Thursday, 7 February 2008

London Wetlands Centre 3th February 2008

I got London Wetlands Centre off my little 'waiting list' for now, though I may need to go again soon to get Bittern that I missed today. At least I got one of my targets and something unexpected... Mum needed some new binoculars today so we went up to the in-focus shop. When we were deciding on what to get there was a Green Woodpecker from the in-focus balcony and a few Feral Pigeons and other usual stuff. I left mum and dad in the cafe and headed off for the main reserve, hoping for Bittern and Water Pipit. I spent the first half hour in the first hide before they caught up and we left five minutes afterwards for the WWF hide. The 1st hide produced Pochard, Cormorant, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Ruddy Duck, Little Grebe and a Egyptian Goose! I followed it as it swam with my scope and then took a video. I looked for it again five minutes later and there were two standing in the shallows preening! Excellent! This was a nice surprise and a year tick. Other than this there was not much of note at the first hide. On the way to the WWF hide a group pointed a flock of Siskins out to me, I only got a brief view of them flying as they departed, though. At the WWF hide there were a few Herring and Common Gulls amongst the Black-headed Gulls. There were Lapwing flying about too. A lady next to me said 'ooh, what's that little brown bird on that small island right in front of us' to her companion. At this moment I knew it was a Water Pipit and found it instantly, confirming the ID and telling the ladies what it was. Several people were pleased when I pointed it out. It was a lifer for me, and very close too! I got great, clear views through the scope and got a couple of phone-scoped videos and lots of photos (see right).After about 20 minutes of watching it we left for the Peacock Tower, up there I pointed the Water Pipit out to a few more people and asked if anyone had seen the Bittern, no-one had... There wasn't much else from the Peacock Tower other than good views of wildfowl including Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Pochard. After a while we went home after a successful day.

Below: Water Pipit (phone-scoped)

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