If you take a 56 bus from the Angel in the direction of Whipps Cross, this is where it will eventually drop you off: at a big roundabout busy with endless streams of traffic. Why would anyone come here?
But if you walk along Whipps Cross Road, things begin to look a little better. Today the sun had put in an appearance and there was a spring-like feeling in the air.
There was blossom on bushes and shrubs, and buds were bursting open with new green leaves.
Leave the road behind and cross through a fringe of grass and trees and this is the sight that meets your eyes. Anywhere else, this would probably be called a lake but here it is called Hollow Ponds.
The area is well used, especially at weekends. You can go boating, stroll along the paths or sit on the bank and watch the water fowl.
People do feed the birds, of course. It’s probably not a good idea but both people and birds seem used to it so the custom is not likely to change in the near future.
A flock of pigeons lives here. The birds perch in the trees and then drift down in twos and threes to feed. Soon the whole flock is feeding happily and then something spooks them and in a single movement they all fly up, wheel around the pond, and settle in the trees again.
As we walked around the bank, this pair of Canada geese came forward to meet us. However, as soon as they realized we had no food to give them, they lost interest in us and stalked off.
We spread a rug and sat down beside the water. A pair of graylag geese came and settled nearby. They were not after food and took no notice of us. It was pleasant sitting near them as they groomed and watched what was going on around them.
On our way back to the bus stop, we met the two Canada geese again. This time they were too busy to take any notice of us. They were both standing on one leg grooming. I have noticed this about bird pairs before: they often both act in a way that mirrors each other’s activity.