Friday, 18 November 2011

The big smoke. Life tick!

Hooded birder smoked loads of narcotics today. Loads.

I didn't really, I went to London to visit Kew gardens and to become the Hooded botanist for the day! I shall explain further - my Biodiversity and Conservation class went on a fieldtrip to Kew today for a guided tour around their herbarium and to look at the plants and whatnot.
If I liked plants as much as I like birds this would have been like leafy heroin for me, I imagine it would be like the reaction I had when taken to Slimbridge for the first time as a bird mental 7 year old. Said reaction involved pant-wetting, high-pitched gibberish and four grain bags being emptied within the first 5 minutes.
Unfortunately the gardens didn't quite have the same effect today but it was still damned interesting - for those who don't know what a herbarium is (which included myself until this morning) its basically a library of plant samples. Kew's is massive. 7.5 million specimens massive. These plant specimens range from recent to over 400 years old and there are even specimens collected from tombs of Egyptian Pharoahs! We were also lucky enough to be shown some of the actual specimens that Darwin himself collected on the HMS Beagle which was frigging cool!
Anyone thats been to Kew will know its a truly huge site so what was my life tick? Ring necked Parakeets! Admittedly im somewhat less excited about seeing these birds for the first time compared to others i've recently ticked but it was nice to finally catch up with them. One bird did cause enjoyment by mobbing a Sparrowhawk, im somewhat surprised it didn't end up as lunch! Most common woodland species were seen/heard around the grounds too so it wasn't a bad day all in all!

Autumnal stuff

Fancy greenhouse

Inside fancy greenhouse

Cactus House

1 comment:

  1. Only just seen this. Glad you enjoyed the trip; but you forgot to mention the small tree with flowers that smell of cheese in the "fancy greenhouse". Any birds smell of cheese? No, thought not. Jeff