After having countless people tell me how great the London Wetland Centre (LWC) was, I finally listened and got on the train to Barnes with my friend Robyn in early November.
We picked a day that happened to be extremely foggy, and I really mean that, as this photo of the sun will show:
The wetlands are an important habitat for many animals, the most visible of which are birds. We saw over 30 species of bird in the short three hours that we were there, including (a few favourites in order of pics below): a Carolina duck, mute swans, Hawaiian geese, one grey wagtail and the prehistoric-looking southern screamer.
We even spotted a marsh harrier swooping down into the long grass, possibly to hide in the cover, or it had found some prey. I have no picture as it was so far away, but we were reliably informed of its ID by an experienced twitcher.
With it being such a foggy and frosty day, there were ample opportunities for a bit of fun photographing dew later in the afternoon:
How can you resist? Needless to say, nearly every spider web we saw, Robin and I reached for our cameras.
We had such a brilliant time at the LWC: bird spotting, walking, photographing spider webs and finding out about the work they do around the world.
The centre is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) who work tirelessly saving species in need, but they also do a great job of connecting people to nature. People can easily lose touch with the natural world, sometimes without even realising it, which makes organisations like the WWT especially important in urban landscapes such as London.
Nature never fails to clear my mind and put my very human problems into perspective when I need it most. The value I put on nature is extremely high and I’d definitely be lost without it.
I’m excited to see what will be in store for me when I go back to visit the LWC in the spring!