How to beat the tube strike

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Eight miles. Two hours. Average speed 4mph. Not good.

Rather than listen to the traffic reports, which were basically bad mixed with very bad and an extra portion of bad thrown in, and sit there in a state of frustration and ire I turned the experience on it's head - turned the radio off, flicked a finger at fate and the RMT and turned the journey into a Bird Race! That's right kids - how many species can I see in the eight mile slog around west London's leafy suburbs? For those with an ornithological bent, it was basically one loooong transect.

And guess what? It didn't half make the journey more pleasurable. I started to look at specific habitat to try and pick up specific species and found myself trying to predict what I was going to see next as certain areas came into view.

I've got a green in about half a mile, might pick up a Pied Wag, got Blackbird, maybe a Mistle Thrush? Seen them round here before. Ok bridge - check the water! Greeeeeebe! etc

I had a couple of unexpecteds, and missed a few that I hoped for - never in my life have I looked so hard for a Blue Tit - and been so disappointed to not find one.

For the record here's the list.



Wren - heard

Carrion Crow

Robin - heard

Herring Gull

Greenfinch - heard

Ring Necked Parakeet


Blackcap - singing (nice tick)




Coot (there had to be really)

Canada Goose

Feral Pigeon


Pied Wagtail

House Sparrow

Wood Pigeon


Great Tit


Grey Heron

Great Crested Grebe

Mute Swan


I didn't get the expected Blue Tit, Song or Mistle Thrush, Collared Dove, Dunnock or Goldfinch.

As the strike continues tonight, I shall take the same route and try and beat this score but to be perfectly honest, I'd rather get home in good time and not have time to look at the birds.

Ok, I lied about the Crossbill.

Nice, huh?


Rob Faint said...

Talking of thrushes (which you nearly were) Are they struggling, as I haven't had a single one in the garden this year. Not happy as I am tripping over snails !!

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