ThamesPilot logo Thames Pilot logo
search border search border
  search title  
advanced search
search border search border
  Home     Themes     Where to go     Partners     Send an e-postcard  
search tips Oxford Buckinghamshire Henley Maidenhead Wokingham Richmond Hounslow Newham Bexley Lambeth Wandsworth Kingston Kent  
The river environment
Theme Sections
Early settlement
Fords and ferries
Bridges and tolls
The Great Stink
Strong brew
Seething Wells
Landfill today
Sky above
Swan Upping
More Themes
Thames Riverside Pubs
Special Collections
From source to sea
Working on and along the river
The river environment
Enjoying the river
The changing riverside landscape
The river in art
Timeline Gallery
  Themes Homepage > Sky above
The river environment
Sky above

go to first sectiongo to previous sectionprevious sectionnext sectiongo to next sectiongo to last section
Migration 1896
C.J.Cornish, wrote the following in his book 'The Naturalist on the Thames', published in 1902.

"On September 16, 1896, after a period of very stormy wet weather, I saw a great migration of swallows down the Thames. It was a dark, dripping evening, and the thick osier bed on Chiswick Eyot was covered with wet leaf.

Between five and six o'clock immense flights of swallows and martins suddenly appeared above the eyot, arriving, not in hundreds, but in thousands and tens of thousands. The air was thick with them, and their numbers increased from minute to minute.

Part drifted above, in clouds, twisting round like soot in a smoke-wreath. Thousands kept sweeping just over the tops of the willows, skimming so thickly that the sky-line was almost blotted out for the height of from three to four feet.
Soon the high-flying crowds of birds drew down, and swept for a few minutes low over the willows, from end to end of the eyot. Then by a common impulse the whole mass settled down from end to end of the island, upon the osiers. Those in the centre of the eyot were black with swallows - like the black blight on beans.

By watching the river carefully for many years I have noticed that it is a regular migration route for several species besides swallows. Sand-martins, when beginning the migration, travel down the Thames in small flocks, and sleep each night in different osier beds."

The passage above shows the dependence of our wildlife on the riverbank environment. Where are the osier beds now?
go to first sectiongo to previous sectionprevious sectionnext sectiongo to next sectiongo to last section
  Themes Homepage > Sky above
  Copyright Info | Sitemap | About ThamesPilot | Contact Us | Links
 Working in partnership with New Opportunities Fund logo
SoPSE logo