29 October 2012

Wanstead Crows

The patch was dead this morning. With a capital D. Dead. Best bird was either a Ring Ouzel in long wood that I never saw, or a juvvy Stonechat near the Golden Fleece that Nick saw later. The sky, filled with birds yesterday, was devoid of movement. In desperation I went to work early and saw nothing there either.

Instead I'd like to post a photo of a Crow I took at the weekend in the Park, and you will see immediately why I've posted it. Look at the feathers on that! Not particularly Crow-like are they? Wanstead regulars will recognise this Crow, or rather, Crows like it. For a great many Crows in Wanstead have unusual amounts of white feathering. If you go down to Alexandra Lake where many seem to congregate, you'll see loads with varying degrees of this abnormality. Go somewhere like Rainham however, and there won't be many at all. My supposition is that the Crows in Wanstead keep it largely to themselves when it comes to breeding, and being long-lived, there are more and more of them now showing this genetic trait. Admittedly the bird pictured has more white on it than a lot of them do, but it has long struck me as unusual, and up until now I've never bothered thinking about it much. Hey ho.

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