Washington WWT

A quick check of all the webcams in my computer favourites persuaded me that East would be best for good weather.
I haven't been to Washington WWT since the Avocets bred there last year, and with a membership that gives me 'free' entry to the site it seemed like time for another visit.

Bullfinch (male)

I was one of the first visitors to Washington WWT when it opened all those years ago, small concrete ponds and just planted trees.

Now it's a much more natural setting for wildfowl, with areas where children and adults can get close to the birds and not a concrete pond to be seen.

I was heading for the wild bird areas, with the feeders in the Hawthorn Wood my first stop, brilliant hide with great views of the birds, and a grey squirrel.

The trees around the feeders aren't the best for photographs with lots of little branches, but that's nature.
I was looking for shots of the Bullfinches and there were plenty of those about.

Bullfinch (female)

There's been masses of work done around the wader ponds over the winter months, I did read that they were planning to open the ponds up so passing birds could actually see the areas of water.

Trees have been cut down and hedges layered, this probably explains why there wasn't very much on the wader ponds although the Heronry was well occupied.

Redshank on the Wader Ponds

I wandered back up pausing at the new Flamingo enclosure, they were all asleep in the sunshine, standing on one spindly leg, looking like a row of pink lollipops.

I met a fellow Twitterer who kindly directed me to the pond where the Smew was, these are bird with pinned feathers so they're not wild birds, nice to see in close-up though.

Female Smew bathing

Male Smew

While I was at the pond I noticed people with binoculars looking at the bushes, turns out there were Waxwings feeding on the Cotoneaster berries, having missed them when they arrived enmass inthe UK for winter, I was delighted to catch them here as they work their way back to Scandinavia.


Waxwing eating a Cotoneaster Berry


All photographs used on this Blog are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and may not be used without written permission.


Jim said...

Excellent Joan. Now you've got me wondering how long I sat at the pond obsessing about diving Buffleheads and Smews while I was oblivious to the surrounding Waxwings!!

JoT said...

They were unusually quiet, I wouldn't have known they were there if it hadn't been for the folk with the binoculars, and even then it wasn't until they asked me if I'd seen the Waxwings that I looked closely for them.
For such bright coloured birds they were suprisingly hard to spot.
I was furious with myself for having the ISO at 500, forgot to change it after being in the dark woodland hide!