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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Friday, 19 November 2010

Wisley Gardens has a new Bird Hide

A new bird hide has been under construction for a while at RHS Wisley and I've been awaiting its opening. Well yesterday, 18 November it opened... and just 10 minutes before I stepped inside! Apparently I was the first "proper" birder and visitor to the hide; the dignitaries being there for the opening!

When I arrived at the gardens the sun was shining but that wasn't to last for that long.

This is probably one of the most photographed and regular pictures upon entry to the gardens.


I walked by the large pond on my way to the riverside walk


Having gone under the bridge the River Wey comes into view; this runs along the borders of part of the gardens with a golf course on the opposite bank.. a good place to spot a Kingfisher but I didn't see one from here.

Further along the path wends its way through the trees. On my way through a Great Spotted Woodie flew across in front of me and then a Jay kept me entertained for a while. A Wren was singing lustily but hidden well out of view. A group of Long-tailed tits flitted across through the trees.

Having walked along the river path and come to the end the hide comes into view.

Once inside, you can see the "wildlife conservation area" and this is the only views you can have so great to see it properly for the first time.



It's built on a very steep slope and on two levels - the entrance being the upper level and once inside, down the staircase to the lower level.





I'd spent sometime in the hide once the dignitaries had left and whilst speaking to another visitor he drew my attention to a bird on a very nearby branch overhanging the water. As I turned towards it, the Kingfisher (yay!!) flew across in front of us to the trees beyond and then out of view across the River Wey. Apparently there are two pairs of Kingfishers that breed around the area; there's also a pair of Kestrels which bred again near the hide this year.

From the hide - I saw my first Siskins of the season - about 7 of them :D

Time to wander back as hunger was taking over. A friendly robin sang as I walked.

Out across the River Wey, a family of Mute Swans was using the golf course as a resting place.


By now the sky was rather threatening..

I had Pea Soup and bread with a coffee (very nice) and then walked through the gardens on my way to the Fruit Fields.





I paid a quick visit to the Glasshouse... it was very warm compared to outside although the sun up to now had been lovely.




Outside again, the sky was getting blacker by the minute



I wanted to check out the Fruit fields for winter birdy visitors... as I walked through the Arboretum I was rewarded with the sight of a flock of some 20 Fieldfares... (no Redwings on this occasion) but the Fieldfares made a lovely sight - no pictures as my camera was safely in the bag as it was now raining quite steadily. The Fruit Fields had plenty of windfalls of apples so hopefully they can be left about for a bit to give the Fieldfares a tasty meal.

An enjoyable visit and I shall be back in the hide to watch for those Kingfishers again before too long...

11 comments:

Gary said...

You took us on a great walk. Great photos

Roy said...

It looks a very promising place to visit Tricia.

holdingmoments said...

An enjoyable visit Tricia.

That's an impressive hide! Looks bigger than my house. They should have put a plaque up for you; the first 'proper birder visitor'.

Great pictures from the rest of the place too.

Anonymous said...

A well told story, backed up by superb photography. Well done Tricia!

paul.

ShySongbird said...

That is a hide and a half Tricia. Keith beat me to it! I too thought you should have had some sort of recognition for being the first 'proper' visitor :)

A most enjoyable place to visit. I love the photo of the Robin! How nice that you saw a Kingfisher, I haven't seen one at all this year despite looking and looking and... :)

Ragged Robin said...

The gardens look beautiful and, as always, Tricia, the photos are great. Sounds like you had a lovely time.

oldcrow61 said...

What a great place to visit. The pictures are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

It looks a great hide from the outside, unfortunatley I went there on Saturday and its now closed until its had a final inspection from the building inspector.Hopefully that won,t be too long!

Tricia said...

Hi Anony (sorry but you didn't leave name!!)

I went on Sunday and made the same discovery!! I asked but no-one knew when the inspection was likely to be... watch this space and if I find out anything I'll post on my blog somewhere.

digibirder said...

Look like a great day out, and you still have some autumn colour down there! Lovely pics, especially those with the reed sculptures and the one in between.

Tricia said...

Gary - glad you enjoyed the stroll and thank you ;)

Roy... it would be if it was still open!!

Keith... it was very comfy and very roomy - almost too good to be a bird hide!!

Hi Paul... thank you yet again :)

Hi Jan... better accommodation than my house I think ;) I saw one on my next visit in a place where I've never seen one before but always hoped to!!

RR - thank you. It was a very pleasant visit.

OC - thank you as usual :)

Digi - thank you.. It's a place best visited out of the popular times!! i.e winter etc..

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