Monday, 10 September 2012


I have just returned from my secondment at the Olympics/Paralympics transporting athletes on 
a coach to and fro venues in the Olympic park, North Greenwich Arena (02) and Excel. 

Spent a lot of time parked at the transport hub at Eaton Manor awaiting duties and a good deal of that time observing the Lea from the bridge that links Eaton Manor transport hub to Hackney Marsh.

I have heard and read reports prior to my secondment regarding the state of the Lea which included a comment that it was so polluted you could develop film in it.

I am aware that the powers that be (LOCOG) would do its utmost to whitewash such an eyesore prior to hosting the Olympics and no doubt spent a fortune clearing the area up. This was my first time in the area and was interested to see it myself.

During my time observing I have witnessed aquatic birds including Kingfishers, Coots, Herons, Cormorants and Mallard ducks as well as amphibious newts,frogs and a seemingly healthy stock of fish. As normal, when without a rod, I have seen large Carp, huge chub and vast shoals of smaller fry and minnows inhabiting the river leading me to the assumption that this seemingly miraculous transformation has come about a good deal longer than any clean up operation in preparation to the games.

I imagine that this is the result of continual work of many years by conservationists and the local angling club and wish to pass on my praise. The river here looks stunning and natural and was teasingly inviting and I hope that maintenance continues now the Olympics have finished.

As an aside, due to the ungodly hour which I started work I witnessed several dawn awakenings and spotted vast numbers of parakeets in the trees. Not just one or two but several dozen! Was I dreaming or had I unknowingly imbibed on hallucinogenic drugs administered by LOCOG via the bottled water supply to affect my observations? Perhaps someone living near or familiar with Hackney Marsh/Leyton area can shed some light on this tropical ornithological invasion! 


  1. They have colonised some areas around London and are a colourful but noisy pest. I was told yesterday of a peregrine's nest lined with parakeet feathers so they don't have it all their own way.

    I once saw one in the village way over here but that may have been an escapee.

    Still, nice to have you back.

  2. Thanks Dave. Wonder how long they will be around if word gets out....they taste like chicken!