Thursday, 5 March 2009

Holborn birding - why you shouldn't

I did a silly thing today and tried to bird in Holborn.

Just don't bother.

I found a quiet little bench in a nice big (for London) area of parkland next to Greys Inn Road and sat there for a good 25 minutes. I was mostly surrounded by hedgerow and bushes, trees all around, and I saw:
  • 1 Robin (I'll hand it to the robin - some lovely close-ups)

  • 2 Magpies

  • 1 Carrion Crow

  • 2 Feral Pigeons (but much healthier than the Tower Bridge residents - these could have passed for Rock Doves in a bad light (and if they weren't living in Central London))

  • 1 Wood Pigeon

I never thought I'd actually feel spoiled by the variety available at the Tower of London. A similar location here in the Romford area would have netted me at least a Blackbird and maybe a Sparrow or two. Maybe even a Wren, there was some very promising scrub next to the bench, and I was sat still and quiet for a fair while.

It's possible I'm being ever so slightly unfair. Being realistic for a moment, I don't know the area particularly well and, while this is the greenest bit I've found within walking distance over the last week or so, that's not to say it's all that's there. If someone wishes to contradict me then please do, I'd be most interested to find a nice little patch for next time, but it's certainly made me appreciate my usual proximity to the river.


  1. You'd be surprised, sometimes some real gems turn up in inner London - for much of last winter for instance one square in Holborn had a firecrest, and Finsbury Circus (admittedly not Holborn, but that's not the point) had a med gull. And ofc, there's always the possiblity of a flyover peregrine - Dad had one in Lincolns Inn the other week.

    I'm not trying to say that inner London birding is rewarding, by the way... :P

  2. That's the trouble isn't it? You need to bird good and hard in the area for most of the year to get those unless you're very very lucky first time out.

    However, it does make it all the more special when you do.