London Wetland Centre

This is the renovated Headley Discovery hide at the London Wetland Centre. Big windows with seats, telescopes and binoculars and CCTV coverage of birds, and books. It’s one of several hides on the site. I don’t think I used the telescopes enough, as I was trying out a new lens on the camera.

The London Wetland Centre was set up from 1995 on a site vacated by Thames Water. It was based on Peter Scott’s idea that rather than building a centre near an existing wetland, one could set up a wetland in a city and the wildlife would come. Hence the large numbers of migrating birds.

It’s very close to central London. You can get a bus from Hammersmith tube station that terminates at the Centre. There are well signposted walks. I went on the South Route and saw quite a few water birds I don’t see in Fürth – wigeon (Pfeifente), shelduck (Brandgans), great crested grebe (Haubentaucher), possibly gadwall (Schnatterenter) and shoveler (Löffelente), and Barnacle geese (Nonnengans). What I didn’t realize was that there are a large number of non-indigenous birds bred and kept at the Centre, on the West Route.

Definitely worth a visit, above all for the opportunity of viewing birds with ideal equipment. The shop has a huge variety of bird feeders and foods, and there is also a specialist shop for telescopes and binoculars.

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