While visiting a few friends in London?a few?weekends ago, I managed my usual pilgrimage to WWT London Wetlands Centre. It was relatively quiet on the bird front photographically speaking. I’m sure for birdwatchers with their more powerful telescopes and binoculars there was more going on. The revamped wildlife garden as you head towards the WWF, Tower hide, etc. was showing some great colours and even though I was restricted to my telephoto lens I made some plant photos. I have always found that when it is quieter on the bird front most WWT centres have plenty of other subjects to photograph – plants to insects, it is just that I never normally have the correct lens with me!

Most of the birds were too far out on the water to get good images, so below I tried to get some form of interesting pattern with the position of the ducks. I like the contrast between the group of ducks and the lone duck by itself. To emphasise this separation, the focus point was on the group of ducks to draw your attention to them first. The only bit I’m not to sure of is the white eye look to the main bird due to its waterproof membrane covering the eye. I couldn’t seem to make an image with it having the normal black eye showing.

I always find the centre a good place to photograph little Grebes. Being used to the visitors allows a close approach, making it easier to get frame filling images. I find that if you just spend some time with a particular bird, the photo opportunities will come. This particular bird below had a chick, but it kept well hidden on the side of the pond. When it did come into view, reeds got in the way ruling out a picture. The chick had some great stripes on it, a similar but darker pattern to Great crested grebe chicks. Another reason to return and try again next time.


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