Sunday, 24 June 2007

Marsh Frog

This is a Marsh Frog, found in large numbers at the Wetlands. It has two vocal sacs (thus it's a male) and Oh boy is it vocal! It makes a laughing sort of noise!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Spring cleaning at Wetlands

My favourite ducks, the white headed stifftails, don't usually do very much, just glide around gracefully and look pretty and photogenic. Today however there was activity all round. This one decided to have a good clean, so I tried to do him justice!!

The Hawaiian Geese were all cleaning simultaneously.. it made for a lot of splashing! I had put the lens onto 'active' today and think that it made the action shots a little clearer! Or maybe I just got lucky today. Mind you there are still more than enough shots in the recycle bin.

They really were all at it today!!
Even the ducklings are a clean lot.. not sure what this one is, but think it is some kind of Eider!

Not sure that this one is doing any more than having a good scratch in the sun.... However I am hopeful that this is one of the ducklings I saw last week being chased by the nasty red breasted goose. The mallards were safely in the swan's enclosure and the swans were being very protective when we mean cruel humans* were venturing too near (* that is of course a euphemism for ME!)

Saturday, 16 June 2007

London Zoo - June 2007

We decided to flex our new Zoo membership cards today and visit the zoo again. Hmmmm shoulf have looked at the weather forecast. I got soaked, and the children had to change into school clothes for the journey home (they had come straight from their dad's). However we got to see one of the bears having an early morning play. London Zoo has three Sloth Bears on the Maplin Terraces. They are fab! The giraffes were in good form as ever! I was trying to get a shot of his blue tongue, but it is a bit lost in the backdround.

And a slightly arty shot!

The three toed sloth having a snooze curled up underneath a branch.

Another attempt to capture the Golden Headed Lion Tamarind. Slightly less fuzzy, but nowhere near perfect!

The pelicans were all asleep apart from this one having a good scratch. I'm guessing he was a male!

I haven't seen the Bactrian Camels standing up yet, still at least they are wholesome unlike the fornicators at Chester Zoo!

And finally a very fuzzy shot of the leaf cutting ants. They are remarkable insects scurrying along with leaves twice their size on their backs. They scurried so fast that I couldn't capture them successfully. This photography lark is harder than it looks!

London Zoo Penguins June 2007

A little bit of Penguin love!
A very good looking penguin, he was just finishing a good shake.. I think this is his 'aaaaah that feels better' look!

This penguin needed his L-Plates. He had innordinate difficulty exiting the pool . . . . .Whoops - steady as you go!

Nearly there, easy does it!

Who are you looking at me? Me? Whatever for?

Monday, 11 June 2007

Blue Damselfly

I always thought that these were dragonflies until I was informed by a knowledgeable 13 year old how wrong I was......

I nicked this bit from the RSPB site (again!)
The male has a blue abdomen with black spots; the female, a yellow or bluish abdomen with variable dark markings. This species is common throughout Britain.
They appear to drift through the air, and they snatch their prey from vegetation. Damselflies rest with their wings folded lengthways along their body.
During mating, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs – this is called a mating wheel. The pair flies together over the water and eggs are laid within a suitable plant, just below the surface.
The eggs hatch and the larvae, called nymphs, live in the water. Nymphs climb out of the water up a suitable stem to moult into damselflies.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Wetlands - Babies 10 June 2007

The Wetlands was very quite today, full of people but very few ducks or geese. No sign of my kestrel either. Right at the end I spotted a dappy mallard with lots of ducklings. Sadly she was straying into geese territory and a red breasted goose viciously attacked a chick. A visitor kicked it off and I reported the situation to a warden. Apparantly it is a territorial dispute and happens every year..... Hope they all survive intact!

A Barnacle goose was hidden in the bushes on her nest. She was being protected by a red breasted goose, I don't know if he was her partner.. if so, can't wait to see the chicks!

Errrr, no babies here... but it's a nice photo.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

London Zoo - Penguins

Black footed penguins! We found them just before feeding time! They are so cute!!!

This is a baby penguin who is moulting just before his first birthday. When his new feathers grow he will have a bar accross his chest which shows he is an adult!!!

Waiting for the fish with exactly a minute to go!!!!

This was my favourite penguin a Rockhopper Penguin called Roxy. Apparantly she was kicked out of Whipsnade for being naughty (She kept eating eggs). Apparantly she is being well behaved now she is among all the dead hard Inner City London Penguins!

London Zoo - Birds

We found flamingoes in London Zoo, and they didn't need a mirror to be photogenic. . . . although I realise that I will NEVER take a prizewinning photo of a flamingo!

The pelicans were not so aggresive as they were in Chester.... However the second photo is seriously weird! Is that a pelican's tongue?????

errrrr, and two birds that I don't know what they are... but come on the second phot is GOOD!!!

OK OK I have now looked this one up and I think it is a Buff Necked Ibis, sometimes known as a Black Faced Ibis. Still a good photo though!


London Zoo - Herons

I love herons. These are obviously not belonging to London Zoo, but they certainly live there en masse. They turned up in numbers for Penguin Feeding time. They look so comical when flying, like a dinosaur. I was so pleased that I had a chance to photograph them flying that I forgot to watch the panguins being fed.. whoops!

Actually I think this shot was taken in the Pelican enclosure, but it really belongs here.

This is a dreadful photo, but when I looked over my shoulder at Penguin Feeding Time this is what I saw. It was too crowded to be able to set the shot up... and it shows :-(

Waiting for the keeper to arrive with buckets of fish!