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’.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

29/1/11: Wings of Red, Wax - from Tooting Common to Finsbury Park

An unpleasantly cold LNHS meeting at Tooting Bec Common in search of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (none found). There had been a report of Waxwings on the Common so we set off to see them first, finding circa 40 Waxwings in the 'triangle' east of Balham station, near the underpass to Cavendish Rd. They were pecking away at something on their Sycamore perching place on the railway embankment, but soon took flight at the approach of a passing train. Amongst other species seen were: 8 Redwing, 1 Sparrowhawk (over), 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Nuthatch and 12 Ring-necked Parakeet. Those on the lake included 4 confiding Egyptian Geese, which were presumably used to being fed, 10 Shoveler, Tufted Duck and 2 Mute Swans.

Quite a lot of Waxwings have been reported from the Islington area lately, so I made my way to the Victoria Line, baled out at Finsbury Park station and crossed the road to the ground of that name. The highlight here was circa 98 Redwings and 95 Starlings feeding together, on the north side slope. Some of the other birds seen were 4 Chaffinch and 2 or 3 Goldfinch, and on the lake - which I hadn't looked at on previous visits - 11 Shoveler, 11 Pochard, 28 Tufted Duck, 2 Cormorant + 1 over, 4 Greylag, 22(+?) Canada Geese and 2 Mute Swan.

Some Finsbury Park lake pictures follow:

2 male and 1 female Pochard (foreground) with 4 male Tufted Duck behind

3 Mallard (male and female in foreground), female Pochard and male and female Tufted Duck

Mute Swan, with a male of each of Tufted, Pochard and Mallard Duck (left to right, behind)

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