Sunday, 19 February 2012

Barnes Common - back to my new favourite spot

Over the last few weekends, I have been heading back to Barnes Common. This area of south west London is fast becoming my favourite area for watching and photographing urban wildlife. Even though it's a busy route for commuters walking to and from the station, it's large enough to get lost in and away from everyone else.

There are plenty of grey squirrels to be seen and, due to the commuters, they are fairly used to human presence, allowing you to get quite close to them.

I was also lucky enough to spot a female kestrel, using the common as a hunting ground, pictured below with it's latest meal, a rather large brown rat. I have seen the kestrel here a number of times, leading me to think that it's using the common as a regular hunting ground.

As mentioned, I have found out that Barnes common is home to a rather large population of brown rats. It should be noted that they are not mangy sewer rats but are actually rather cute. Still a bit of a shock when you first spot one though.

One of the weekends I went was the weekend London was hit with the first snow of 2012. There was a lot of it around, for London standards anyway, and, whilst it was beginning to thaw, it was a nice change of background for photos.

It seems this pigeon had seen the weather forecast and had prepared for the snow by digging out its Arctic camouflage.

There were also a lot of redwings to be seen flying from holly tree to holly tree, feasting on the abundant red berries.

The rats were also seen again and they seemed to be enjoying the alternative weather we were experiencing, jumping around and playing.

On the way home, I saw this lesser black backed gull resting at the edge of the river. It got me wondering how its feet didn't get cold, as mine were and they were wrapped up in thick socks!

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