Esoteric London

No. 310: Albemarle Street, W1

Posted in Shops, Wildlife by esotericlondon on May 6, 2011

© Roger Dean_RED7899 - Roger.Dean.RGB copy

Albemarle Street, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

London’s Natural History – R.S.R. Fitter, 1945:

Barn Elms has become one of the loci classici of British bird-watching. The author, in a comparatively few visits, has seen such remarkable sights as a grey phalarope, buoyant as a cork, bobbing on the diminutive waves of the reservoir; a loon uttering its weird haunting wail before launching its cigar-shaped form into the air; a vast pack of nearly two thousand pochard and tufted duck huddled together in the cold spell of 1938-39; and the incomparable sight of mute swans, the Catalinas of the bird world, taking off with laboured strokes of their great wings across half the reservoir, flying with ponderous grace and that matchless avian sound “hompa, hompa, hompa, hompa,” over Ranelagh and Barnes, to descend again on the far side of the water with a loud swishing sound as their breasts create a sizeable bow-wave.

[ The above text is © R.S.R. Fitter as published in London’s Natural History © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. R.D.]

One Response

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  1. Fiona MK said, on May 6, 2011 at 6:05 am

    What an elegant and evocative wordsmith is this Mr or Ms Fitter. I love this.


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