Now that restrictions are lifting, I am looking forward to a few trips to London. I have always been a bit of a West End Girl and usually get the train to Victoria or Charing Cross, although I do love the walk from London Bridge past Tate Modern to Waterloo and over towards Covent Garden, as the class I co-host, Soho Life Drawing, is based near Trafalgar Square. I live in a farm cottage in rural Sussex, so it’s good to have a reason to visit the city…many people understand wanting to leave the urbanised areas to get some fresh air and space, but I find the opposite to be true, too. My weekly forays to central London have always been an important oasis of anonymity and the chance to tag on to someone else’s bustle, as I sit and watch the world go by from a cafe window.

London is blessed with an array of Royal Parks as well as little spots of greenery dotted in courtyards and the quieter nooks and crannies. There is the river of course, and the Thames weaves past some of our most iconic landmarks. I produced the Birds of Westminster as a way of appreciating the native and adopted birds in this much-visited area, because I love seeing a Blackbird rootling around in the leaf litter under a shrub in the Westminster Abbey gardens, or spotting a Cormorant, wings outstretched on a bouy. A young Peregrine landed in a friend’s roof garden in Bermondsey when we were having lunch on one occasion, and of course there are the parakeets.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the capital city, maybe take a moment to sit and watch the birds around you, or if you live in London, jot down which species you see when out on walks.

Bowinhand

Birds of Westminster birdwatching logbook

Includes UK postage

£5.99

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