A World in White

Real snow is something of a rarity in London. So when it does come, it always seems to come as a surprise. It has been snowing steadily all day; small, fine flakes that don’t loook like much, but that, if given enough time, can transform the world into a blanket of white. I decided to go for a walk in the snow this afternoon, so I put on my trainers, walked out the door…and on discovering that I was standing in ankle-deep snow, went back inside and changed into my wellies.

I wandered across Peckham Rye Common, amused by all the giant snowmen that were in the process of being erected – and demolished – and into the park, to see how the birds were faring in this chilly weather. Quite well, as it turns out. The usual contingent of mallards, coots, moorhens, tufted ducks and Canada geese were well fed, and had been joined by a large number of black-headed gulls, a stately grey heron, and an opportunistic robin.

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While the birds on the pond are being taken care of by kindly locals with bags of grain and bread (although bread is actually not good for most birds), some other birds are clearly struggling…most sources will tell you that you would be very lucky to ever catch sight of a woodcock on the ground, but yesterday morning there was one in my tiny urban scrap of garden! I’m asuming that it came from Peckham Rye Park, as there is a wooded area there, but it must have been hungry to start foraging in a space as open and dangerous as a garden. Luckily for the woodcock, the cat didn’t even notice it was there, and it soon flew off again (EDIT: I’ve been informed by a bird expert that the woodcock may in fact have flown all the way from Russia before landing in my garden!).

I took lots of photos in the park. Here are just a few of them:

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