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 July 2009

Barnes - bare of birds!

My young companion of the last two weeks, went home to Sussex on Friday for the weekend. I miss him already. There's a day and a half next week and then it's the end of term.

So today - where to? I went over to Barnes (the London Wetland Centre). I didn't really expect to see much in terms of birds - and that's exactly what I saw - hardly any birds. Not even the usual small birds - not so much as a Blue Tit or Robin or Wren.

I wandered through to the Peacock Tower and there met a couple of birders whom I've got on nodding terms with, being regular visitors. Down below, a young WWT member of staff was wandering around in his waders, looking around on one of the small islands having arrived there in a small boat. His was looking for (and trying to capture) a very large Terrapin! Apparently it was the size of a dinner plate and was thought to have been laying eggs! I felt quite sorry for the young man who just couldn't find the Terrapin; this having dived into the plants and become invisible.

However, the Grey Herons were everywhere as usual; the time of year doesn't seem to affect their presence.
Young birds abounded, and a family of Mallards were swimming lazily around.
But what was evident in huge numbers, were Tufted Duck young ones. At least four families of at least 9 a piece were around in one part, and several other families elsewhere - they might even have outnumbered the number of coot families!



From one of the hides, a family of young Starlings was observed; the young losing their "fluffiness" and getting more adult plumage.





This was mostly it on the larger side of the reserve so, after a yogurt and coffee (for lunch!), I wandered around to "The Wildside" which is much smaller with just a couple of hides. There's quite a number of collection birds before you walk out into the wildside "proper".

Here, on two small islands was where the action was. On one of them was a Common Sandpiper (too far away for a picture) and on the other a -

Common Tern
who was kept company by, amongst other birds, a Little Ringed Plover
Cormorants were there in number and this one, having had a swim, came onto the island to dry off by flapping wings..
conducting the Duck Orchestra..
Before having a preen.
Another one came along...
and tidied himself up.
Most of the "flying things" were Flutters on one type or another
Six spot Burnets were still very much about..
The colouring of this one was very pale green compared to its normal dark grey colouring

These two enjoying the plant

and then a Speckled Wood (I could only see 1 spot!)
Now - is this the same or a different flutter?



and a pretty pink Water Lily!



I decided to come back through Richmond Park, as there's much Ragwort that grows there and I was after Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars.

However, as I started off from the car park I came across a herd of Fallow Deer Bucks who were being very photogenic!
Legs and heads!
Aw - we are being sooo good!

And then? Well the sky got blacker and drops of water started falling so I decided to call it a day and headed off for home!





14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia
Your butterflies..
First is a Gatekeeper, black spot with two small white spots.
Second is a Meadow Brown, black spot with one small white spot.
I cannot see a Speckled Wood.

Cheers

Maurice

mick said...

The ducklings are cut, the deer are very beautiful - but for me the terns and Little Ringed Plover are definitely the best!

holdingmoments said...

Great shots there Tricia, love those little 'tufties'.
Like the Cormorant conductor too, that's a cracking shot; but the ducks don't look too impressed lol
Finally the deer more than make up for the lack of Cinabar caterpillars. They're beauties.

Midmarsh John said...

I'm with Keith on the Cormorant conductor - a once in a lifetime capture. Lovely set of cuties as normal and great deer photos. I wonder whether the Terrapin was captured in the end.

Tricia said...

Hi Maurice - thank you for coming up trumps with the IDs again :)

I had wondered about Speckled Wood but like you, couldn't really make it one!

Mick - There were two terns about earlier, flying and fishing, but I was around the "wrong" side of the reserve for any pictures. Just wished I'd been nearer to the Tern and LRP!

Keith - thank you - what amazes me about the little tufties is that, even though they are so very young, they dive so well - like little corks bobbing up and down!

The fallows are rather pretty (if one can say that about males of course).

Tricia said...

Thanks John - was great just to watch the Cormorant and lucky to grab that pose on "film" so to speak.

I'm curious too about whether they find it - I gather it certainly is big enough to spot easily when it's out in the open. I'm going to try to find out next time I visit.

Jayne said...

You really do take some terrific photo's Tricia, it won't be long before you have your youngster back in tow!! LOL
Jayne

Wilma said...

I certainly enjoyed your outing. Thanks for posting all the lovely photos. In the US, we don't have anything remotely like the fallow deer; they are remarkably photogenic.

cheers,
Wilma

Roy said...

Love the little Tuftis. Not seen any of them yet.
Granny duties over for a while I guess.? {:)

oldcrow61 said...

You get to see the most marvelous things. The flutters are beautiful. I love the shot of the water lily and the deer...wonderful!

karen said...

Lovely photos again Tricia. Love the 'conductor' shot, its fantastic! And of course the little fluffy babies, and the deer are adorable x

Tricia said...

Jayne - thank you. Unfortunately he's not coming back for the last 1.5 days - but I shall be visiting from time to time.

Wilma - glad you enjoyed the pictures and thank you. The Fallow deer are very cute and quite small too; to the tip of their antlers they're probably only about 4-5 feet high.

Roy - The tufties are very cute! and yes, sadly, the grandmother (!) duties are over till further notice now.

OC - I know how lucky I am to have the variety of wildlife that I have on my doorstep. If you ever come over then I'd be delighted to show you around my patch :D

Karen - thank you. Of course, I'd been training the cormorant for several minutes to pose for that shot!

Glo said...

A wonderful series of wildlife shots ~ It's so much more fun going out for a walk with camera in hand, isn't it?

Glad to hear you enjoyed your grandson's visit, as I'm sure he did as well. He'll have memories of such times that will linger forever :)

Tricia said...

Hi Glo and thank you. I find it difficult to leave the camera at home; you never know what you might see on a walk anywhere :)

I hope he does remember the fun we've had :)

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