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Where to Photograph Birds in London?

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

Bird Photography Locations in London…

London is known for its iconic landmarks and bustling streets but if you know where to look, it can also be an excellent place for bird photography. Here are a few of my favourite spots…

St James’s Park

St James’s Park is a beautiful slice of biodiversity set in the centre of the capital. Located just a stone’s throw from Buckingham palace, it has excellent transport links with Green Park and St James’s Park stations both just a few minutes walk away.

It’s a small park compared to the others on this list spanning only 57 acres. Despite this, there are still more than enough species to keep you entertained.

A variety of water birds can be found in the pond that sits in the middle of the park including beautifully coloured ducks and majestic black swans.

If you make your way to the bridge in the centre of the park you will see a picturesque view of the London Eye. At one side of this bridge there is a large tree usually filled with parakeets that are more than happy to pose for a photo.

The park is dotted with many flower beds all of which contain a beautiful variety of plants. These are great places to look for small song birds like robins, finches or tits. They are very used to humans so you can get a little closer than usual without spooking them.

Finally the park is also home to a handful of great white pelicans, they have been apart of the park’s tradition since the 1800’s and are fed daily between 2-2:30pm.

Kensington Gardens

Moving just a 15-20 minute walk down the road, Kensington Gardens is another beautiful natural escape in the city centre.

The real attraction here is the parakeets. If you enter the gardens from the Lancaster Gate entrance and walk in a straight line for about 5 minutes you will see a Peter Pan statue on your right (can also put this in your maps).

About 15-20 metres past the statue there are about 3-4 large trees either side of the path. They are pretty much guaranteed to be filled with parakeets. You can’t miss them they will probably perched on peoples hands, heads or leaning down from a branch to get a bite of someone’s apple.

It is the perfect place to practice bird in flight photography as there are so many opportunities, you can also get some really unique up close shots that are essentially impossible anywhere else.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is known for its population of over 600 deers. They attract people from all over the world and I’m sure would be the focus of most photographers visiting the park. There are, however, some great birds to photograph here including woodpeckers, kestrels and owls.

For the owls you will have to look up high, find a bird shaped hole in a tree, be very patient and hope for the best.

The woodpeckers can often be seen swooping from tree to tree and hopping around amongst the long grass.

A good place to start looking for kestrels is at the top of tall trees surrounding the Pen Ponds in the middle of the park.

You can also see Jackdaws perched on the heads, backs and antlers of the deer. Not sure if this is strictly “bird photography” but it’s a cool natural spectacle to capture nonetheless.

Lee Valley

Lee Valley Park is 26 miles long and runs through multiple London boroughs all the way up to Broxbourne and Hoddedson. It is home to a number of large lakes that are excellent bird watching locations. You can either seek out one of the many purpose built hides to photograph from or find a spot of your own.

There are plenty of Jetties designed for fishing that act as a great spot to set up a tripod. Some of the birds you can expect to see here include herons, grebes and cormorants. Keep your eye out for red kites as well, they often circle the open fields in the park.

WWT London

Located in Barnes, South West London, the wetland centre is probably the most well known location for bird photography in the city. It is the only place on the list that you have to pay to visit, with tickets costing around £14 for adults and £8 for children.

It is home to a variety of incredible species and has some lovely hides for you to take advantage of. Some of the birds you can see here include bitterns, kingfishers, grebes and the stunning mandarin ducks.

So those are a few of my top locations for bird photography in London. Thanks for reading, I hope you found the post useful and please share if you did.

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