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ShareMondays2020 – Wonderful Wren

Wonderful Wren

ShareMondays2020 – Wonderful Wren

Never dismiss the little things in life, the simple pleasures, the joy of watching a tiny wren busying about in the bracken, building a nest. So busy he didn’t worry about me sitting in my wheelchair watching his activities. He hopped over so closely a few times it actually took my breath away!

Wonderful Wren

I wish I could return to watch his progress but I am being “shielded” at home for the next 12 weeks as I am most vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. I hope these little wrens will come through this years breeding season safely. I hope that all of us come through this crisis safely! With any luck, I will see the wrens again on the other side of all this. Take care everyone x

Wonderful Wren

 

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ShareMondays2020 – Happy To See You!

Common Lizard giving me a cheeky grin

ShareMondays2020 – Happy To See You!

I had an appointment at Guy’s Hospital last Friday and decided to drive as I’m in the at-risk category with regards to coronavirus. It was a morning appointment, so I decided to make the most of being up that way with the car and pay a visit to the wonderful WWT London Wetlands Centre at Barnes. It’s completely wheelchair accessible, including the various hides!

A fellow SheClicks member, Oddy, had tipped me off to the emergence of one of my favourite native British animals, the common or Viviparous lizard. These wonderful creatures love basking on sun-warmed wood and were coming out onto the sides of the bird hides to warm themselves. This is the earliest in the year that I have seen them!

Common Lizard scenting with it's tongue

Although I am following advice to socially distance myself, I am still meeting with friends and family in outdoor spaces. Going to Barnes enabled me to meet up with fellow nature and wildlife photographer, Andrew Wilson. Andrew has published a series of fabulous books, with his own photography, celebrating Wild London! It’s great getting out with other photographers who share the same passions for our wonderful wildlife.

I was absolutely thrilled to find one little lizard basking on the side of the WWF Hide! They are such great little characters. I managed to catch it scenting with it’s tongue and giving me the eye with that classic, smug looking smile. This individual was only about 6cm in length so probably a youngster from last year! They really are an absolute treat to see. I hope everyone is holding up ok in these troubled times. Stay as safe as you can and look out for anyone you know who is vulnerable and at risk.

Common Lizard on wooden slats

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ShareMondays2020 – Winter Warmer

Warmth in Winter

ShareMondays2020 – Winter Warmer

Finding myself vitamin D deficient once again I am trying to get out into the sunshine as much as possible! I spent an afternoon at Bushy Park last week, soaking up those precious rays and watching the wildlife. It was so mild I ended up shedding my big winter coat. It was fun watching the deer and wrens in the bracken near Heron Pond, before heading over to the Woodland Gardens for sunset and a cuppa at the cafe.

The Chase

Signs of an early Spring were very evident in the Woodland Gardens! Watching the parakeets feasting on cherry blossom is a sight I don’t usually see for another two months! Just as the sun was setting at around half four, I came across one of the resident rabbits. I was really surprised to see one out of the warren at this time of day and year! The rabbits here are more used to people walking by and I was able to get really close to it, capturing the details of the fur and even a reflection of the sunset in the rabbit’s eye. The leaf litter in the background glowed in the late light and this little rabbit just stole my heart!

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ShareMondays2020 – Open Wide!

Open Wide!

ShareMondays2020 – Open Wide!

My fascination with the pelicans in St James’s Park continues! I managed a short visit on Friday afternoon after an appointment at Guy’s Hospital. It’s so therapeutic after you’ve just had to hear more bad news. I was expecting it really, no big shocks but disappointing all the same. So from having to keep my own mouth wide open for the dental conservative consultant, I went to see a much more impressive wide mouth!

Pelican Gular Pouch

The bare skin on the lower mandible of the pelican is known as the gular pouch. There are other birds with gular skin but the pelican has the largest. The lower mandible expands to open the pouch allowing it to scoop it’s prey from the water. As the mandible contracts, water is expelled from the bill and the bird can then tilt its head to let the fish slide down the gullet. The gular pouch actually has a larger capacity than the pelicans stomach! You may have heard the rhyme by Dixon Merritt: “Oh, what a wondrous bird is the pelican! His bill holds more than his belican. He can take in his beak enough food for a week. But I’m darned if I know how the helican.” In fact, any surplass food is actually stored in the oesophagus!

Preening Pelican

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ShareMondays2019 – Winter Tree Decorations

Fieldfare

ShareMondays2019 – Winter Tree Decorations

I managed to get out of the house last Thursday to visit some of my favourite tree decorations, at RHS Wisley Gardens, fieldfares and redwings! These two birds are members of the Thrush family that fly south from Scandinavia, to overwinter in the UK and other parts of southern Europe. They won’t take long to strip the cherry trees bare of these sweet treats! It’s a spectacle I love seeing every year. They are so busy feeding that I can get just a little bit closer to them than in some other areas where they are gathered.

Redwing