LON­DON Its vast green ar­eas make the city of Lon­don an ur­ban birder’s play­ground

Bird Watching (UK) - - Event Norfolk Bird Race -

IAM GO­ING TO make a bold claim: Lon­don was the birth­place of ur­ban bird­ing. Peo­ple have been writ­ing books about the birdlife of Eng­land’s cap­i­tal city since bird­ing was in its in­fancy. Per­haps the most fa­mous of those early chron­i­clers was WH Hud­son. This Ar­gen­tinian-born Lon­doner was de­scrib­ing the de­cline of the in­ner Lon­don rook­eries and the dawn of the reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence of win­ter gulls in his book, Birds of Lon­don, first pub­lished in 1898. A lot has changed since his day, and now bird­ers have a num­ber of sites to visit, rang­ing from the wet­land par­adise, Lon­don Wet­land Cen­tre, to the truly in­ner-city sanc­tu­ar­ies of St James’ Park. There are many other, less well-trod­den ar­eas for you to ex­plore, too. Lon­don is one big green city. In­deed, it is one of the green­est large cities in the world. With 47% of it con­sist­ing of green and blue spa­ces, of which 24% are taken up by gar­dens and 19% deemed to be of wildlife im­por­tance, it is easy to see that our cap­i­tal city has the po­ten­tial to be an ur­ban birder’s play­ground. It’s so green that there is even a cam­paign to give it na­tional park sta­tus. The City of Lon­don, at its very con­crete heart, has more than 753,000sq ft of green roof cover that forms part of a very im­por­tant habi­tat for one of the city’s avian em­blems, the Black Red­start. Rarer than Stone- curlews, this at­trac­tive red-listed chat’s breed­ing strong­hold is in Lon­don, with smaller out­posts in Birm­ing­ham, Manch­ester and the Black Coun­try. Al­though the first recorded breed­ing at­tempt was in Durham in 1845,

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.