The WWT London Wetland Centre is a serene oasis near Hammersmith and makes for a great day out from central London especially if you enjoy birdwatching. We visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary on a cold but sunny January day. Read on to learn more about this amazing London wildlife sanctuary practically in the heart of the city.
Taking a Winter Walk in the WWT London Wetland Centre
Trails lead all around the reserve. We practically had the place to ourselves.
Walking around this London wildlife sanctuary, we discovered some cool art installations. Peering through a hole in the center of the artwork, I spotted one of my favorite ducks of all, the Northern Shoveler.
We continued our walk outdoors and came upon some natural hides.
A little blue tit seemed to be making use of it to watch us!
Since we were visiting and hiking around WWT London Wetland Centre in January, we took a moment to admire the sun reflected in the icy water of the wetlands.
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.
We ducked inside one of the hides and took a peek through the binoculars provided.
I was super-excited to spot elegant lapwings on the other end. I could have stood there watching them for hours.
The Hides of WWT London Wetland Centre
A three story hide sat at the edge of this London wildlife sanctuary 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). The find was dutifully noted in the 'Warden's Notes'; a chalkboard set up on the wall of the hide.
WWT London Wetlands of the WorldWe soon wandered into the 'Wetlands of the World' area of WWT London where exotic species from around the world flourish under the protection of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Red-breasted and Barnacle geese sat side by side.
A Ringed Teal and Moorhen crossed paths on the ice...
Spot Exotic Species at the WWT London Wetland CentreWe finished our tour of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary with more exotic species including a White-headed Duck, Goldeneye, and Smew.
A Lesson About Ecosystems at the WWT London Wetland CentreOn our way out, we spotted various 'bug hotels'. These carefully constructed ecosystems make for great photos but I definitely wouldn't want to reach inside. You never know what kind of creepy crawlies you might find.
Video Clips of the Awesome Birds that Call WWT London Wetland Centre Home
Here are some clips of the birds we spotted when we visited the WWT London Wetland Centre including an exotic ice skating duck and mating mallards.
Is WWT London Wetland Centre Worth Visiting?
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 in the UK. It was pretty cold (near freezing) when we visited WWT London in January so make sure to dress appropriately with a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves if you decide to visit this awesome London wildlife sanctuary near Hammersmith in the winter like we did.
Getting to WWT London Wetland Centre
To get to the WWT London Wetland Centre, take the District or Piccadilly Line of the London Underground to Hammersmith Station. The WWT London Wetland Centre is just a 15 minute walk from Hammersmith.
Additional Birdwatching Ideas on Sidewalk Safari
If you love birdwatching, why not take a trip to visit the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve in Ireland in January to see the overwintering Greenland white-fronted geese? Alternatively, if you visit Ireland in the spring, you can catch a private ferry to Ireland's Eye to hike among nesting seabirds and possibly spot a puffin or two while you're at it.