Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Wandle Trail - Yellow Wagtails and Butterflies

I've been meaning to take a walk along the Wandle river for a while now, as I cross it everyday on the train to work. The river Wandle runs through south west London, through the boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton, and Wandsworth, joining the River Thames at Wandsworth. In the past, it became little more than an open sewer, polluted to such an extent that it was once considered one of the most polluted rivers in England. Thankfully, the river Wandle is now a lovely, clean river (as far as it can be in a city anyway) with diverse range of plants, birds and fish, including Brown Trout.

I started off at Wandsworth and was greeted by a pair of Yellow Wagtails, eagerly feeding their brood of chicks in a nest under the bridge.

As I walked further up the Wandle, through Wandsworth town centre and up to Earlsfield, I was a little disappointed at the level of access to the river. A lot of it was fenced off or hidden behind buildings, meaning I had to take various urban detours until I got past Earlsfield station. Then I was able to walk along the rivers edge, taking in all of the animal and plant life on offer.

It was nice to see so many butterflies enjoying the sun, including Comma's...

... Red Admirals...

... and Small Whites.

Swifts were a plenty, zipping over the river. I must have taken over 100 photos until I managed to get one in frame and in focus. They're quick!

I was also lucky enough to see a Broad-winged Damselfly which decided to settle on a leaf, as I headed back towards Wandsworth.

And, as I got back to Wandsworth, the Wagtails were still busy feeding.


  1. Some nice ones there. Swifts, swallows and martins are a real workout for both your autofocus and your panning skills.

  2. Hi Graham,

    I really like the butterflies you have captured in your photography, I have been focusing on these and insects as they are out in abundance now. looking forward to seeing more work.


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