Thursday, April 26, 2012

EIDB set to become new Mecca for yank passerines

According to the London Evening Standard a new port for international cruise liners, including those from the US of A, is to be built on the Thames just upstream from the Millennium Dome. The article waffles on about the monetary benefits of such a project to the great unwashed of the impoverished borough of Greenwich, but all I could think about was the prospect of multitudes of stowaway YANKEE PASSERINES jumping ship into the welcoming sylvan arms of the copse at East India Dock Basin. The battered Collins would be replaced in the fieldbag by a pristine copy of Sibley in anticipation of London's first Savannah Sparrow; with no more freezing December visits in the futile hope of adding House Sparrow to the frankly pathetic yearlist.  The Port of London Authority tide tables would be replaced by Cunard Lines timetable for trans Atlantic cruise liners; it's gonna be awesome. There are precedents, a Northern Mockingbird spent a week in May 1988 on the Essex coast and a Northern Oriole overwintered in a Southend-on-Sea garden from December 1991 until March 1992, both were suppressed, but no one can tell me that these birds didn't cross the pond on boats. Interestingly no Nearctic passerines have been found at Tilbury, where the liners dock at the moment, but I recall a very convincing report of an American Robin at Dagenham Chase a few years ago, not a million miles away from the river at Tilbury. So there it is, the article seems to suggest that there is a very good chance of this happening, I just hope the good people of  Lea Valley Regional Park will leave enough habitat for the birds to take advantage of.

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