One problem with birding blogs is having something to write about to keep the blog current. EIDB is stagnant for birds at present, numbers are decreasing, some species have failed to show and so far January 2012 is the worst on record. When you take into account that John Archer is now watching the site at least three times a week, you would expect sightings to improve with greater coverage. This morning just 7 Teal on site 40 Tufted Duck and 4 Shelduck and apart from a few common species that was it. So why is this happening ?. The mild weather is obviously a major cause, but other factors are at work, and I believe that disturbance and isolation are also a cause.
Disturbance has increased over the last couple of years, there is a lack of open space locally and with more housing being built the pressure on the site is going to mount. This morning there was loads of joggers, keep-fitters and dogs and this was probably the reason for the low Teal count, and the seven that were there had buggered off before I left. But birds can only be disturbed if they can get to the site.
EIDB has become more isolated, nearby brownfield sites have or are being developed. A large area of scrub and trees along the banks of Bow Creek in Canning Town has been cleared, tower blocks and other buildings are being built and development is occurring along the Thames at Greenwich and Royal Victoria. EIDB has always had an open feel to it, but this is starting to change and if the Pura Food development happens this will have an impact on Bow Creek. But the biggest impact will come if the concrete works gets the go-ahead at Orchard Wharf. I have to wonder at the viability of EIDB as a Nature Reserve if this happens.
To end on a positive note, there is strong local opposition to the concrete works and there is a fair chance that it will not get planning permission, also it is due to get colder over the next week, so that may induce some bird movement.