Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Visit to Barnes WWT

 Despite the efforts of David Lindo and Bill Oddie, I have to say my idea of Birding and the 'Big Smoke' just don't go together.
 Our latest Bedford RSPB group trip was to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust site at Barnes in South London.
 O.K. it's an oasis in a the middle of a sh**hole, but you've got to travel through the sh**hole to get there.
Then you have to fork out £10.55 to get in. Fair enough we managed a 20% discount - Big Deal.
There is a collection of captive birds on site which probably accounts for the high entry fee, but this wasn't really what we were there for.
 The biggest Bug-bear though was the army of families with young children, not content to look around the 'zoo area', but running, screaming and chasing anything they could see around the reserve areas.
 It says a lot about the reserve that of the three year ticks I gained from this trip, 2 of them were Egyptian Goose and Ring-necked Parakeet, both naturalised species that established from escaped birds.
Ring-necked Parakeet
 Ring-necked Parakeets were everywhere,and were quite exciting to see, although I could see their shrill calls could get on your nerves after a while.

 Wildfowl were the main birds on site with Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Shoveler and Pochard all seen. Smaller numbers of Coot, Moorhens,Great-crested  and Little Grebes were scattered around the site.

A 'raft' of Shoveler seen from the Tower Hide

An army of over a hundred Cormorants crowded out some of the islands, along with more than a dozen Grey Herons. Greylag and Canada Geese were represented in small numbers along with a pair of mobile Egyptian Geese.
 Waders were notable for their absence with only a few Lapwings noted all day.
 A Water Rail that stood on a small platform was probably my best bird of the day as I missed out on two Bitterns and a female Peregrine that were seen by other members of the group. 

I couldn't resist adding this picture of a cheeky Black Brant that kept trying to escape everytime someone opened the gate of it's enclosure.

 As a closing remark all I would say about this reserve is ' Been there done that - never again'

1 comment:

  1. Now I'm intrigued lol

    I enjoyed Barnes when I visited last year.