Esoteric London

No. 1181: Stoke Newington Church Street, N16

Posted in Events, Parks, Public Art, Sport, Wildlife by esotericlondon on March 4, 2015

©RogerDean_RED_6592 copy

Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16. Photo © Roger Dean 2014

London Birds And London Insects (Revised Edition) And Other Sketches – T. Digby Pigott, 1892:

On the 30th May, 1888, a Cormorant in full breeding plumage – white patches on cheek and thigh – appeared unexpectedly on the water in St. James’s Park. He was first noticed by the keeper at half-past eight in the morning, and was tame and hungry enough to accept from him a couple of herrings for breakfast. A bird of the same species, no doubt the same, was seen a few days later on the Serpentine, and again flying over Lord’s Cricket Ground in a northerly direction. “The bird,” wrote Sir Ralph Payne-Galway, who recorded its last appearance in the Times, “flew fairly low, but owing, I presume, to Mr. Bonner having just put a ball into the Pavilion, it escaped notice as far as I could judge, though it is true I heard one gentleman remark ‘there goes a wild Duck.'”

[Although a Cormorant flying over the wicket at Lord’s might, even today, expect to receive more interest than it did in the incident described above, the bird has become quite common on the waters of the capital and now seldom garners a second glance. R.D.]

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