Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cycling 250 miles in one day (and noting some birds)

The 2.75 miles Outer Circle of Regent’s Park is probably the safest place for road cycling in London. Being keen to break my previous maximum mileage of 175 miles in one day I attempted 250 miles (400 Km) or roughly 90 laps of the park on the August bank holiday. The cycling wasn't really the difficult part – it was the boredom of the same route after 180 miles, then the willpower to carry on to 250. After fifteen hours of cycling I was glad to arrive home and even though I felt that I could do more, I could barely walk after dismounting. Fortunately lots of birds enlivened the day from the Grey Herons cranking at dawn and dusk to the Egyptian Geese with sore throats calling loudly from dead trees. Subtler sounds included a calling migrant Willow Warbler, a family brood of Long-tailed Tits, and high-pitched passerine alarm calls in response to passing Sparrowhawks.

Bird list for the day (including rest stops at the lake): Green Woodpecker, Jay, Kestrel, Ring-necked Parakeet, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Robin, Grey Heron, Chaffinch, Wren,  Mallard, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Little Grebe, House Martin, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Egyptian Goose, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Cormorant, and Greenfinch.

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