Friday, 22 October 2010

Barnes WWT.

On Wednesday I visited Barnes WWT around midday. The bright blue sky reflected in the colour of the water but out of the sun the cold northerly breeze quickly chilled the fingers. The buildings in the background are on the other side of the River Thames which forms part of the boundary to this urban wetland reserve acknowledged to be the best in Europe. So here are a few images of some of the species that were around.
 A Little Grebe continually pointed its behind towards the sun
 Only spotted a few Common Pochard but I guess more will appear as winter approaches.
 A female Tufted Duck taking a midday nap.   
 A male Northern Shoveller with its distinctive spatulate bill and puffed out white breast. 
 Time to tidy up those feathers.
 Mrs. Shoveller floats by totally unimpressed by the males.

Shortly after entering the Dulverton Hide I surveyed the distant reeds on the northern side of the main lake through the bins and eventually locked onto a brown shape ... one of the two Bitterns that arrived, probably from Norther Europe, about a week ago. Sorry, no photos as it was far too far away!  Other sightings included Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Common, Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls, Starling, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Cetti's Warbler (heard only), Great Crested Grebe, Lapwing, Jackdaw, Crow and Parakeet.
After some patient waiting a couple of Common Snipe appeared from the vegetation on a nearby island and spent a short time feeding before disappearing again, probably for their afternoon snooze. (Not the sharpest of shots as these guys were really too far away for the lens so original cropped.)
Finally from the first floor in the Peacock Hide I watched these Highland Cattle, which are being used to graze the grassland, slowly move to a fresh feeding location. Certainly no indication that they were feeling any effect from the biting wind!   FAB. 


  1. Lovely images once again. Those are some fancy lawn mowers in the last shot!

  2. Nice! I love the shoveler photos especially...

  3. Hi Frank..Ducks sure make great subjects and I am always baffled about how many different kinds there are!!
    Nice photos and I like the Highland Cattle!! They always seem to be having a bad hair day!! : }

  4. Enjoyed these Frank. Took me back to my visit there a little while ago.

    What amazed me was that the centre of London, could hold such a magical place, and so many different species.
    Let's hope it always does.

  5. Super collection of birds, Frank, not least the Snipe.

  6. Lovely photos! Such diversity, I was so surprised to scroll down and find the cattle! Totally unexpected. There is a lady on the island that has Highland Cattle. When they are young, their horns point down and they look like 'sad cows'!

  7. Those Highland Cattle are really wonderful looking animals. Wow, have never seen any with long hair over here. Your Grebe is sweet just like your handsome banner image. Have a great weekend~

  8. Loved all your photos Frank!! Looks like the cooler weather is coming on fast over there also. I love those furry cattle..They are so cute!! Ha!


    ...and how sympatic these two coloured "boys"...!
    Wonderful shot!!

    ciao ciao elvira

  10. Lovely blue skies Frank and well done on seeing one of the Bitterns - which I dipped on. 24 hours earlier, and I would have met you there :D Great pic of the two Snipe ..

  11. Terrific images once again! The Northern Shovelers are quite showy, and I really like the shaggy beasts - I'm thinking not much wind gets through that long coat!

  12. Hi Lois. They would certainly make quick work of my little patch of grass!

    Hi Jen. Shovellers are pretty skittish so I was pleased to get some of the colourful male.

    Hi Grammie. You are right, Ducks make good subjects. With a coat like that who cares what you look like in the chilly weather!!

    Hi Keith. I'm sure it will go from strength to strength and just goes to prove that URBAN birding can be contagious.

    Hi Emma. Thanks. Hopefully one day I'll get a good close up of a Snipe.

    Hi Mary. They are very adaptable to adverse conditions.

    Hi Ginny. Yes, definitely getting colder with more northerly winds ... time to put on extra layers, unlike the cattle who carry theirs all the time.

    Hi Elvira. Delighted you liked them.

    Hi Tricia. Hopefully next time one will be out in the open..I can dream.

  13. Nice shots of the shovelers, I have to see males let alone get photos, just females...and lovely shot of the little grebe too...I'll never forget the first time my sis send a postcard of the highland cattle after she moved to the UK 30 yrs ago, they're so different than US cattle, but I think they're pretty cool!

  14. Hi Jann. Yes, I agree the Highland cattle are cool, providing you don't get too close! I'm also seeing many more Shovellers but never close enough for decent shots yet.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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