Humpback whale to the rescue? (Photo: Wiki Commons)
Humans might not be the only creatures that care about the welfare of other animals. Scientists are beginning to recognize a pattern in humpback whale behavior around the world, a seemingly intentional effort to rescue animals that are being hunted by killer whales.
Marine ecologist Robert Pitman observed a particularly dramatic example of this behavior back in 2009, while observing a pod of killer whales hunting a Weddell seal trapped on an ice floe off Antarctica. The orcas were able to successfully knock the seal off the ice, and just as they were closing in for the kill, a magnificent humpback whale suddenly rose up out of the…
“Well hello, welcome to the New River Walk and the recently opened Woodberry Wetland Nature Reserve”.
The river was new in 1613 when it was created to provide London with a water supply. Now it is part of the Capital Ring Walk⇒ and this is just one section. This Google map⇒ (collapse the left panel) will help and shows probably the best approach being from Manor House underground rail station through or alongside Finsbury Park to the river”.
There isn’t a lot of wildlife but it is a quite a pleasant walk and does have the occasional comedian.
“Well I’ve got the pipe now what about the slippers”.
“I find it best to look the other way”.
Eventually the river curves around (see map) to Newnton Close where one can choose to take the south path (on the left) beside the East Reservoir or continue on the north side of the river (on the right) . On the far side is a very pleasant indoor/outdoor café
You are now in the Woodberry Wetlands Nature Reserve⇒. The reserve was opened by Sir David Attenborough on 30th April 2016. A the time of writing (early May 2016) I did not see a lot of wildlife but it is early days yet and the habitat looks promising.
If you choose the river walk then, just beside the path at the far right corner, you will find Mr Toad (and Mole).
And, on the reservoir ⇓ a few clients are starting to appear.
“A bijou residence with lakeside views ! Those estate agents, really”.
“New York or bust”.
“Four score and seven years ago ~ “.
At the far end of the East Reservoir there is a quite substantial café beside this carving. Across the road can be seen the West Reservoir. At the West Reservoir’s approach there are the Riverside Gardens and the broad steps are a good place for a picnic.
Continuing along the river path, one eventually comes onto Green Lanes beside the sports centre. Turning left, it is only a short walk (see the Google map) to wonderful Clissold Park⇐ with its wildlife, animal enclosures and numerous facilities.
Clissold Park is one of the most pleasant places I have been fortunate enough to visit. It has lakes with numerous waterfowl, a goat enclosure, a deer enclosure, a small butterfly house (sometimes), a paddling pool (sometimes), a playground, a skate park, a small aviary, tennis courts and an indoor/outdoor café. Please click here⇐ for more information and an expandable park map.
The above view is from near the Green Lanes entrance. Probably the easiest means of travel is to Manor House underground rail station then a bus 141 or 341 (from Stop C beside the shops opposite the Park View Cafe) traveling south and alight at the second stop after passing the large brick-built synagogue with two towers.
Just to the left of the entrance is the first lake (the other is a little further along) where, of course, will be found some of these ⇓.
For more Clissold Park wildfowl including Canada Geese Goslings please click here ⇐.
And, for still more with Egyptian Geese Goslings, Mallard Ducklings and Coot Chicks please click here ⇐.
And, there are some ducks here ⇓ followed by some four legged critters and the café with its Wisteria. 🙂
Another Tufted Duck
Which James Bond film does he ⇑ remind you of ?
” I may appear to be a little wooden but the girls are more relaxed” ⇓.
Female Redhead Duck
“Oh what bliss, four or five hours to put my feet up while his nibs does posing”
“Oh well, I suppose I could take a break. Somebody peel me a grape”.
Further towards the church steeple and a little to the right are the enclosures..
“Did somebody mention nibbles”.
There is small geodetic dome for a butterfly house but it was not open when I was there. There is also a small aviary but it was not possible to photograph through the complex mesh. So I photographed a flower instead and then on to the deer.
You cannot enter these enclosure and these photographs were taken with a zoom lens. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity to safely see these animals and without having to travel far out of London.
There are more deer at Bushy Park ⇐, Richmond Park and Hampton Court Old Deer Park. In those places it is possible to roam more freely (with care) although the deer can be difficult to locate in such large expanses. The easiest to find are at Hampton Court Old Deer Park where the deer are either in the open field or somewhere beneath the single line of trees.
A little further on is a view of St Mary’s Church (Stoke Newington). The small footbridge crosses a short section of what remains of New River, which was new in 1613. More of that later.
Moving to the left and going around, there is ⇓.
The Clissold House café with its nearby hedge of Wisteria. At the bottom right can be seen a little of the old New River.
Which also has the occasional duck.
The Wisteria hedge
Wisteria Close Up
On the other side of the Wisteria hedge is another area of the café. Such places can be a little expensive, so a picnic is always worth considering.
So as we leave the park, the church is at our backs and will be in another post. Not far off is the Rose and Crown with menus⇒ where the prices are not too unreasonable for a meal and you can get a Sunday Roast up to eight or nine in the evening (probably a good idea to book ahead).
“My name is Pond, James Pond, and ~”. – More here ⇓ and Here⇐.
Egyptian Geese and Goslings
“Here we come, walkin’ down the street, we get the funniest looks from, ev’ry one we meet.
Hey, hey, we’re the Goslings, and people say we paddle around.
But we’re too busy singing, to put anybody down”.
“Oh my gosh, he’s right”. “One small step for man, one giant leap for a little gosling”.
“Oh look, I’ve got two of them”.
“See what I have to put up with”.
“Where’s that bus. Looks like we’ll have to swim for it”
“I get around, get around round round, I get around,
I’m gettin’ bugged driving up and down this same old strip, I gotta finda new place where the kids are hip,
My buddies and me are getting real well known, yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone,
I get around, get around round round, I get around”.
“We are sailing, we are sailing, home again ‘cross the sea.
We are sailing stormy waters, to be near you, to be free”.
Coot and Chicks
Many people think that the expression “bald as a coot” refers to the white featherless shield on the adult coots forehead.
There might be another explanation.
“I saw a mouse, where, there on the stair, where on the stair, right there,
A little mouse with clogs on, well I declare, going clip clippity clop on the stair”.
“Just call me Slick”.
Female Mallard and Ducklings
“Oh soup. The world is made of soup. Oh frabjous day”. 🙂
“They call me Baby Driver, and once upon a pair of wheels,
Hit the road and I’m gone ah, what’s my number,
I wonder how your engine feels, ba ba ba ba”.
“This is the river police. We know you’re here somewhere. Stop all that singing and come out with your wings up”. 🙂
More about Clissold Park and more goslings and ducks here⇐.
Tower Hamlets Cemetery was opened in 1841 and its last use was in 1966. It is now a lightly managed woodland, a nature reserve and has an ecology center. It is the only woodland for miles and comes complete with many cheeping birds, squirrels and the occasional fox. About Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park ⇒.
The park is located just south of Mile End underground station (on exiting the station turn right then second right onto Southern Grove and the park gates further down on the left).
It looks as if the mass Climate Rally in Paris will be impossible due to continued security issues. It is all the more important that people attend local rallies and show the world governments of our concern prior to the Paris conference. You can find an event near you, using the link below. Please pass this on:-
The Paris conference may be the last chance to effect change whilst we can.
Our views do count. Trends create political and business plans. These plans determine the future.
Therefore another useful endeavour, that also shows a trend, is the use of your consumer power. Eventually consumer power is likely to have the greatest beneficial effect. An initial guide to switching energy suppliers or tariff can be found here (UK, USA, Australia, Canada).
Good luck with all your endeavours to protect this amazing planet. 🙂
7 pics. Loki was rescued by Coda Falconry and took part in the Falconry Display during King Harold’s Day at Waltham Abbey. Although presently still juvenile, Loki will eventually live for around sixty years, is highly intelligent, full of cheek and seems to like the attention of being a substitute falcon.
Cheek is why Loki is on a long tether (creance). Loki likes doughnuts, other people’s doughnuts and not too fussy how they are obtained. Ravens do have a dark reputation, but he is in fact a handsome fellow. It’s just that they tend to hang around battlefields (well a birds got to eat) and otherwise nick any bauble that takes their fancy.
Loki likes strutting his stuff,
.. and hopping. He does a lot of hopping,
.. and casing the joint for opportunities.
This is Loki’s official portrait which shows his beautiful plumage (reminds me of the Norwegian Blue).
A great set of misty views. The last one being a particularly absorbing mix of subtle colours and reflection. Good work by Lady Fi 🙂 Please apply any comments and likes to the original post via view original at the end:-)
This is what being a falcon is all about. Being a Peregrine Falcon, as flown by monarchs. More of her further down. First a cute Barn Owl. Click on an image twice for a closer view.
“I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity, any girl who isn’t me tonight” .
“Alright, who said Kentucky Fried Owl”.
“Really, do I look pretty”. “I do like a little owl though”.
“But not dogs. We screech at dogs”.
“Except really little ones, yum“.
Harris Hawks (really buzzards) hunt in groups and share their food. As a result they work well with falconers, who they regard as part of their hunting group.
“To be a good falcon, one has to be determined”.
“Fearlessly overtake vehicles”.
“Look like one means business”.
“And strut about as if one owns the place”.
These are beautiful and very impressive birds, but I don’t think I’d like one in my kitchen. 🙂
“Now, I really am cute”.
“Or perhaps not”.
“Lets get to the main event, and take a gander at those legs”.
“Anybody who thinks that I look like Gonzo the Great, does so at their own risk. Especially that dozy looking photographer over there”.
Peregrine Falcons fly on the level at up to 60 mph and dive at more than 200 mph. These are the jet fighters of the falconry world and come with a regal attitude. Too fast to land safely on a gloved hand, so they chase a lure swung at the end of a long tether. Too fast for me to get a good photograph, but I did at least get her in the frame a couple of times.
“I got it and its mine see”.
Once a Peregrine has caught the lure they are allowed to finish the morsel. Otherwise they feel cheated and will not chase the lure again.
“Toodle pip. Do come again, we’ll have some tea”.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these amazing birds. The pictures were taken during King Harold’s Day at Waltham Abbey. The display was provided by Coda Falconry where you can spend more time with the birds for a fee. There is another Harris Hawk in flight and diving at Leeds Castle.
There was also Loki the cheeky rescued raven, He gets a post of his own here.
17 pics. A Harris Hawk waits pensively for the launch signal. That beak means business. You can click twice for a better view.
“Ain’t I awesome”.
The trainer sends a morsel into the air using an elastic catapult. A little to the right of the hawk is a distant seagull and just below is the morsel. The hawk now has folded wings for the dive.
And the flyby with trophy.
“Nothing to see here, move along now. Ahh, with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti”.
A victory lap.
“I’m firm but fair and you will applaud”. And they did.
The owl, the trainer said, had a short attention span and was easily distracted. He also said they were “thick”.
“He said what”.
“Right, I’ll have your scraggles off”.
“I am, in fact, wise and dignified and I’ll murgle anyone who says otherwise”.
Meanwhile, several gulls were scriking and showing off by making feint dives at the hawks. But, they carefully kept their distance. The hawks disdained any interest. After all, one does not converse with one’s food.
This little miss is a North American Kestrel weighing in at a mere 4 ounces. She was so fast on the wing, that the only photographs I have, are where she used to be. Even the gulls were bemused and kept their distance.
Falcons, we are informed, will only fly free and return if they are happy with their conditions. They also live twice as long as in the wild. So, everybody’s happy. Yay . 🙂
There are more falcons including an amazing peregrine here.
UK GOVERNMENT IS PERMITTING THE THE USE OF NEONICOTINOIDS, despite them being banned in Europe. These chemicals kill bees and other pollinators. A link to the PETITION/info is below. Please pass it on. Avaaz successfully stopped there use in Europe. Please help them stop there use in the UK. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees_keep_the_ban_national/?tNIApeb
When I get older losing my hair, many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four? .
Hiya, welcome to St James’s Park. At this end of the long lake can be found a cafe, parkland, benches, deck chairs, flower beds, geese, ducks, coots and moorhens here. There are also some very friendly squirrels here and pelicans further down this page (feeding time at the cottage is 2:30 pm).
So let me introduce to you, The one and only Billy Shears, And Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Ruddy Duck (really)
It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, They’ve been going in and out of style, But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile, So may I introduce to you, The act you’ve known for all these years, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, We hope you will enjoy the show
We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sit back and let the evening go
It’s wonderful to be here
It’s certainly a thrill You’re such a lovely audience
We’d like to take you home with us
We’d love to take you home
Oh we would, we would. – Why are you doing that with your leg ? I don’t know, he started it.
I don’t really want to stop the show, But I thought that you might like to know, That the singer’s going to sing a song, And he wants you all to sing along
We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let the evening go
Sgt. Pepper’s lonely, Sgt. Pepper’s lonely
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ~
We hope you enjoyed the show and thank you for visiting.
Thanks to a friendly park keeper at St James Park, I was able to photograph twin Graylag Geese. Born from one egg, that would otherwise have been a double yolk, they rarely survive and these two have another special feature. Ethologist Konrad Lorenz did his first major studies into the behavioural phenomenon of imprinting using Graylag Geese and, according to the park keeper, these two have imprinted on one another and are inseparable.
They are so rare that you are unlikely to see anything like this until next April 1st. Yes, I am disgraceful and ingenious abuse is welcome and probably deserved. Here’s wishing you all a fun day.🙂
The Canada Memorial (London) was opened in 1994 and is dedicated to the Canadians who served in the two world wars. It can found at the bottom of Green Park very near to Buckingham Palace.
When I visited it was a very hot day in July and children were very happily using it as a water slide. Despite the “keep off” sign, nobody wanted to stop them and everybody was having a great day in the sunshine.
This little pigeon decided to join in and enjoy cool feet. A lot of wild life around London seem to have become so accustomed to a human presence that they can allow themselves to indulge in curiosity and even participation. The squirrels of St James Park being a great example. Here is one cool pigeon.
The colours of the opening picture are so intriguing that I couldn’t help tweaking it a bit.