KEY POINTS

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

OPENED IN 1869, Fins­bury Park is a vi­tal green ‘lung’ en­cap­su­lated within the metropoli­tan sprawl of Lon­don town. It may seem an un­likely re­treat for a bird­ing walk, but, with a dawn start and spring mi­gra­tion un­der way, it could throw up one or two sur­prises. Within the 110 acres is a small de­cid­u­ous wood, av­enues of ma­ture trees, for­mal gar­dens, an or­na­men­tal lake, open play­ing fields and park­land, plus an old aquifer that for­merly sup­plied fresh drink­ing wa­ter to the City from Hert­ford­shire, now known as the New River. The Amer­i­can gar­dens by the lake is a good spot for a chance of a scarce mi­grant, and it is where I once noted Black Red­start and also Spot­ted Fly­catcher. As with many Lon­don green spa­ces, the rau­cous calls of Ring­necked Para­keets are omni-present, while the hum­ble House Spar­row is a rar­ity. Kestrel and Spar­rowhawk can oc­cur any­where and hunt­ing Pere­grines are of­ten recorded. On an east­erly air-flow, an early morn­ing ‘viz mig’ (vis­i­ble mi­gra­tion) is worth set­ting your alarm clock for, and Swift num­bers can be spec­tac­u­lar fol­low­ing a spell of rain. I have also noted Hobby and Red Kite pass­ing over­head in spring. The lake is a mag­net for tame wild­fowl. A full range of fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able around the lake­side com­plex, in­clud­ing a su­perb café, but if you find that’s not to your lik­ing, then nearby Green Lanes has an un­par­al­leled ar­ray of eater­ies from around the world. Check along the aquifer for Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Grey Wag­tail and a chance of Green Sand­piper. The ball park pitch can at­tract pas­sage Com­mon and Black-headed Gulls and oc­ca­sion­ally a Mediter­ranean Gull.

1Ma­ture scat­tered trees at­tract pas­sage Black­cap, Chif­fchaff, and oc­ca­sion­ally Wil­low War­bler. Res­i­dent species in­clude Ring-necked Para­keet, Jack­daw, Jay, Great Spot­ted and Green Wood­peck­ers, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits.

2From the hill, look out across the city, to see birds on the move; pos­si­bly wag­tails, thrushes, finches, hirundines, and as the sea­son pro­gresses, Swifts. The or­na­men­tal lake sup­ports a large col­lec­tion of wild­fowl, plus gulls, Grey Heron and Cor­morant.

3

Grey Wag­tail Ring-necked Para­keet

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.