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!
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.
I have many many wonderful wildlife moments this last week while taking part in 30DaysWild, but taking my parent along to Thursley Common NNR was a real highlight! My dad is recovering from a hip replacement that has been long overdue. His mobility is still a bit restricted but he is finally able to walk far enough to get out onto the boardwalk at Thursley to see the birds, lizards, orchids and dragonflies. I can just about manage my electric wheelchair onto the site with a bit of help, this time provided by my mum and my aunt, who got me past a few missing boards and over some awkward roots.
We could only stay a short time and I was so thrilled to find the treecreepers once again nesting in the spot they occupied last year! Absolutely wonderful to watch them. The marsh orchids are really starting to carpet the bog in patchworks of purple, broken up by fabulous grasses, including native cotton grass. Such a delight to look upon! Damselflies and dragonflies are starting to increase in numbers, bringing the hobbies in to hunt over the ponds. I found many lovely lizards, one was even kind enough to stay put while my dad came in closer to get a photo with his phone!
A visit to Thursley Common NNR yesterday brought a wealth of wildlife treats! One of my favourite inhabitants of the common are the common lizards. They bask on the boardwalk in the sunshine and some are quite bold. This lizard was about 10cm long and had truly beautiful colours and patterns! I was able to get a close up of him using my 100-400mm lens so that I could keep a reasonable distance and take the image from a low angle.