My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Sunshine and some interesting birds!

This morning dawned (as most days do!) but a bit hazy. During the morning it got clearer so I had a quick sandwich and headed over to the London Wetland Centre. On arrival I walked through to the first hide but before I reached it, I discovered a guy I'd met before when we were both photographing lizards - this time I wasn't to be disappointed - there were six of them (lizards that is!).

I started off by using the 100-400 lens which means I have to be at least 1.6 metres away from the subject before the camera will focus. But I managed a few shots. I really do have to learn about getting a better DOF (depth of field) as these were not good enough for me.

A while later I returned to the same spot and noticed that my fellow photographer was able to get very close to the lizards. I changed to my macro lens and risked hand-held pictures. It did mean getting down on the ground again - all these grass stains on clothing! but it's worth it.

Not far from the Lizard spot is the WWF hide. On the way there, I espied these beauties - I'm sure they're Marsh frogs (albeit they were silent). Marsh frogs are normally very evident at Barnes.

Further away around the other side of the reserve, the grass maintenance crew were demonstrating their competence at keeping the grass levels down

As the sun warmed up, a Speckled Wood was seen feeding

as was this! (A large white? ID help needed please.....)

As I came out of the Peacock Hide, I was greeted by a Great Crested Grebe fishing so, at the risk of appearing obsessive about these wonderful birds, I took few shots. I gather from a fellow birder/photographer that, just after I left the spot, the Grebe had a successful catch and my companion managed a few very good shot of the Grebe with a fish in its beak! Hey ho....

I was glad to be out again and I feel so much better to have felt the warmth of the sun on my back :D :D


Chris Green said...

lovely photo of the speckled wood. The white butterfly could be a wood white?

The Early Birder said...

Macro & dirty knees worked much better Tricia. I think the White is Green Veined - they vary quite a lot & this is probably a 1st brood without the spots.

Yoke, said...

Lovely pics and post, Tricia.

I think it is the same (Wood) as the one I spotted today, as I was hedgerow hunting on the way back from the shop.

Love the Grebes, they look really happy in the Sun.

Chris said...

Woow, I love the grebe portraits, they are awesome... Gosh, I would like to get them like that!! Wonderful!

Midmarsh John said...

Now I know where my Sun went today!
Great set of photos again. I've never seen a lizard in the raw and I particularly like the head on photos.
What a mixture - amphibians, long horned cattle and GCGs. Lovely head captures. What curiously coloured eyes they have.
Hope you managed to soak out the grass stains.
Is it my turn for the Sun again tomorrow?

Tricia said...

Hi Chris G, and thanks for the comment. I don't think it's a Wood White and the colouring isn't right. "mine" had greyish blue veins.

Having now had time to study my books I'm inclined to agree with

Frank - thanks - I think it's a Green Veined White too.

Yoke - many thanks.

Chris - thank you for your very kind comment

John - I'm so sorry to have pinched your sun LOL. Do you think we could both dare to share the sun tomorrow?

Lizards are not uncommon a sight at Barnes - I saw them there last year too. And yes it was a real mixture of wildlife today.

I forgot to mention that I also saw a Vole - just as I was changing lenses!!

And in the summer - there be Dragons and Damsels too - oooh lovely!

(I'm now going to buy grass-stain- proofed trousers!!)_

Jayne said...

Great shots there Tricia, I would be able to get a really good shot of a lizard here at home, we have a very old Pakistani Leopard Gecko called Ecco (he's 16 years old now and is really quite tame) I wouldn't dream of buying another one but Ecco was bred in captivity and only knows his very large vivarium as home!!! He's really very happy and ever so sweet!!

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful photos as always Tricia, I loved them all but was particularly taken by the Marsh Frogs they look so sweet.
The Speckled Wood seems to be doing very well so far this year, I have seen photos on quite a few blogs. I took one in the garden last week but it came out very blurred.
So glad your weather has improved, ours has too. The sun makes such a difference to us all.

keyswildlife said...

I loved your pictures of the lizards - especially of the head-on shots. I also love the London Wetland Centre. I visited it a lot when my husband and I had to stay in London for 6 weeks while he had radiotherapy in a London hospital. It was the one thing that kept me sane! I remember the grebes there as well. Thanks for the post... it was great. Jane

Anonymous said...

Superb selection of photo's Tricia.


Matt Latham said...

Superb stuff - I love the lizard images. Macro photography is great, isnt it!

Little Brown Job said...

I'm not a great fan of lizards or anything green and slimy but I have to admit, those are cracking shots!

Tricia said...

My apologies to Roy, Lynmiranda and Keith - but somehow I managed to delete rather than accept your comment and once done I can't find a way of undoing! ooops)

Roy's comment:
HI Tricia, I agree with Frank, its a Green-veined White.
I like the big birds with the Horns, {:)
Love the GCGrebe images again.

Holdingmoments (Keith)'s comment:
Great post Tricia, and superb head on shots of the Lizards. Well worth the dirty clothing! :)
And the Grebes.....excellent as always.

Lynmiranda's comment:
I like your pics of the lizard, the one where you had to get on your knees to take its picture :-)

Tricia said...

Keith - Thanks - the washing machine is earning its keep!
Holdingmoments (Keith)

Roy - Very warm big birds with horns - don't be around when they fly ;) and a Green-veined White it is - thank you.

Roy - The Fenlandwalker

Lynmirand - thank you - I always seem to be on my knees these days - but worth it! :)


Tricia said...

Jayne - thank you; glad to hear Ecco is a happy chappie :)

Jan - Thanks and yes - a heap of frogs!! I agree about the Speckled Woods; they seem to be popping up everywhere which is great.

Jane (Keyswildlife) - welcome and thanks for visiting. Barnes is a great place to visit and good to hear that it helped you when you needed it. It's a place I visit it often so you may be seeing it again through my blog. Perhaps one day you'll visit Barnes again.

Paul - thank you as ever.

Matt - thank you. Yes I do enjoy macro photography but I find my 90mm prime lens a little restricting. One day....

Paul (LBJ) I'm sorry you don't enjoy the lizards or frogs - neither of which are slimy though :) but thanks for the kind comments anyway.

Billy said...

Stunning Grebe shots, Tricia!! Yep, the butter is a Green-veined white, though it seems to remind me of Small white?!


Warren Baker said...

Very jealous! A) the sun!
and b) The Lizards, I have not managed to find one on my patch.

Great pics. today!

Tricia said...

Hi Bill - and thank you - I've fallen in love with Grebes!

Warren - So sorry to make you jealous. I'll try sending some (of both) your way!! And thank you.

Janine said...

Fantastic lizard and froggy shots! Also love the shaggy cows.

Tricia said...

Hi J - thank you. The lizards look quite fierce on close encounter - it belies their actual size!

Tricia said...

Joe - my apologies but it looks as though your comment was a victim of the delete key too.

Posted by Joe

Hi Tricia

Loved reading about your wetland centre trip. I went there last year to do some birdwatching.

The speckled wood photo was my favourite. I really need to learn all this technical camera talk! Nice lizard pics, we have some around our garden in the summer.

Hi Joe and thanks: I do like the LWC and visit as often as I can.

The speckled wood did pose nicely to have its picture taken.

Don't get too hung up about the technical stuff - just enjoy taking the pictures.

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