Today saw me with Pete and Hugh at London Zoo as we wanted to see tropical birds and the new aviary has just opened.
And for me I had a first today. Nothing to do with birds and animals, but I actually drove the car from home (in Surrey) to North West London to the zoo. This is the first time ever that I have driven through London (being the wimp that I am); but, it was much easier than I'd anticipated. Helped, in no small part, by some pretty impressing navigating and giving-of-directions by Pete; thanks Pete, couldn't have done it without you :)
Now in principle, I don't like zoos for what they are - captives!; but nonetheless this didn't detract too much from being able to photograph birds and animals that I believe it's unlikely that I'll ever see in their natural habitat.
Started off with a wander around Regents Park - lots of birds about; wild and collection birds and took many pictures. I had the camera set to RAW but, as I was anticipating taking a number of pictures I decided to switch to jpeg. Silly idea really, as for some reason I had somehow changed the colour to black and white. DOH!! DOH!! and DOH!!! again. Wish I'd kept that little faux pas to myself as this blunder caused much entertainment for Pete and Hugh. Probably going to be a while before I live that one down.
After a scrummy bacon roll and a welcome cuppa we then headed off for the zoo.
Some amazing birds and beasts. I loved the meer cats in particular having previously watched Meer Cat diaries on TV.
The other "AW" factor was the penquins - real cuties.
Also some pretty impressive tropical birds. The only down-side, and one particular reason for going, was the Humming Birds. For reasons of their needs they were housed separately from the other birds but in a very small enclosure and impossible to photograph. I was surprised that they had such little space and quite dull light for them as well.
I think my favourite two birds of the day however, were the Blue Tit and Robin and equally, my favourite pictures of the day too.
Some of the aviary pictures are not very clear as I had to shoot through wire fencing.
After arriving home and having a very welcome cuppa, Pete then left for home. I walked back into the lounge to find a Sparrowhawk in the garden. After swooping about and chasing a bird, unsuccessfully, he then sat in the apple tree for a good ten minutes so I was able to get a picture.
Thanks to Pete and Hugh for their company.
Around the Zoo
And some non-flying beaties
Ever since childhood, I've always saved the best 'till last.
Lovely White Hawk
4 hours ago