We’re just on the cusp of spring and on a bright though extremely windy day at London’s magnificent Walthamstow Wetlands the wildlife were getting ready for the impending season of renewal.
Some of the Great Crested Grebes were showing off their courting dances looking for a mate to pair up with, whilst some of the same birds were sheltering from the lapping of the waves by puffing themselves up into ‘donuts’ and hunkering down against the high winds.
One of the most ubiquitous bird species at Walthamstow Wetlands is the goose, and one of my favourites is the Greylag. Their otherwise dour grey down is accented by the beautiful orange bills. Today they were strutting around the reservoirs munching on the grass, and the males were keeping a protective eye out for their mates.
There are a number of islands at Walthamstow Wetlands that are home to colonies of Herons and Cormorants, so it was unusual to see a Heron sitting on the bank of a reservoir away from their flock. Perhaps he had found some shelter from the unusually high winds, or simply found an abundant area of fish along the stream.
I spotted what I thought was a ring necked duck on the reservoirs today, a breed I didn’t know too well. The ring necked duck originally hails from North America and I don’t believe there are usually many here in Britain. As it turns out its most likely a Tufted Duck which is much more common.
Walthamstow Wetlands being a working drinking supply reservoir has such beautifully clear water that in some photographs the surface of the water looks like a mirror when the sun catches it.
And finally as I left the wonderful wetlands to head home, I encountered one of our most majestic of birds, the Swan. As this particular bird was basking in the sun by the entrance, I had the perfect opportunity to take a study of its amazing facial features. Nature creates such beauty, and on a day where nature was unleashing its most forceful power in the wind, the grace of the Swan brought the day to a peaceful close.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to experience Walthamstow Wetlands I encourage you to visit. You can find their website at https://walthamstowwetlands.com/