This morning I woke up, looked at my phone and saw from the widget that it was raining. I looked out of the window and discovered that the widget hadn’t informed the gods of meteorology and, therefore, it was not raining and nor did look likely to in the immediate future.
I set out on my bike, riding to Birkbeck where I jumped on to the Waterlink Way. This is a walking and cycling route that runs for about eight miles to Greenwich on the River Thames. Most of the route runs through parks or along the edges of the rivers Pool and Ravensbourne It passes through the heart of the very urban London Borough of Lewisham. Much of the river section is lined with trees and bushes that flank grassy verges making this a green ribbon along which wildlife can move.
As I reached the point where the two rivers meet, (the term confluence somehow seems too grand), I saw three egrets in the river feeding. I sat quietly on the bank but they didn’t really come close enough for my phone to get a good picture. One sunny morning I’ll go back with a proper SLR camera and see if I can do better. The birds appeared to be two adults and a juvenile, and were feeding furiously at some freshwater equivalent to a honeypot.
The Little Egret has only really been a resident species in the UK for the last 30 years. In my younger days they were only an occasional visitor, the appearance of which would cause great excitement in the bird watching community.
This was in the heart of one of the busiest boroughs in South London, a few yards from a DIY Superstore, a railway line and several busy roads including the South Circular. One of the little things that make the start of the day better.
The Waterlink Way is part of the National Cycle Network.