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, 16 May 2009

Barnes - in the rain!

I took a chance on the weather and headed over to the London Wetland Centre. It was dull, cloudy and the wind was blowing a gale. Bumped into a few people I knew and they, like me, couldn't find the Sedge and Reed Warblers that were singing their cotton socks off. It seemed they were lining the paths! The wind was blowing the reeds about so much, that they were almost being flattened!

Not much about from the hides. A Green Woodpecker dived into the bushes and probably went out the other side. It was going to be one of those days!

On the way into the visitor centre, the Mute Swans were still brooding eggs at the feet of Sir Peter Scott. Consensus suggests there are anything from 4 to 6 eggs.



These are the "other" two swans


As I came out into the courtyard, I was aware of twittering close by. House Sparrows are nesting high up on the wall of the visitor centre. If you look closely at the picture below, you will see a gap in the wall (about the middle of the two nest boxes and about 4 bricks down). These gaps are purpose built as nesting sites, and it was in this one that the Sparrow had a brood.


Along the path and in the usual spot, frogs were taking the air!

A wren flew out of the bushes and paused very briefly - of course I was shooting straight into the light!

Around the other side of the visitor centre, and whilst having a welcome cuppa, I noticed Starlings were coming and going with food in their beaks.

They too were occupying a "cavity" nesting hole.

This one was odd. It went into the hole several times with food and, came out again still with food. We concluded that either a) the young didn't like what was on the menu, b) they had fledged or c) no ideas!

Just underneath one of the windows of the hide, the Lapwing was finding plenty to eat.

Following a tip off, I headed round to one of the hides, to discover this family of Little Grebes. Mum, Dad and four youngsters. Unfortunately (for me) they were resting in amongst the reeds and although the adults were feeding the young very occasionally, it was almost impossible to get any pictures. The very strong winds were blowing the reeds around too much for the camera (and me) to focus.





Might not have seen very much or had as much time as I'd wished, but I enjoyed what I saw.

And now? Could be we lose the winds and rain and have some sun please?

19 comments:

Janine said...

How lucky to find the little grebe family. So sweet the way they ride on the parents backs. Photos are awesome, shooting through reeds is a nightmare.

Warren Baker said...

Here, Here!! Wind and rain is just getting boring now.

Roy said...

What a fabulous set of images of the Little Grebe and chicks, well done Tricia. I certainly have never seen the chicks before. Brilliant.

ShySongbird said...

OK Tricia I very nearly made a very large fool of myself! (not for the first time) by asking what caused those two swans to be grey! What a good job I enlarged the photos!!

It sounded like a very pleasant outing despite the weather, (it's the same here and I'm fed up with it), and you still got some nice photos. I loved the frog, and the Starling coming out of the wall looked very comical.

Jackie said...

Hi Tricia, I agree about the wind and the rain, time for some sunshine.
I have never seen the cavity wall nesting before or heard of it, do they do that in many places do you know? I have been to Wetlands twice, but not for a long while.
Jackie.

mick said...

I'm glad you braved the poor weather - I enjoyed your photos and description from the warmth of my house. ALSO (and I know this is bragging :-) ) our winter is nicer than your summer!!

Tricia said...

Hi J - it was a great find. I saw some there last year but they were much more out in the open!

Warren - very boring indeed.

Roy - thank you. I love the "spectacles" on the youngsters.

Jan - It does look odd to see a bird emerging from a wall. Lol

Jackie - We've had enough rain for the garden now surely!! And yes, bring on the sunshine!

I expect the cavity holes do exist at other centres, but Barnes is one of the newer ones.

Tricia said...

Mick - If there's a knock on your door - it could well be me! But, I do love our Spring - it's so full of drama and expectation.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
Again a very nice post and story. My favorites are the little grebe family. How cute they are!!! Wonderful shots of them. Good job.

holdingmoments said...

Despite the weather, looks like you had a good day Tricia. Been a tad windy here too.
Great shot of the Starling coming out the wall :) and the last Little Grebe shot is a beauty.

JRandSue said...

Hi Tricia, lovely little grebe Images.
Look's like you beat bad weather
well done.
Cornwall had a bad rain day, never mind there's still tomorrow.
Good birding.
John.

The Early Birder said...

Four layers, shaking hands plus a bad hairdo and that was just me too. Nice series of the Little Grebes plus Starlings making use of any available nesting hole.

Tricia said...

Chris - thank you. I do like t

he Little Grebes - we also call them "Dab Chicks"!

Keith - Not a bad day at all. Grebes are very photogenic - both Great and Little!

John - thanks. Well tomorrow's now here and..... yes it's pouring! Hope it's better down your way.

Frank - Looks odd to see Starlings coming in and out of the wall!

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful pictures again. I just can't get enough of the baby birds. They're delightful.

Jayne said...

Once again your patience and camera expertise have paid off Tricia - Lovely shots
Jayne

Lynmiranda said...

Lovely pictures of the Little Grebes and their young. I expect even the birds are getting fed up with our rotten weather at the moment. You wonder when will we get some sunshine, according to the MET we are going to have a better summer than than the ones we had the last two years, so far it does not look very promising:-(

Tricia said...

Thank you Jayne. It's definitely a waiting game - but a good one.

Lynmiranda - I'd also heard about having a better summer this year. This is one of the occasions when I sincerely hope the MET office are correct!

Mark Fellowes said...

Fantastic to get the little grebe chicks - jealous!!

Tricia said...

Hi Mark - I always feel lucky to see them. But, if you can stand being a bit greener, these don't compare to the ones I saw on 16 June of last year. Again at the London Wetland Centre:
http://belfiebird.blogspot.com/2008/06/young-ones-at-london-wetland-centre.html

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