Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 19:15   #1
Chris Monk
Registered User
 
Chris Monk's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Posts: 1,615
Guide to watching wildlife from the train launched

Hello deer, I'm watching from the train

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor, The Daily Telegraph
(Filed: 19/04/2005)

Next time the 07.16 from Brighton to Victoria grinds to a halt on the wrong side of the Thames, commuters could consider conquering their frustration by spotting peregrines swooping around the towers of Battersea Power Station.

That is the hope, at least, of the train operating companies, which have produced a free guide to spotting wildlife on 10 of the nation's busiest routes, in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Mammals Trust UK.

While the guide will have its work cut out assuaging the anger of delayed travellers, it does remind anyone who spends most of the time on trains doing the crossword how much of our native wildlife could be just outside the window.

On the London to Brighton route - with a journey time described improbably as "approximately one hour" - the guide invites travellers to spot herons, cormorants and gulls on the Thames at Battersea, foxes and grey squirrels in the suburbs and muntjac and roe deer in the crops on forest fringes near Gatwick.

However, a touch of desperation seems to creep in to the description of some heavily-used routes - were we aware, for instance, that there were rabbits nibbling grass beside the London to Brighton line? I think so - and there are useful reminders of when to look up. Along the Stour on the way from London Liverpool Street to Harwich in Essex, for instance, commuters should be aware they could see curlew out on the mudflats or shelduck, which from the distance look black and white.

Travellers from Peterborough to Norwich may get a glimpse of the introduced Chinese water deer in the Fens or marsh harriers at the Lakenheath RSPB reserve in between Ely and Brandon. Some entries appear to have been inserted for people with prodigious eyesight: one wonders how many are going to spot the mice and voles which we are told can be seen beside the Harwich line, as well as more spottable hedgehogs and foxes.

The train would have to be moving pretty slowly, too, on the route from Southampton to Weymouth for a glimpse of the Dartford warbler on the areas of gorse and heather in the New Forest, or the hobby, the small agile falcon which visits in summer. New Forest ponies are more likely to be seen.

There are sights, though, that travellers, especially with families, may be happy to be alerted to: for instance, the Exeter to Penzance line runs so close to the coast that it is possible to see little egrets - which have introduced themselves to the British Isles in recent years - as well as bottlenosed dolphins and grey seals, where there is a view of the open sea.

It would be difficult to travel the Heart of Wales line from Llanelli to Shrewsbury without seeing at least one red kite and the route offers the strongest possibility of seeing a greater horseshoe bat, which now lives only in the west of Britain, as light begins to fade. Travellers between Oxford and Hereford stand the chance of seeing a raven, though it seems far-fetched to expect that they might see otters, which the guide says have now re-colonised the Avon near Evesham.

And it might not be obvious that there are mountain hares - whose coats go white in winter - on the route from Leeds to Manchester, as the route skirts the Peak District national park after Huddersfield. Knowing these possibilities exist might indeed enhance the pleasure of travelling the route by train - though only if the windows are clean and it arrives on time.

Tracking Wild Britain is available at 300 manned stations and online at:

www.nationalrail.co.uk
www.mtuk.org
www.rspb.org.uk
Chris Monk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 19:44   #2
Rhion
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Bangor
Posts: 332
And remember if you are not quite sure of the ID, you can pull the communication cord and ask the driver to back up a bit for a second look
__________________
Gendang gendut tali kecapi
Kenyang perut, senanglah hati
Rhion is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 19:56   #3
david2004
Registered User
 
david2004's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: England
Posts: 1,227
Sounds interesting! Heard it on the news earlier.
david2004 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 21:21   #4
A CHAPLIN
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PRESTON, LANCS
Posts: 2,546
Cool

Thanks for that Chris,

Think that's my wildlife spotting holiday solved will use the trains, wonder if they do a "round trip ticket and timetable"? just don't expect to see your TV Diary on time.

Ann
A CHAPLIN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 22:16   #5
Ben Rackstraw
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: West Norfolk
Posts: 217
According to the 'This is London' website, the London-Brighton route is also good for spotting moles - I wonder how slow the train would have to be travelling (or how long you'd have to be stopped in one place) to achieve that.

Would have thought the Tube would have been a better bet for them!
Ben Rackstraw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 19th April 2005, 22:19   #6
Edward woodwood
Member

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,309
Norwich - Yarmouth is a great train journey across the marshes

Bean Geese at Cantley/Buckenham, harriers and large numbers of wildfowl. Berney arms station is a good spot to (Semi-P a couple of years back)

Tim
Edward woodwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 20th April 2005, 15:48   #7
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 15,193
I'd particularly recommend the east coast mainline between Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Peregrine are quite regular around the Tay Bridge and the train goes past (and stops at) Montrose Basin, where various waders and wildfowl can be seen. I've also had Merlin from the train along this route.
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 18:40   #8
James Blake
chasing the shadow of a lowskimming gull
 
James Blake's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Posts: 712
As Tim says, Norwich-Great Yarmouth is a great journey.

Ely-Thetford (past RSPB Lakenheath and then through Thetford Forest) is beautiful and I have seen Marsh Harrier from here.

Exeter-Newton Abbot (past the Exe and Teign estuaries and the red sandstone sea cliffs around Dawlish) is spectacular and Brent Geese, Little Egrets, Wigeon and waders can be seen at the right times of year.

Any rail route north of Edinburgh/Glasgow is great for scenery and wildlife.

James
__________________
When the noon hour sets in
And the birds have settled down
The mighty forest itself murmurs:
How delightful that appears to me!
attributed to the Buddha
James Blake is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2005
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Thursday 21st April 2005, 19:44   #9
Karl J
Registered User
 
Karl J's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: eastest Norfolk
Posts: 2,362
Another vote for the Yarmouth - Norwich line ! Saw a couple of harriers, 2 little egrets, swallows and a barn owl on the way home

Actually there was an advert along these lines on Yarmouth station earlier that i wish i'd paid a bit more attention to
__________________
Karl J
Karl J is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2007 2008
Click here to Support BirdForum
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Wildlife Album pigsonthewing Books, Magazines, Publications, Video & DVD 0 Thursday 14th April 2005 22:26
bird rescue samina Say Hello 4 Wednesday 22nd September 2004 02:28
How to tell if a wing is broken b.meulmester Information Wanted 3 Tuesday 14th September 2004 12:05
Birding in Brazil tomjenner Brasil 4 Thursday 2nd September 2004 19:53

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

Page generated in 0.15954208 seconds with 18 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:09.