In mid-2017 Safe Haven published a guide to London’s street trees – a sales and critical success whose first printing will sell out by Christmas. Now it follows up with a second quirky London guide in the same style – on where to watch birds in the capital. Predictably for such a beautifully green city, London is rich in bird life – and not just pigeons, gulls and parakeets.
Its flagship wetland reserves at Barnes, Woodberry Down and Rainham offer everything from bitterns to avocets, marsh harriers to bar-tailed godwits. But the sharp-eyed can spot wonderful birds in more mundane London settings: over 100 species listed in a year on Hampstead Heath alone, from goldcrests to hobbies. Peregrine falcons nest in the Barbican and on Battersea Power Station.
A short walk from East India Dock DLR is a secluded backwater frequented by teal and shoveller ducks. Detailed listings of some 60 birding locations are augmented by fascinating features ranging from the escaped St James’s Park pelican and the ravens at the Tower to the history of the East London cagebird trade and wildfowling on the Thames. Published with the London Wildlife Trust (8,000 members), Birdwatching London both reveals the amazing variety of birdlife in London and offers a wonderful guide to unexpected places for a day or afternoon out among nature.