Been totally busy recently giving talks and leading walks for a range of different organisations ranging from Wildlife Trusts to the Womens Institute. The latter talk was of particular interest. I was invited by the Borough Belles based near London Bridge, to come in and speak to their members about the wonders of urban birding.
I imagined speaking to a group of cake making elderly ladies. Instead I was confronted with a roomful of cake making mostly under 35 year olds! I took the 40-odd women out onto the street (so to speak) and we went for a walk pointing out what I could in the evening light. When we got to the Tate Modern by the Thames we were treated to a Peregrine sailing around the main tower.
Back in the church hall I gave them a brief presentation that seemed to go down well. Indeed, in the following days at least four of the ladies have been in contact telling me of their ornithological finds!
A male Cockney House Sparrow
Since my last posting I was also asked by the London RSPB Office to front the Cockney Sparrow Count. The object of the exercise will be to get ordinary Londoners to count their local sparrows. So if you live in the capital get counting! http://www.gigl.org.uk/Submitrecords/Oneoffrecords/RSPBCockneySparrow/tabid/203/Default.aspx
Common Greenshank (David Fettes)
Finally, the ultra rare Nordmann's Greenshank that I thought that I recognised from an image taken in Taiwan turned out to be a summer plumaged Common Greenshank. Some of my more learned colleagues were quick to point out its long legs and non-bicoloured thick bill - amongst other features.
Ah well, I'll find a real one another day....