World under 2’s champion car spotter

We took the small boy round the London Wetland Centre to see the ducks yesterday.

He was very excited in the car park.

“Car! … Car!”

“You just wait,” I said, as we walked over a wooden bridge, past a statue of Sir Peter Scott, the great ornithologist and founding member of the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

“Bus!” he cried, delighted, as we passed the 283 dropping punters off from as far afield as Acton.

“That’s right,” I said, “and now we’re going to see the ducks!”

Silence round ‘Wildside’ amongst ducks, geese and a pair of discarded antlers from one of the resident red deer.

Then, “Tractor!” the small boy points excitedly at a vehicle a mile and a half away across a distant field.

Silence round the ‘World Wetlands’ where we saw coots, black-necked swans and a plaster of paris model of a crocodile.

Two cups of tea and a piece of cake later, back to the car park.  “Car! … Car!”

Next week-end I’m planning a trip to our local used car dealership.

Wildlife UK Forum – Photography Competition

I’ve just discovered the Wildlife UK Forum, which has just launched a monthly photography competition. The entries included so far are impressive – plus the posters seem to be including their camera settings with each photograph. This is A Good Thing because I am currently at the ‘take photo, look irritated, adjust settings, take photo, sigh, adjust settings, take photo, repeat-until-camera-battery-runs-out’ stage of digital photography training. This goes some way towards explaining why there are many photos of inanimate objects like potatoes, biscuits and cakes on the blog, and fewer snaps of er… animate ones like a red kite feeding on the wing, for example.  Wow.

I need to learn how to guess the correct settings in advance, or I have no hope of photographing anything more exciting than car keys, rocks or gravel. Motivation presents itself in the form of the March category for the aforementioned photography competition, which is:

March – Waterfowl (e.g ducks, swan geese etc)

Which sounds right up my street. This is clearly a fantastic excuse to spend another lovely afternoon at the London Wetland Centre with Zoomy. (Zoomy is our camera. A Canon EOS 400D if anyone’s interested, it’s brilliant. Shame about the photographer.)

New Year’s Day

I’ve realised that we are living in a unique age. I don’t know how failed to notice this before, but there is only one year left, until the year 3000, when you can make glasses out of the ‘0’s in the year for New Year’s Eve parties. How have I missed this for 8 years?!

So what I’m saying is, live for the moment. Anyway, my sisters, Helbabes and Hanbabes came to stay for New Year, which was great. We don’t see enough of each other, and it was lovely to see them, even though I had to get off to work half way through the evening.

Then on New Year’s Day, I decided to take advantage of my Christmas present from my Mum, a year’s membership to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. This means Him Indoors and I can go to the London Wetland Centre for free, which is very exciting. Consequently, we all went for just under twenty quid. Bargain.

Here we are, having a lovely time.

We also caught up with a white faced whistling duck. I have never met one of these before, but was delighted to make its acquaintance.

And also this chap, who didn’t want to be photographed, and was making a good attempt to camouflage himself, but I spotted him!

It will be a great place to go when the weather improves, but even in the depths of winter, I love the place. Happy New Year everyone.