I had two reasons to go out today, one was to meet up with my mate Gina who had been away for a months holiday, and the other was to play with my new camera, the Sony a77.
Kensington Gardens was the ideal venue, you can get really close to birds there, and it's only a short walk away from Whole Foods, where Gina and I like to catch up on the gossip over a pitcher or two of cocktails, and some very tasty grub.
Sadly the resident Little Owls at Kensington Gardens weren't feeling as sociable as us, and we failed to see them despite checking their regular tree several times. However we did hear one calling as we were leaving the park.
One of the Cormorants was much more obliging.
There are several Great Crested Grebes on the Serpentine, some still have chicks with them, but they were too far off in the distance to get any decent photos. This single bird was more than happy to come close to us.
Herons are abundant, as they are by most bodies of water. They may not be the mot picturesque birds, but at least they stayed still enough while I practised shooting with my new camera.
This stunning male Pochard was also happy to pose while I snapped away.
The birds at Kensington Gardens are fairly tame, and most are happy to take food from your hand. The Carrion Crow below happily took a digestive biscuit from a fellow bird watcher.
and Gina had success feeding Great Tits, a Robin and a very gentle Parakeet.
So despite not seeing the Little Owls, and not being able to photograph the Nuthatches that got within six feet of us, it was a very enjoyable day, finished off superbly with two pitchers of mango and jalapeno margaritas and a good gossip. And, yes, I am enjoying my new camera very much :)