Thursday, February 07, 2008

London Wetland Centre

Last weekend I was down in the south of the country and decided to go and check out the London Wetland Centre that has been developed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. The reserve is a good model of the type of habitat creation that can be achieved in urban areas and has become an important area for a diverse range of wildlife. This was my first visit to the site which I enjoyed and certainly will be returning again if I am in that area. The reserve is split in to two areas with a captive collection of waterfowl and 'the wild side'. I concentrated my efforts on the wild areas and some of its birds.
A coot chewing through some water plant

Male shoveler in a quiet backwater. These quiet backwater channels offer good photographic opportunities as you are close to the birds, the waters are still creating good reflections of the birds and also the colouring of the bankside vegetation.
and out in some open water. I have never noticed before how the head plumage can turn from green to purple depending on the light direction. Photographically they are quite a difficult bird to expose in bright sunlight due to the brightness of the breast feathers.
A first for me the Gadwall. This is the first occasion I have managed to get near these birds and a found a few in front of the hide down in the SE corner of the site.
Female gadwall
and the drake with its very intricate feather patterning which is only properly revealed on close inspection.
The bankside vegetation in some areas of the lakes where there are extensive reedbeds creates some good colour reflections.
Great crested grebeand Tufted Duck
To finish off a particular treat for the day was a feeding station area that was attracting numbers of wild Ring-necked parakeets. These birds are rapidly growing in numbers in the west end of London and are now a common bird in parklands and gardens but this was my first opportunity to get some before the lens. Unfortunately by the time I had found them the sun was disappering as their colours must really glow in good light. They are quite a difficult bird to frame in the shot due to that very long tail.


Fraser Simpson said...

Very nice photos Richard.

jack (natural form photography) said...

love ur photographs

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for your comments Frazer and Jack.

I really enjoyed the visit to the LWC and looks like it offers some good photo opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Last year my husband had to have radiotherapy in one of the London Hospitals for 6 weeks. While we were staying in Battersea I took the opportunity to go to the LWC. Because it was early summer I was able to see the Sand Martins in the nesting bank near to one of the main hides. It's a great place and I really appreciated a little bit of "wild" countryside while we were cooped up in the big city. I think they've done a great job there and would recommend a visit to anyone.

Rich Steel said...

The wetland centre is an oasis of calm within the hectic captial and has a very relaxing atmosphere. I can understand why you visited to de-stress.



Tricia said...

Richard this is my first visit to your site - you've some really great pictures and I totally agree with Rich Steel's comments about the LWC. Luckily for me it's one of my local patches.


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