first visited back in the 60`s (the 1960`s that is...); that big case of hummingbirds is now so faded that all of them now look the same opaque colour. Anyhow, at 2 years and 9 months some of the little blokes` identification was astounding (his mother has obviously been priming him) as he nailed animals as diverse as Rock Hyrax, Woolly Mammoth, Pangolin and Great Auk!
  The Natural History Museum is simply the finest building in London (although St Pancras Station gives it a run for its money). Forget Buck House and the Tower, just go to South Kensington, stand back, admire and look on in wonder at this work of art, both inside and out. Alfred Waterhouse, the Victorian architect who designed it must`ve been a genius, and as for the fellas who built it, what top artisans.

                                            Natural History Museum

  Anyhow, back to birds, and surprise, surprise when we emerged from the tube station at Seven Sisters, on the way back to base, the sky above was thick with Swifts. What a fabulous sight as over a 100 of these sickle-shaped racers careered through the airspace feeding on aerial plankton just above the roof-tops.

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