WWT London

Many of the wild birds on site will be rearing their young and you should be able to see plenty of recently fledged chicks and ducklings.

This time of year we expect to see lapwings, little ringed plovers, great crested and little grebes, gadwall, mallards, pochards and tufted duck broods on the reserve. 

Common terns will be raising their chicks on the main lake rafts: the Observatory or Headley Hides are great places from which to see them.

Look out for some of our most popular summer migrants, the sand martins, relatives of the swallow, which will be nesting in the sand bank we created for them.

These small brown and white birds can be seen swooping over the lakes as they hunt for insects and you can get 'behind the scenes' in the life of the sand martins and their chicks via the CCTV camera we have installed in their nests. 

See the parents feeding their young and watch them flying in and out of the nest bank.

At the edge of the paths in Wildside, Waterlife and in World Wetlands, listen for water voles. Munching the reeds, they sound very much like someone chewing celery. Or listen out for a distinctive ‘plop’ as they dive into the water to look for their next snack or to avoid predators.

If you hear a peculiar cackling noise coming from the water, it is likely that a marsh frog is nearby, calling to attract a mate. See if you can spot these large frogs at the edges of the ponds. 

You may also see common lizards basking in sunny spots: they usually prefer logs or the hand rails of our wooden bridges.

Dragonflies and their more delicate looking relatives, damselflies, should be present in good numbers. Keep an eye out for one of their predators, a small falcon called a hobby, hunting over the grazing marsh.

In summer the centre is also a prime feeding ground for bats. To see these fascinating creatures book on to one of our evening bat walks (see our events page) in late summer and autumn.

There will be plenty of wildflowers to see. Highlights include an array of orchids such as bee, common spotted, pyramidal and southern marsh as well as the wildflower meadows with their knapweeds, burnets, lady’s bedstraw, betony, bird’s foot trefoil, tufted vetch and meadow vetchling. 

Look out for the amazing display of snake’s-head fritillaries on our meadow too. Swathes of tall purple loosestrife flower spikes usually mark the end of the season.

Our three sustainable gardens will be in full bloom now.  Come along to see the gorgeous wildflower meadow in the RBC Rain Garden or look out for stag beetles in late summer, hiding in the log piles of our wild garden.