US social scientist Kenneth Boulding : ‘If you believe exponential growth can go on in a finite world, you are either a madman or an economist’.

Monday, 1 March 2010

1/03/10: Sparrows, Redwings abound on Gravel Hill

Had to go foraging for vegan fodder in Bexleyheath, so went down to the parkland on the east side of Gravel Hill to see what was about before heading home.

Gravel Hill parkland looking east in the evening sun - young Broom plants at the edge of one of the brambly copses, with scattered large trees in the background

Since I got my first proper view of Stock Doves in east London the other week, I've scanned gaggles of Wood Pigeons locally to see if they harbour any. No such luck. The flock of 17 Wood Pigeons feeding in the grass were clearly all just that.

A Green Woodpecker was on the on ground at the margin of the narrow long grass strip at the north west corner of the site at the top of the hill, and two were later seen feeding together on the grass at the bottom of the hill.

A number of thrushes were hopping about down here, and I eventually managed to get reasonably close, though the widely-spaced trees and shortish turf provided little cover. I counted 44 birds and all of those I could get a positive ID on (the light wasn't great by now, and my binoculars aren't very powerful) were Redwings. They'll soon be heading north again, so this may be the last big flock I see before next winter.

As the light faded a Great-spotted Woodpecker swooped into a tall tree, shortly flying off after two other passing birds, but I could only see these in distant silhouette, so don't know what they were.

Other species in evidence were Carrion Crow, Magpie, Blue Tit, Robin and Ring-necked Parakeet.

As dusk fell the House Sparrows in the dense deciduous hedge along Gravel Hill road, bounding St. Columba's School, had settled down enough to allow a reasonably accurate count. I made it 126 individuals.

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