We visited London for a few days in January for work and tacked on a weekend for a bit of fun to make it a proper bleisure (business + leisure) trip. We discovered a serene oasis in the heart of London not far from Hammersmith in the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary. It was cold but sunny as we set out on our walk.
Trails lead all around the reserve. We practically had the place to ourselves.
In the distance, we heard a knocking sound and followed the giant lens of another birder's camera to spot this Green Woodpecker in a tree.
Here are some clips of the birds we spotted that day including an exotic ice skating duck and mating mallards.
A three story hide sat at the edge of the wetlands and we soon learned that this was where everyone was.
We climbed to the top and a bunch of people were excitedly whispering to each other about some sighting. I asked what was going on and someone told me they'd spotted a Stonechat in the distance. This dedicated birdwatcher patiently explained where I could find it using various landmarks ('see that culvert and that tuft of grass, it's just to the left beyond'). Miraculously, I was able to see the little fellow far away in the distance (picture taken at 100x zoom).
I was super-excited to spot elegant Lapwings on the other end. I could have stood there watching them for hours.
London Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is an amazing oasis in the heart of London and is definitely worth checking out for a bit of weekend birdwatching.