Saturday, 31 January 2009

Spring Oddity

As per usual on a Saturday, I donned my 'The Cat' goalkeeping shirt and stood between the sticks to save many of the shower of shots that were fired at me. We won.

Yesterday, the news broke that Bill Oddie was leaving Springwatch. I actually knew on Monday but was sworn to secrecy. It will be very interesting to see who (if anyone) they get to replace him. I've heard the names Alan Titchmarsh, comedian Rory McGrath and Ben Fogle bandied around. 

What do you guys think?

Friday, 30 January 2009

Posts yesterday - Poles today

I can't believe it!!

For two mornings in a row, I've dragged my carcass out of bed and drove myself down to The Scrubs for a quick hour's birding. It was a cold, crisp and sunny day. Perhaps that was the only thing of note to comment about this morning. Well, actually there were around 30 Meadow Pipits in the grassland and a majestic group of 4 Mute Swans headed serenely over.

After moaning for several days, I had an apologetic phone message later from the Council promising to next week move the pipit sign I was complaining about in yesterday's blog to the proper place that it should be at. I truly fear for the future of our precarious population as I can't see their breeding area recovering before they start setting up territory. What's more, it sadly seems likely that the grassland will not be made into part of the Local Nature Reserve that the wooded bits of The Scrubs enjoys.

Today was the day that I finished the Conwy RSPB article on my favourite walk, which is naturally The Scrubs. I will ship that over to them once I've given it the over night test. I called the editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine to see whether she had received the ideas that I emailed over for some articles that I'd like to write for them. She was up for meeting me, so I will be heading over to Bristol the week after next for lunch with her and her colleagues. 

Meanwhile, the editor of Bird Watching Magazine managed to secure a trip to Poland for me to write a piece on Urban Birding. Fantastic! Also, next weekend I'll be heading over to Paris to explore some of its urban sites for the magazine. I always get excited visiting new cities for birding purposes. Of course, I'm not a complete glutton for punishment, thus I will be squeezing in some time out of town to get a birding fix.

My thoughts and prayers go out to my friend Ciska Faulkner, a producer who whilst filminga commercial last week in Helsinki, Finland came down with meningitis and had to be flown back to London. She is currently in hospital. I wish her a speedy recovery.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hitting the post

Mute Swan - Petria Whelan
At last I made it out to a rather waterlogged Wormwood Scrubs for my first bit of birding for a couple of weeks. I originally got a text from Fiona Barclay of Birdguides, who lives in nearby Acton, alerting me to a Egyptian Goose flying towards The Scrubs. I jumped out of bed as if I'd just wet it!

Although I have been moaning about it, my lack of binocular action is actually par for the course for me at this time of the year. I tend to be in hibernation until mid-March when the promise of migrants galvanises me into overdrive ie, daily visits and looking at everything that moves.

This morning a high flying Mute Swan made a couple of circuits and c20 Meadow Pipits revealed themselves in the grassland. It was the largest flock for a couple of months. This is normal for this time of year and no doubt, some of the males will be in song flight before long. Unfortunately, their favoured breeding area has a desire path cut right through it due to the excessive short cutting by dog walkers. After much badgering, I managed to get the Council to put signs up requesting that the paths are not used to help regenerate the area for the pipits. Instead of putting a sign post up at either end, they put the sign at one end and the other in a completely irrelevant place, far from the contested path.

Nothing's ever easy.

I also had around 400 Carrion Crows and at least 100 gulls (mostly Herring & Lesser Black-backs) all up in the air together, as if they had been spooked by some unseen assailant. My guess was that it was a high flying Peregrine.

It was good to get back into the saddle again.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


Planning migrations..
After Monday night's mega jabbering I took a day of from communicating yesterday to get over it all. But the feedback was good and anyone out there reading this blog can feel confident and book Wembley Arena because we would fill it twice over!

On a serious note, the old gentleman that had the heart attack is on the mend and is recovering well. We can rest assured that it wasn't one of our jokes that set his heart off. Mind you, we did talk about girls a lot and in particular, we talked about the importance of women in the adolescent years of heterosexual boys. Maybe he got excited harking back to his younger days?

Today was a good day in The Urban Birder office. I got offered a 4 day trip to Lisbon, Portugal in May by the Portuguese Tourist Board so that I can research for an urban birding article for Bird Watching Magazine, Kensington & Chelsea Council called me (I met the woman at the recent London Biodiversity Forum that I chaired) and have offered me a role in a project to do with exposing wildlife to kids in the area. I'm meeting with those guys next week. I also was asked by Southwark Council to lead a bird walk next month and finally, I was invited to be a 'name' at the Spring Birdwatching Fair in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Keep it coming folks!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Orator? Move over Barack!

Mike Dilger & I in our Clacton dressing room
The day has come. The day that Mike Dilger (The Dilge) and I were to descend upon the good people of Clacton in Essex to deliver our long awaited talk on our birding lives.

I woke up at 8am - late for me, as I had hoped to head out to The Scrubs for some meditation time before starting my day. So much for that. I put the finishing touches to my RSPB article on the Brighton Starlings and sent it off to the editor, then set about tickling my Conwy piece. 

My ex-agent left me a voicemail to wish me a good talk tonight (as he had arranged it) and also mentioned that I may be getting a call from the producer at the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 to get me to come in to chat about feeding garden birds at 1pm. No more than 20 minutes later I received the call from the producer. He asked me to come in and chat live on air for 1.20pm. On an ordinary day that would have been cool, but today was the day that me and The Dilge had ear tagged to do the final rehearsals, view our video clips and put together our powerpoint presentation. Despite that, I agreed to do it, so a car was organised to pick me up.

Meanwhile, I had an email back from the editor of RSPB's Birds saying that he loved my Brighton piece. Nice.

When The Dilge arrived at my house, he wasn't best pleased to learn that I would be breaking off our crucial rehearsal time to do something else. I thought about what he was saying and agreed with him. So I pulled out of it and they got Stephen Moss from the Natural History Unit to step in.

The Dilge and I cracked on. Boy am I glad that we took that extra time as we sure needed it.

We eventually arrived at the theatre at 5.40pm after a traffic-filled 2.5 hour drive across central London and into darkest Essex. For those with poor geography (myself included) Clacton is situated on the coast, lapped by the freezing waters of the cold North Sea.

We were shown to our dressing room where we set about rehearsing our talk again. At 7.30pm we strode onto the stage to face an audience of around 800 mostly elderly members of the local arts and literary society. The talk started smoothly. We got a few laughs and were holding the audience's attention. I was in the middle of a story about when as a kid I watched an animated film called 'The Last Of The Curlews' and how it shaped my future birding life. Meanwhile, Mike had just received a message from the organiser that we had to stop the talk because someone in the crowd was having a heart attack and needed to be carted of to hospital - pronto!

Of course, despite trying to loudly whisper at me to finish, I was in full flow with arms waving and with the crowd listening intently. Once I'd finished, he stepped up and addressed the audience telling them the news. We retired to our dressing room whilst the poor fella (who by now had blue lips and a decidedly grey face) was shipped off to hospital.

After a 25 minute delay we returned to the stage and delivered the remainder of the talk. It was a hit. They loved it. At the end, Mike signed a few copies of his book and I signed a few autographs. Jeez, I feel like a celebrity!

There were plenty of smiles on the drive back as Mike and I planned our world tour!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Bird Loving Cat

Football on Saturday morning was a bit of a triumph as we won by the ridiculous scoreline of 12-6 and the game included stint where I played in central defence for around 20 minutes. Which seriously curtailed any surreptitious birding that I do when I'm in my normal position as goalkeeper. Having said that, I only saw a Magpie today. 

They call me The Bird Loving Cat due to my apparent ability to pounce across the face of the goal like some scrambling cat leaping after a ball that has invariably already hit the back of the net.

No, I'm not that bad. I rather like my football moniker.

On Saturday evening, I was supposed to be live on BBC Radio 5 Live chatting about the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. But annoyingly, they never bothered to call me. I got the call today from an apologetic producer and in the end I was on tonight. The female presenter announced the piece by exclaiming, 'Calling all twitchers!'. My first thought was; you can't rely on twitchers to count the birds in the garden because they'd be out hunting for rare birds. I kept that thought to myself.

Despite the miserable weather, I had an excellent day in the office and made great headway on my to do list. Well, apart from the fact that I have not even looked at my talk that I'm doing tomorrow night, let alone rehearsed it!

Friday, 23 January 2009


Haviside's Dolphins - their relevance to this blog will become apparent (Sacha Barbato & Nathalie Gilbert)
I woke up expecting to feel lower than a dolphin's droppings, but instead I felt great - and this was despite the grey, wet weather outside of my bedroom window.

It was also despite the fact that I had promised a friend of mine that I would help him move from his flat in Shoreditch into his newly found girlfriend's basement flat in Stoke Newington. So I drove across to east London a largely alien territory to me, a certified west London boy. We humped various unnecessarily heavy boxes including a ginormous TV that was surely the weight of three small dead baby elephants.

He then handed me a much lighter box and asked me to look after it as he didn't want his girlfriend to discover it. Curious, I cried 'what's in the box', a bit like Brad Pitt in the last desert scene in 'Seven'. Matter-of -factly he answered 'it's my porn'. I'm now the trustee of 'Debbie Does Dallas' and other similar works. The things you do for your mates!

Back at home, I got cracking on getting pictures together for my talk on Monday. I really do need to rehearse it. Radio 5 Live called me and asked me if I would be interested in being interviewed tomorrow night about this weekend's RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch as it is the 30th anniversary. Naturally I agreed, so I will be on at around 9pm for a few minutes on Saturday night.

It also reminded me that I have not indulged in any ornithology for sometime. That has to be remedied. The only birds I noticed today were a group of six aerially chasing Common Gulls that were screaming at the top of their lungs over Stoke Newington. I paused from struggling with a massive box that was about to split to admire those gorgeous gulls. 

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Blackbird. Black night.

Rain, rain, rain. 

It was that kind of day; dull, dingy and the sort of day that you'd normally want to spend under the duvet with a servant bringing you grub as and when you needed it. But being a bachelor means that you are forced to go out foraging for food, no matter the weather. So after doing a stint behind the computer screen, I braved the rain to get some lunch.

Whilst strolling back down the mews to my abode, I noticed a male Blackbird sitting on a television aerial behind my house. The significance? For the past few afternoons I was certain that I was catching the dying strains of a Mistle Thrush over the ambient sounds of sirens, helicopters, dogs barking, kids shouting (I live next to a school) and nearby office workers benignly talking on their i-phones whilst on their fag breaks. 

But yesterday, Mike Dilger was right. It was a Blackbird - albeit, in weird sub-song. My excuse is that the din of urbanity has dulled my song identification skills (not that I had any in the first place!!).

Tonight, I had a London Natural History Society Ornithological Section meeting (what a mouthful!). I'm chairman and as chairman I managed to get to the site of our meeting in the Camley Street Nature Reserve visitor centre (by Kings Cross Station) 15 minutes late. I left my house too late after getting into an article that I was finishing on the Starlings of Brighton and subsequently got bogged down in traffic on the Euston Road. Of course everyone had got there on time and were duly staring at me when I walked into the room. Embarrassed, I desperately tried to gag my way out of it. No dice.

This was the meeting where I needed the majority of the room of 10 people to vote in favour of changing the section's name to The London Bird Club. After a somewhat heated debate, I got the majority vote I needed. But at a cost. The one person that was vehemently against it was the one person that I really liked. He was visibly upset, shaking with anger as people rounded on him accusing of being behind the times. To my mind, his arguments were not as strong as everyone else's and although I could see his point, I felt that his views were a tad nostalgic. I tried to be more conciliatory in my tone but I had to be honest and say that I disagreed with him. 

He threatened to leave the Committee if the name change occurred. He would be sorely missed if he carried out his threat because he is totally invaluable. He's one of those fellas who works tirelessly for the cause. At events, he's the first there and the last to leave. And he's always there. You know the type.

At the end of the meeting he wouldn't really converse with me when I offered my apologies. 

I walked of into the night with a heavy heart. 

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Dilge & I

So much for getting up early today.

Well I did, but I slunk back into bed to dream of finding a wintering flock of Lapland Buntings in the grassland on The Scrubs. My dream was cruelly cut short by a phone call at 9am. Yes, I have lie ins on weird days.

At 12.30pm Mike Dilger showed up at my house and after tucking into some brunch down the road, we settled down to 6 hard hours of graft on our joint talk at my place. This session was punctuated by raucous laughter and the odd outbreak of 'shape cutting' by Dilger whenever a Prince tune was played on the music system. Our talk's looking in great shape. We just have to rehearse it now.

As he was leaving a Mistle Thrush briefly piped up from outside the back windows. It was so brief that Mike thought that it was a Blackbird. Perhaps he was right.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

President Obama and House Sparrows

A chirpy male House Sparrow (actually photographed in Los Angeles!)
As like most of the planet, I watched President Obama's inauguration and came away from it feeling enthused, positive and hopeful for the future. For me, he reinforced the notion that if you have a vision, work hard and believe, then anything is possible. I hope that he will be good for the world, Lord knows he's got a tough job ahead of him. 

Aside from the war on terror issues, my main hope is that he makes move to vastly improve America's environmental record. The world needs to wake up to the fact that we are steadily killing the planet and ourselves. We have to turn things around.

My day was filled with soya hot chocolate, backyard football and a bit of work. Got a call from BBC Radio 4 this afternoon. They want to interview me for a programme that they are producing on the demise of the House Sparrow. So I will be recording that in early February either in Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens or somewhere in the depths of east London within the sound of the Bow Bells.

I also learnt from The One Show that I will be in Gateshead, near Newcastle in March for a few days to shoot a piece on the Red Kite reintroduction scheme that's going on up there. That will be great fun!

Meanwhile, I am sitting here listening to Snoop Doggy Dogg, contemplating getting up early in the morning and dragging myself to The Scrubs.......

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Urban ramblings

Pec Sand in Buenos Aires (James Lowen)
To be honest, I've been pretty boring recently working away on my various projects. The most pressing is the impending talk to nearly 900 people coming up on Monday week in Clacton, Essex with the venerable Mike Dilger. It's getting late in the day now and we are still fretting over what The One Show video clips to dig up.

By the way, if anyone from Conwy RSPB Reserve is reading this blog, I'm tickling my piece on Wormwood Scrubs as I type this. It will be with you soon.........honest!

I also spend a load of time editing new material for my website. It's really great that it's picking up momentum with birders from around the world. I will be uploading articles on Buenos Aires, Common Nighthawks in New York, a cemetery in Boston, USA, the December sightings at Wormwood Scrubs and a profile on a English ex-pat birder, James Lowen, who now resides in Argentina and does regular trips to the Antarctic. 

I love his picture of the Pectoral Sandpiper. You can't get much more urban than that!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

They smelt of pubs.....

I didn't have an appropriate photo.
Last night I had my first official red carpet invite to the screening of Will Smith's new film 'Seven Pounds' and rub shoulders with other red carpet devotees such as Tom Cruise et al. Of course, I turned it down. I had much more important things to do, such as attending the London Natural History Society's Council meeting. My mission was to get them to agree to changing the London Natural History Society Ornithological Section's long winded name to the London Bird Club - which is much more user friendly.

It wasn't an easy ride, though I got support from the quarters I didn't expect it from. Surprisingly, the Council agreed to it in principle, so long as I could get the majority of Ornithological Section committee to agree. That meeting will be next Thursday night. The reason why I want a more friendly name is to try and attract younger birders to join the LNHS and besides, the LBC would look better on a tee shirt!

Today, I chaired the London Biodiversity Partnership Forum (yes, I didn't know what that title meant either). The funniest moment was when I introduced a speaker from the Peabody Housing Trust. This guy was dressed in a suit and had the same hairstyle as Paul Weller. He looked pretty cool actually. When he finished his presentation I thanked him and told the audience that he was a busy man and we were lucky the have him there because he had to take time out from his world tour with The Jam!

Some of the audience laughed whilst most collectively took a sharp intake of breath. The fella concerned retorted that I was the first person to ever say that to him. For a beat I thought that I offended him, until I saw him smiling. I thought it was a good gag - if I may say so myself!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Quite a constructive day today.

Spent the morning writing and thinking; 'jeez, it's the 13th of January and I still haven't written my December 08 Scrubs report for my website'. There comes a point when you suddenly realise how difficult it is to write what you hope is interesting and original prose for magazines and such like. You can spend ages deliberating and doing  everything but what you are supposed to be doing.

Take today for instance: I managed to play football with a tennis ball with my best mate in the backyard, went out and bought a newspaper, met a girl in Space NK who contacted me for advice on being a presenter, went out and bought some hot chocolate (my phone was far away!) and ended up chatting with the woman about a transvestite she had met earlier!

Oh, I did do a brief telephone interview with The Guardian. They called me as they are putting together a series asking various experts about their favourite city place where they go to practice being experts. If you know what I mean. Naturally, I said Wormwood Scrubs and the interviewer seemed genuinely impressed when I started to mention the wealth of rarities that have shown up there. The series starts at the end of the month.   

Monday, 12 January 2009

Blue and Grey Finches?

I like blue skies
It was a wet and dismal for most of the day. To be honest, I felt tired of writing so I actively avoided it today and set my sights on the other projects that I'm involved with. 

For instance, I'm chairing the London Biodiversity Forum on Thursday which I'm sure will be pretty interesting. I'm meeting with Gardman (purveyors of bird feeders and bird food) this coming Wednesday as they are interested in sponsoring me. I'm really up for it because feeding birds is a very important issue for me. Interestingly, last Friday I gave a few quotes for the Shepherds Bush Gazette on feeding birds. They managed to gloriously misquote me by saying that I had noticed that all the 'Blue and Grey Finches' had left The Scrubs to take refuge in local gardens.

Next Friday, I am supposed to be meeting up with The Dilge (Mike Dilger) to work on our showstopping talk in Clacton, Essex at the end of the month. We are talking to around 900 people, so it's a big one. Am I repeating myself again?

Oh, my Blackberry was rescued from the jaws of death by a geezer in one of those dodgy shops on Oxford Street. After being written off by T-Mobile, he repaired it for £20 and made me a happy man in the process.

I can face the world again....

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Joy.......and pain!

Hedge Accentor (Dunnock) Andy Cook
I arose bright and fairly early this morning and journeyed to the hallowed turf that is Wormwood Scrubs. After a two hour walk I had very little to show for my trouble. A male Stonechat (no doubt one of our wintering pair) was the highlight. No Meadow Pipits, no Snipe of any description flushed from the grassland and barely any small passerines in the trees bar a couple Robins and a sole Dunnock along the embankment.

Often overlooked, Dunnocks are great birds. I love their shuffling gait that they employ whilst they search for food on the ground. As a kid I likened them to red-breastless Robin Mouse Birds. Well you know how imaginative a kid's mind can be!

Back at HQ I managed to complete my new piece on birding in Norwich for Bird Watching Magazine, swiftly moving on to my next 50 projects (which included finishing my piece for the Conwy RSPB Reserve - if anyone from Conwy is reading!). I watched Manchester United trounce Chelsea at Old Trafford on TV which put me in an immeasurably good mood. Whilst celebrating over a home made soya hot chocolate, I managed to drop my Crackberry into my hot beverage!

The rescue mission was swift. I wiped it with a wet cloth and then frantically wiped it dry with paper towels. At first all seemed well and the patient seemed to be on course to making a full recovery. But then, when I started to try to send a text it all started to go very wrong. The simple text read: gfjfkl  ldnkf df;f;. 

Panic started to set in as I contemplated life without a Blackberry. It was strange, because I thought that elation would be my main emotion as I had been emancipated for the ties of modern technology. Instead, I was cold turkeying after barely 10 minutes without my phone.

As I write this I staring mournfully at my dying phone, dreading trying to sync my numbers before it finally expires. I must go now. I need to be alone...........

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Cold comfort

The past few days were cold but when I trotted onto the astra-turf pitch this morning I knew what it must have felt like to play football on the peak of Mount Everest!

I know that some of you reading this now will be used to far colder temperatures and would view -4 centigrade as a positive heatwave, but you try standing half naked in a goalmouth for over two hours. After a while, I lost the use of my little finger on my left hand and was willing the game to end so that I could defrost and tuck into a hearty breakfast!

Back at base and thankfully in the warm, I sat behind the computer to get some inspiration, which came - eventually.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Sick pigeons

Ahh! Is there some sick over there?

It was bloody freezing today!

Which is a good thing if you ask me. In these globally warmed days it's almost heartening that it's cold at the appropriate time of year. I know that in the long run my assumption is probably as scientifically incorrect as you can get, but there is something comforting about feeling cold in the winter. I hope that I will be feeling warm during the summer!

Today, I had to run a few errands in the westend. I nipped into my drycleaners near Selfridges and did my usual movie chat with dry cleanist Sean Gallagher. (Do you like the phrase 'dry cleanist'?) He often rings up when I'm on Radio London posing as a caller interested in asking me a birding questions but then he blows his cover by seeing that he's my dry cleaner!

Whilst in Soho, I met Scott Crane who is the creator and administrator of 'The Urban Birder Appreciation Society' on Facebook. He informed me that I've now got 70 plus members and that I needed to add new content. So be it.

Finally, before heading off home to continue toiling behind a computer screen, I came across a Feral Pigeon standing in a pool of fresh vomit on the pavement, pecking at the still warm diced carrots.


Thursday, 8 January 2009


Me a little while ago
I've been a near hermit for the last few days as I desperately try to catch up on the writing that I should have taken care of over Christmas. Like most people, it's all about getting started and being intrinsically lazy makes it trebly hard. Having said that, I am confident that all will be done by next Monday.

Other than that, I made a few phone calls to contacts in production companies to set up meetings to get some ideas off the ground. One of which is to convince someone to back my plan to shoot a pilot for an urban birding TV series that I have been developing for nearly 3 years now. I really want to make that series.

This afternoon I also had a bit of a mid-week sports special - a lunchtime football match in Maida Vale, around 2 miles from my house. We ended up loosing but whilst languishing in goal I was certain that I heard a Siskin calling overhead.

I better head off now. Words to write...

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Business as usual

Black-headed Gull (Petria Whelan)
I barely ventured out the front door today as I knuckled down to doing some all important work. I made some great headway on my piece for the Conwy RSPB Reserve and started formulating my thoughts for my Bird Watching Magazine article on Norwich.

Depending on how I get on tonight, I may allow myself the luxury of visiting my local patch in the morning.

Monday, 5 January 2009

One down - ten to go!

Brrrrrr! It was brass monkeys here in Notting Hill today. Okay, no snow but it was cold enough.

I got up at 7am, sat at the edge of my bed and tapped away on my mac keyboard. I was working on my talk that I giving alongside Mike Dilger in a few weeks time. When finished writing my notes I emailed them over to him and then started on the next project - a 1000 word piece on a journey around The Scrubs for the Conwy RSPB Reserve. They are putting together a collection on walks written by celebrities to sell at their gift shop. My deadline was Christmas!

Spoke with Birdguide's Fiona Barclay later and she excitedly told me that she had a site tick on her patch, Acton Park. It was a Pheasant. It immediately had me thinking; what the hell is lurking over at The Scrubs?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Norfolk 'n' good

Bohemian Waxwing (Sacha Barbato)
After football on Saturday morning (6-6 draw), I headed down to Norwich to stay with my good birding mate John Charman and his wife. The idea was that on Sunday I would explore some of Norwich's better urban birding oases escorted by him.

I enjoyed a fabulous dinner (despite managing to get there an hour later than advertised) and a late night sitting up chatting.

In the morning we toured several locations picking up 15 Waxwings at Dussindale, a brief Firecrest along the railway path in the centre of the city, 3 Goosanders at the UEA Broad and a female Scaup consorting with 3 Tufteds at Wittlingham Broad.

A very good day in freezing conditions.

Got back home to London, completely knackered at 11pm. I will now have to arise at 6am, forego visiting The Scrubs to get writing. I'm so behind!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Ghost writers wanted!

Stonechat (David Fettes)
A trip down to The Scrubs this morning resulted in the usual pair of Stonechat, Mistle Thrush and two Reed Buntings. The buntings may have been a pair too, but I didn't get a close view of them as they dropped into the grass pretty quick.

The rest of my day was spent either writing or thinking about it. 

I'm so far behind it's untrue.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year folks!

I hope that everyone had a safe New Year's celebrations.

I was in a mate's apartment in Lancaster Gate, west London to see the rather lame fireworks going off at The Millennium Wheel, clearly visible from the balcony. Also visible were several startled Carrion Crows and Magpies flapping around in the dark looking for a firework free spot to roost.

As it happens, I didn't get to bed until around 5am after busting out some karaoke tunes!

The Bittern that I saw flying over The Scrubs a couple days ago evidently showed up that evening at The Wetland Centre roost. They had had 2 birds coming in every evening until my bird showed up and now they have 3. Nice one!

I'm going to try and get up early in the morning to start our 2009 Scrubs list and at the weekend I will be heading over to Norwich, Norfolk to research for a Bird Watching Magazine urban birding article.