Wildlife

Wildlife is not something you might immediately think of when visiting or contemplating Greater London, but there is plenty of it around, especially in the outer boroughs. Personally, I turn off immediately any radio or TV programme featuring wildlife, but I have my own David Attenborough moments here sometimes, keeping stock still as I spot something and try to work out what it is, perhaps speculating with my wife in hushed tones. Of course, the four-legged wildlife is mostly foxes and grey squirrels, but also horses and sometimes sheep. Deer have been seen nearby, and also lizards, fieldmice,rabbits and cats seemingly from Bengal. Round the birdfeeders (maintaining these is a new chore) are variously tree-creepers, woodpeckers (greater-spotted only), inumerable finches, robins, collared doves and – trampling the flowerbeds in search of dropped seeds – some very fat woodpigeons. Sometimes we can hear shooting not that far away, so someone else at least enjoys nature’s bounty roundabout.  At dusk there are bats. Stagbeetles are another hazard. One of our cats caught a shrew. A bullfinch has this week been trying to get us to move out of his territory, and we are wondering quite what lengths he will go to in his zeal. There are also Yetis here, plus Spitfires and last week some Hawks (red, noisy, in amazingly tight formation). A typhoon was screaming around the rooftops. I am told there were Yaks.