Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Monday, 1 June 2009

Wisley Gardens

Down in Surrey, spread out over 240 acres in Woking, lies Wisley Gardens, and it’s there I spent an enjoyable morning with Frank, The Early Birder, on Sunday, who was leading a ‘bird walk.’ It was a beautifully sunny, hot day; just like summer.
Perfect. We met up early in the car park, and then headed off inside. A small group of very friendly birders soon joined us, and then we set off, searching for birds.

First though, the touristy bit, and a few images from this magnificent garden.

Long pond, or canal

The Arch, by Henry Moore. Is that him?

The Butterfly Lovers, or Chinese Pavilion

The Glasshouse. A huge cathedral-like glass structure covering an area equal in size to 10 tennis courts and rising to 12m (40ft) in height. It has three climatic zones, recreating tropical, moist temperate and dry temperate habitats. And it’s hot inside!

Now, back to the walk, with our very knowledgeable host Frank.
We were given an excellent rendition of ‘my song’, by a Dunnock, sitting in some bushes, to start us off.

He gave it his all, and a worthy performance.
We slowly wandered on, ticking off Goldfinch, Magpie, some House Martins above, with some Swifts; and then the cry, Red Kite!
Soaring above us, a beautiful sight. Then a Buzzard, quickly followed by Hobby. A raptor treat, all in the space of a few minutes. Frank had certainly laid on the birds for us, and finished off with a Kestrel, giving us great views as he flew in close, hovered a while, dropped down just in front, and then took to the sky once more.
One of those moments where it all comes together to be enjoyed by those that care to see. Superb stuff!
Of course, no pictures of any of these, I was too busy just watching. We carried on, ticking off more and more; my final total for the mornings walk, a pleasing 32.
Of course, it wasn’t just the birds to see at Wisley. There were Damsels everywhere we went, and plenty of these carrot coloured winged beauties.
An immature male Beautiful Demoiselle, if I’m not mistaken.
Part of the walk took us down by the river Wey, that runs alongside part of Wisley, with a golf course the other side.

I’ve mixed opinions as to use of gallons of water on a golf course; but then I’m not a golfer, so I may be biased.
The river looked splendid though,
and produced a couple of fleeting glimpses of a Kingfisher, as he sped across the water.

And of course, Butterflies. The popular member of our latest, and welcome invasion,

The Painted Lady.
A Brimstone happily posed for ages, to allow a couple of us to get some pictures,

and not to be outdone in the modelling session,

a Speckled Wood.
Eventually, like all good things, the walk came to an end. We said our goodbyes to the small band of followers, and Frank and I made our way back to the cars, after a stroll around some more of the gardens.
After much needed refreshment, and a chat, where I mentioned my personal target for bird sightings I’d set myself for this year was about 4 short of the 100, Frank suggested a visit ‘up the road a bit.’
But that’s another story.


  1. Oh my, what shots...I browsed over here from Jens place and glad I did! What incredible shots.

  2. What a fabulous set of photos, Keith. The ones of the Dunnock are so crisp. I am really envious of those.
    I want that pond / canal in my back garden along with the modestly sized greenhouse!
    Looks as though you had a really enjoyable day out.

  3. Really enjoyed the walk with you through Wisely Gardens.Your Dunnock shots are excellent! Had never seen the Brimstone(blends really well with the leaves).Thanks for sharing.

  4. Holy Toledo. All of this in one place and what a place it has to be. Everything from a Painted Lady to a buzzard has got to be stunning environs.

    Henry Moore was one of my favorites. You know how to put out a magnificent post.

    Thanks, too, for visiting My Birds Blog.

  5. What a wonderful outing Keith! You certainly picked the right weather for it!

    I enjoyed seeing the overview of the place itself and as always your photos are beautiful, the Dunnock is stunning and all the Butterflies, there is something about the colour of the Brimstone, lovely I think and how well they camouflage!

  6. That Dunnock was spectacular! I 'm glad you shared these beautiful scenery shots with us too! Great outing!

  7. Keith,once again Im never disappointed by your photos!..Ive been working on my life list since I began keeping it in 1993, I havent done a new tally since 1998 so I plan to do that today!..Ive kept track but havent tallied up new additions...it gets much harder without traveling or getting a lucky accidential during migration. That will make a nice blog topic. I spent the day yesterday with a friend we took our camera's and had a fun Sunday, saw a few distant birds, but I want to go back maybe even today to get a shot of the Redwing Blackbirds.
    Very surpirsed and delighted to see the Painted Lady in your area!

  8. What a wonderful place to wander and take it all in. The feathers on the Donnock are so lovely, just beautiful.

  9. Beautifully crafted in every respect, Keith. Fancy seeing one of those Beautiful Demoiselles myself.

  10. Butler and Bagman, thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you enjoyed your visit.

    John, thanks. That Dunnock was so close, and singing without a care in the world.
    It was a really good day, and a beautiful place to visit.

    NatureStop, thank you. That Brimstone was amazing the way he just sat still for pictures. Glad you enjoyed the walk round.

    Abe, thank you for your comment, appreciated. Wisley certainly has a lot to offer. I think two days at least, to do it justice.

    ShySongbird, with the perfect host it was a great visit. So much to see in one day. Thank you.

    Shelley, thank you. It was one of those ‘perfect’ days.

    Dixxie, thank you. I can fully understand about increasing bird tallies, I rarely venture far myself these days. lol Does sound a good idea for a blog. We get a few Painted Ladies here, but this year is becoming exceptional. Great news.

    Andrea, thank you. The Dunnock was a very willing and co-operative subject. I just pressed the shutter, he did the rest. lol

    Rob, thanks very much. Appreciate your comment. Those Beautiful Demoiselles really live up to their name.

  11. Great shots of the Dunnock, nice Painted Lady shot too, mistook on for a Red Admiral this week, I'll never live that down!

  12. Paul, I've made some monumental mis-id's before lol
    Thanks for your comment. :)

  13. Nice Painted Lady Keith, I just cant find them anywhere at the moment.

  14. Thanks Roy. Surprisingly we didn't see that many whilst there, considering the ammount that have arrived. Probably all resting up at the moment, after their long trip.