Sunday, 9 January 2011

Ham Sandwich, and veggie options

Driving around today I was pleased to see that the "Ham Sandwich" sign has been restored - it's fair game for "collectors" and the local council had understandably tired of replacing it whenever it was nicked.
Nearby is Fowlmead Country Park which has belated gained the attention of local birders as a flock of a dozen Waxwings have taken up residence. I find it a fascinating place, a regenerated coal spoil heap with interesting plant introductions and enough variety of habitat to attract and shelter plenty of diverse wildlife, as well as enough space for plenty of people.

There is an observation point that surveys the surrounding flooded fields including the RSPB's newly-acquired Lydden reserve. The photo above shows part of this area, and includes a rather distant Great White Egret. I took my scope up there and had a peaceful hour watching the Egret, a Marsh Harrier, duck and waders. I met chap whose father was gamekeeper of this area in the fifties, and he's hoping that the RSPB's changes will bring a return of the large numbers of birds that overwintered here before the land was drained.
Back at the carpark, the Waxwings were still being harried by the long-lens lads, and although I saw the birds drink, I didn't see them feed - another piece of poor behaviour by the photographers.
Talking of feeding, a trip to London included a visit to Borough Market and another welcome burger at the Veggie Table stall.......
...... and later an excellent meal at Mildred's, surely one of the great veggie restaurants in London, with some of the best staff.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Love the two Waxwing shots , I too think it will be a long time before we see the numbers again .
You Easterners have certainly had your fill of the visitor .
You had more on that branch than I saw all day Sunday .
I thought your GWE shot was pushing it though , even enlarged and with a magnifying glass , I'll have to take your word for it .

Warren Baker said...

I take it your a veggie then Steve ?

I wish just one waxwing would give me some sort of Photo opportunity :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Astute observation there Warren.... yes, it's been 30 years since I last ate a ham sandwich. Whcih accounts for my Lowry-esque physique.

Fred, surely you can see the GWE, standing alongside the dike?

Jenny Beattie said...

I love Mildred's but I've never made it to Borough Market. Maybe I'll try in March. Thanks for the rec.

Kingsdowner said...

Hi JJ, good to see you're still reading. Great photos of your flat (with different views)!

Ruth said...

STILL haven't seen any waxwings. Very jealous of you and The Virtual Ranger! And when are we going to see you on Twitter, Steve? The nature community needs you...

Ruth (@WildlifeGardena)

Kingsdowner said...

Ruth, unfortunately I mumble, so would be no good on Twitter...... thanks for the comment tho'.

Great post on the Egyptian exhibition, by the way!

Ruth said...

Mumble away, Steve!
Thanks - the Book of the Dead exhib was a real delight for nature lovers too.