Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Wapping Wildlife Rangers get Tern, miss Wapping Fox, help stop Greenbank honking

By on May 18, 2014 in Crime & Policing, Wildlife

A beautiful morning in Wapping! As usual our entire team of Wildlife Rangers were out at 7 a.m. seeing what they could find. How could they know that tragedy was to ensue?

Tracy the Tern

Oblivious to their fate the Wildlife Rangers sneaked through Wapping Woods making use of every bit of available cover, much to the surprise of the squirrels.

This did not fool one Wapping resident who was out for a morning run and the Rangers (all of them) had a good chat about – postal voting fraud! Nice to meet you by the way!

Camouflage was abandoned (a full ghillie suit looks daft in Prusom Street) and twenty minutes of close observation of the Shadwell Basin birds produced little in the way of photographs despite watching Tracy the Tern fishing with Colin the Cormorant.

Well these photos of a Common Tern getting ready to dive for some fishes aren’t too bad. The Tern is nesting on the duck island. But they don’t show the Tern getting the fish – which was the photo the Rangers were after. And only one is pin sharp.

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Ooh a car horn! Let’s use it!

Undeterred the Rangers returned to the Greenbank for a full debrief, impressed by a magpie chasing off a white cat. As this was in progress (the debrief, not the cat chase) some idiot started tooting their car horn just opposite Love Wapping HQ. Very loudly. And repeatedly.

Then they did it again.

And again.

And again.

At this point our Communications Manager leaned out of the window and shouted: “If you do that again I am coming down there!”

Another toot. The Communications Manager and all the Wildlife Rangers abandoned their cup of tea and went down to see what this idiot was on. At 8.30 on a Sunday morning a car horn blaring is just not on.

Out of uniform. On a Sunday?

As the entire Love Wapping team approached the guilty vehicle the Love Wapping Medic (Central Wapping Unit) was already having a discussion with the lady in the car, despite him being out of uniform. Standards please!

One of the Rangers looked in through the open passenger window and immediately smelt alcohol. And if that was not obvious a full bottle of vodka was on the drivers seat. Hardly a case for Sherlock Holmes then.

The driver then thought it would be a good idea to drive off  – the words ‘Police’ and ‘Calling them now to arrest you’ may have been a contributing factor to this decision. Who knows.

Only problem being that this was not going to happen and the Wapping Medic (despite his quite casual appearance) took the appropriate action. Which was tricky to do as the car was now reversing.

Long story short the next ten minutes involved a (alleged) drunk allegedly trying to reverse a car when the driver was (allegedly) incapable of doing so, a large Wapping Medic and Wapping Ranger trying to make sure she couldn’t while not getting run over by the (alleged) driver and or reversing into the (alleged) other sober residents nice cars, calling 999 and waiting for the MPS to turn up and a general kerfuffle as the “alleged” stupid “alleged” person had woken everyone on the Greenbank up.

Tragedy Strikes

Somehow, in the midst of all this nonsense, one of the Wildlife Rangers looked up and saw the Wapping Fox quite casually trotting along Green Bank past the Rose Garden.

And that Ranger had no camera.

And all he could do was tweet about it.

Which is of no use to anyone.

Two officers from “Limehouse” turned (allegedly) up, (allegedly) found another four empty bottles in the vehicle and did what was “allegedly” needed. Nice.

The moral of this sad story?

Never ever deal with a drunk driver in Wapping without a 600mm f4 IS lens bolted onto a fast Canon body set on servo focus and high speed burst dangling from your shoulder. That’s what.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Miss MoneyPenny says:

    ha ha ha, great story. Who would have thought Sunday morning can be so exciting, eh? I saw Common Tern diving in and out of the Shadwell basin all day on Sunday. Was mesmerising to watch as I never seen such beautiful bird before. I have not a clue about birds, (obviously) I can just about recognise a black bird so really happy to see your photos capturing it’s beauty. I am really happy that she (Tracy?) is nesting in Wapping. Can’t wait to see the off-springs sometime soon? (do they live here or will they migrate?) Thanks and please keep capturing beautiful photos of our Wapping wildlife. Needless to say, fab photos!

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