London Overview

I’ll start the first of several posts on our recent trip to London, England, with a short overview. Then over the next few weeks I’ll mix shorter blogs on London in with what is happening locally. I’ll try to keep the posts short since I know personally I’d rather see something broken down into smaller digestible junks then long encompassing ones.

Results of the Guesses

I’d like to think everyone who guessed in the comment section from the previous post that a TUFTED DUCK was my 500th life bird. And Mike played along nicely and emailed me directly since he already knew the location. Now about the location.

Greg guessed Hyde Park in London which is correct. Steve went even further and guessed the Serpentine, which I suppose is accurate. But according to the map it is “The Long Water”. I’m not nitpicking and I only bring it up because there seems to be several names for areas that “run” together in London. Be it Kensington Gardens running into Hyde Park or streets which suddenly change named and are called something else.

Either way, thanks to everyone for playing along.

Hyde Park
The small X is where I saw the Tufted Duck. Notice how The Long Water and The Serpentine are the same body of water but have different names for the two areas. Here is the full explanation on Wikipedia. The circled X is the location of the hotel which was a 15 minute walk to Hyde Park.

Why London?

My wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in March. We had always wanted to go to London. So that was that. We booked the trip back in November to get a good rate and unwittingly made a very good choice on both the hotel and its location. We were literally one minute from the Gloucester Road Underground Station and could be anywhere in the city in 10-15 minutes.

Birding

As with most of my trips this was not a “birding” trip. So I only planned a day of birding. However it ended up being a bit more since we did some birding the first day by walking Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and St. James Park later in the week.

The plan for birding was to bird Hyde Park one morning and the new London Wetland Centre the rest of the same day. And the plan worked out great.

London
The basic area we covered in London. 1 – Hotel 2 – Hyde Park for birding 3 – Theatre District, Museums, etc. 4 – London Wetlands Area for Birding. The purple line is to show how easy it was to get to Wetlands area by public transportation.

Since migration was just starting I thought by covering those two areas I could probably see most of the resident local birds. The only way I could add another 20 or so species was a trip to the Norfolk Coast. To do it right would have consumed two days which meant it was out of the question.

That’s the basics of the trip. Going forward I’ll try not to bore you with too many details.

One Reply to “London Overview”

  1. Alright! I win! I am looking forward to hearing about your European birding endeavors, and I appreciate the info on Mandarin Duck… you just helped me get an armchair lifer, and thankfully it wasn’t a big milestone number!

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