Sunday, 28 September 2014

Barnes aka London WWT

My lovely friends Susan and Paula very kindly offered to treat me to a trip to Barnes. I said yes, please, with almost indecent haste. Today was the day, and we had lovely sunshine for it. I would also mention that we had a run around Bushy Park first thing and heard the Red Deer roaring off in the distance, while birds included a fair few Meadow Pipits, lots of Jays and also Ring-necked Parakeets and a solo Grey Wagtail.

The WWT centre is pretty typical of this kind of thing - captive wildfowl in some bits, while other areas are managed for wildlife. We started out on one of the wildlife areas, and from one of the hides had this pleasing sight of five duck species (please let me know if you can see anything else besides Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tuftie and Pochard!) chilling out on a single island.

The margins of all lakes, ponds and ditches were alive with Migrant Hawkers, surely enjoying an epic year with such fine weather in their main flight month.

From the Peacock Tower hide I added another duck to the day's tally - this distant but most welcome Pintail.

We went back and through some of the exotics areas to reach the Wildside hide. Here's one of the exotics - a Barnacle Goose, too busy cropping the grass in its pen to object to me taking its very-close-up photo.

On the way to the Wildside hide we found this juvenile Tuftie, making heavy weather of feeding in a very algaed-up pool.

With all those dragons about, it was not really a surprise (but still great) to find a Hobby. The photos were badly backlit, some Photoshopping to return detail has revealed it's a juvenile (no red trousers).

Another photographer who was partaking of the Hobby kindly pointed out a nearby Common Lizard basking on a bit of wooden fencing.

That wooden fencing does get lovely and warm. This Common Darter, which looks like the paint's peeling off his abdomen, was also enjoying a bask.

From the Wildside hide, there were a couple of Cormorants on view. The one of the left was finding things a bit too warm - if my camera had a video mode I'd have taken a clip to show you his furiously fluttering gular pouch.

Also on this bit of water, Great Crested and Little Grebes. The duck list also included Teal, but sadly the only waders around were Lapwings. We didn't do too well for 'little birds' either - did run into a mixed flock of mainly Long-tailed Tits but also including a couple of Goldcrests. Cetti's Warblers and Chiffchaffs were both vocal all round the trails but not at all showy.

So with this very confiding young Moorhen, that's the end, a short post to finish off what's been a pretty busy month for the blog. Thanks very much to Susan, Paula and Siobhan for a lovely day and a most excellent picnic lunch :)


Phil said...

Sounds like a very nice day out Marianne. Good to see the Hobby at the back end of their season too.
The majority of opinions re my pale Common Buzzard/RLBuzzard come down firmly in favour of the former :-(
Thanks for your help.

Marianne said...

Thanks Phil :) Re the buzzard, I thought it was bound to be a pale CB til I looked more carefully... oh well, next time you'll have to lure it to the ground and take a photo of its legs!

Penny Taylor said...

I have to get to Barnes, soon!

Bob Telford said...

Great set, love the Hobby pics - I don't see near enough of those. The Common lizard is a very fetching capture too.