Saturday, 26 November 2011

The River Thames in autumn

Last weekend I was full of good intentions to head to the Wetlands centre and snap some of the autumn migrants that are now regularly dropping in. I didn't, however, account for the shortening days or how fast the light goes when it begins to. As a result, on Saturday I ended up having a walk along the banks of the River Thames and, in hindsight, I'm quite glad that I didn't make it to the WWT.

The sunset on Saturday evening turned out to be spectacular. At low tide, as the sun descended slowly, I was afforded beautiful views of the river and the bird life it supports.

Groups of Mallards were to be found which, with the sunset behind them, looked beautiful.

I also saw a Great Crested Grebe in its winter plumage, hunting for its dinner.

As I continued to wander up the river back, a family of Mute Swans swam past.

I also spyed a Grey Heron fishing for dinner. I'm not sure how good this particular Heron was as, the few times it did go for a fish, it appeared to fall on the target rather than decisively striking. It posed for a nice photo though.

Once the light had gone, I began to head home. On my way back I heard a Robin in one of the trees chirping away to anyone who listened. I managed to snap this shot of it using a flash and am quite pleased with the result.

The following day I again, attempted to get myself to the Wetlands centre. This time it was public transport that stopped me getting there. With no bus in sight after 20 minutes of waiting in the cold, I decided I would walk instead. Again, it was low tide as I strolled along the river and, again, I was tempted to take photos along the river bank instead of going over to the WWT.

The Great Crested Grebe was out fishing again and, this time, I was able to get a better lit shot of it.

The fog began to draw in as the sunlight faded making for lovely atmospheric shots.

Before the fog got too bad, which it did... very quickly, a murmuration of Starlings were flying just above the bridge. It wasn't the largest murmuration ever seen but it was still fascinating to watch.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A cold, grey day at the wetlands centre

Last weekend I spent a couple of hours at the Wildfowl & Wetlands centre, secretly hoping to capture that once in a lifetime shot of the recently returned Bittern. Sadly, on that day, it was not to be.

I was also hoping to see some of the birds currently migrating over London. Again, this was not meant to be.

Still, it's always nice to wander around the centre, even on an over-cast and slightly drizzly day.

There were still plenty of wildfowl around to see and snap.

There will be other days, better light and more birds.

Still, I'm happy with the few shots I did get.

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