Thursday, 18 April 2013

St James Park - a walk down memory lane

Bridge, St James Park, London

I had a bit of a trip down memory lane today, a work meeting took me into central London just round the corner from where I went to school in Victoria. A regular lunchtime walk in my school days was around the lake in St James Park and even before my secondary school days my mother would bring me and my brothers and sister here on family outings to see the sights.

I vividly remember that on those early visits we would always see 'sparrow man' an old gentleman, perhaps a tramp, who would be stationed at the end of the bridge that you can see in the first image. He would have seeds or bread in his mouth and outstretched hands and acted as a human bird table fro the large numbers of House Sparrows that lived in the park. Today sparrow man and the parks sparrows are both long gone.

But its not all bad news, the summer before last I heard a Reed Warbler singing from a tiny patch of reed something which would have beggared belief when I was at school. There have been other changes too with Ring Necked Parakeets a regular sound and sight ion the park and Egyptian Geese also breeding here.
Egyptian Goose, St James Park, London

As well as the few birds that I managed to see on my brisk walk through part of the park today I also saw several Grey Squirrels and lots and lots of tourists. Intrigued to watch this girl put her hand very close to this squirrels mouth as she fed it some scraps in an attempt to get it to pose for her camera. At first I thought it was very tame but on closer inspection it looked rather ill.

Tourist feeding Grey Squirrel, St James Park, London

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