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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Sunday, 2 August 2009

I twitched.... and dipped!

I was going to the London Wetland Centre yesterday but as it was a very dull day with the threat of rain I decided against it.

So instead, most of all day yesterday, I undertook a major gardening task of removing my side of an 8' high by 12' long hedge. It was tedious, dusty, tiring and unpleasant!! I've now shredded most of the branches but just a bit more to be done and the tidying up. I awoke this morning aching and feeling stiff.

I then read on Birdmad's blog that a Purple Heron had been seen at LWC yesterday! Doh! So guess where I went today. I joined several other birders in the Peacock Tower and learned it hadn't even been glimpsed let alone seen. So after a bit I decided to wander round the reserve.

However, as I walked to the Peacock Tower I bumped into someone I knew and we watched a juvenile Hobby hunting then being mobbed by a crow (if one bird can "mob" that is). It circled higher and higher and eventually flew off. It had been seen close to the hide earlier - but not by me.

Later on in the day, a Kestrel hunted high up and away; I can never tire of watching birds of prey high up in the sky!

Lizards were about and this was a very young one and the first spot of the day. It was so tiny it could have curled up on my finger nail!

Further along on some rotten timber, there were some adults about.

In terms of birds, it was very very quiet. I saw a wren and that was just about it in terms of small birds.

This little one was examining a rotten leaf in the water

before being fed by mum.

Out on a tern raft were an adult and baby tern (far to far away for a picture). Eventually one of the adults flew nearer but only for a record shot.

I then heard the calls of a warbler; from the calling noise made and this eventual sighting I'm inclined to think it's a youngster and a Reed Warbler?

Two moorhens faced each other with aggression

before turning and attacking each other

a third bird then joined in the mêlée

Around in one of the enclosures, a black swan was preening

I then came across a very confused little Tufted Duck. It thought the Mallard was Mum

and as the Mallard ran around (it seemed as though she was looking for something), the little Tufty ran around after her.

Much further along was a Mum Tufty who was looking a bit worn..

with her brood of three young ones. I may have said this before, but I've never seen so many families of Tufties as I've seen there this year!

And on leaving the enclosure I came across this Eagle!!

(Well if you look at the picture with one eye closed and squinting through the other, it might be a real one) :D

And the Purple Heron - still not seen by the time I headed off for home :(


Midmarsh John said...

How lovely to see those lizards. I would never have guessed the first one was so small. This is a creature I have only seen in captivity.
I've heard of a Golden Eagle but this is the first time I have seen a Rusty Eagle. :)
The little one being fed by mum is a real beauty of a photo.
Too many great bird photos to mention them all - sighs of relief all round!

Anonymous said...

Great lizard pics, Tricia.
Sorry to hear you dipped on the Purple Heron.

holdingmoments said...

Shame about the Heron, but you did get some great pictures of the 'regulars.'
Looks like a Reed Warbler to me, although the dark brown head, could be a female Blackcap? The song would clinch it though.
Love that little Lizzard. Haven't seen any since I was a kid.

Sounds like a lot of work on the hedge. Don't overdo it lol

Tom said...

I've never seen Lizards before... I know we have them and I'm forever lifting logs and boulders but never yet had the luck to see them, as for your birds Tricia... excellent spotting... I do hope you manage to see the Purple Heron.
I have a picture today of the humble magpie.. nothing as grand as these.
My blogs today show the Three Stags Heads Inn and 2 Magpies On A Bench

The Early Birder said...

Sounds familiar. Despite 'dipping out' you found a good selection of locals. Particularly liked the Lizards. FAB

Janine said...

Great shots of the lizards. Especially the tiny one. So cute.

Tricia said...

John - Lizards are not unusual at the Wetland Centre. I saw them for the first time last summer, when someone pointed them out to me. The Eagle is a tad rusty; as are some of the other sculptures now :( And thank you for your kind comments.

Dean - thank you. Shame about the Heron - it's a lifer for the Wetland Centre as well.

Keith - thanks; the regulars did come up trumps. Every time I go and think there's nothing about I'm always amazed at what I've been able to photograph,

Think is it Reed Warbler. It definitely was Reed or Sedge from the calls. Def not Blackcap.

Tom - they seem to prefer logs or wood generally. I've seen them basking on the outside of wooden hides at the Wetlands as well as on log piles.

I don't know if the Heron is still around or whether it's moved on - time will tell!

Frank - yes the locals were kind to me today :)

Janine - Thanks - they were lovely and, as they were basking, I had time to change the lens and get close to them!

ShySongbird said...

I love the Lizards Tricia, i would love to see some, such attractive little creatures. I also loved the Warbler photos. My goodness those Moorhens can be stroppy and I have noticed Coots are as bad!

swatson said...

more great photos,I always enjoy your blog and I would be amazed if I could see lizards.Dont think they like the cold of the north,even if they did I wouldn't know where to look:)

oldcrow61 said...

I never knew that you had lizards over there. I think they're super.

Tricia said...

Jan - Thanks; the lizards are wonderful things. The moorhens were very stropping but I still believe the Coots are the stroppiest (sp?) birds I've come across.

Sheila - thank you. They do seem to enjoy basking in the sun and don't really get very active until they're nice and toasty warm.

OC - yes but I believe only in certain areas. The habitat at the Wetland Centre is great for them as the Centre creates lots of wood piles to give them a home. I really like them too :D

ST said...

Lizards!! I think i would run out of memory if i came across some.

I almost dip every time i got out of my way to see something.

Tricia said...

ST - I did take a few of the lizards :D

Neil said...

great photos, especially the lizards

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