Sunday, 7 June 2009


Because I would hate to disappoint Spooooooooooonbillz.

The walk from Regents Park station to London Zoo is a pleasant one. It also contains a pleasant little cafe called The Honest Sausage. If you are hungry, weary traveller, and your wallet is suitably well endowed, you should stop there. And actually, considering we're in London at this point, and considering the location of the cafe, the prices arn't nearly as astronomical as they could be. I didn't photograph the towering bacon roll that Maiden_Lulu somehow tucked away, but I wish I had. Personally, I had a very acceptable sausage. Can't speak as to its honesty, but the flavour was pretty good.

Fortified for an afternoon's wandering, we headed for the zoo.

If the aquarium was a chance to me to play with the kit lens, in London Zoo the Sigma 70-300mm never left my camera. And really, I didn't use it to anywhere near its capabilities. However, I did leave the Zoo knowing exactly what functionalities I needed to look up when I got home. It was a good trial of camera owner as well as camera. So without further ado:

First animals to get the long-lens treatment were the African Hunting dogs, Giraffes and Zebras. All quite obliging - zoo photography is such a cheat.

Look at those lips go.

As we walked toward the next enclosures a couple of damselflies put in an appearance. Not exactly zoo animals, but a perfect chance to test out the lens's Macro capabilities from a couple of metres away.

The other thing I hadn't learned to do with the camera is spot focus - hence a slightly blurry damselfly and a nicely focused leaf.

I haven't got round to buying my damselfly book yet, so answers on a postcard.

The Warthogs lived up entirely to my expectations.

Which made quite a contrast to the aviaries on the north side of the river. Your patience will now be rewarded. I know, bird photos on a bird blog, how shocking.

Grey Headed Gull - weird looking things

Bald Ibis

Believe these are both Von der Decken's Hornbills

Hawk Owl

Spectacled Owls

This post is getting far too long. I shall rush through a few mammal pictures.

Meerkats with mini-Meerkat

I love otters. Too much Tarka/Ring of Bright Water as a child I think

The Golden Eagle captured my imagination. Look at those eyes - so fierce. I think a trip to the Highlands is on at some point.

The Gorillas are incredible animals - their expressions and movements are so close to human, and they showed genuine intelligence and curiosity about all these odd hairless apes trying to watch them eat. Could have watched them for a lot longer, but the crowds around them were huge.

Komodo Dragon anyone? This is one big lizard. And with both venom glands AND highly pathogenic saliva, one to watch out for.

The last creature we saw was a particularly dangerous one. Responsible for widespread extinction of species, destruction of habitat and Andrew Lloyd Webber. You guessed it:

A nicely thought out little exhibit, which consisted of a smallish glass box with a pegged off area outside so that the humans could get access to fresh air if they wanted. It appealed to my sense of humour anyway.

Much not included, as it's not a birdwatching post and I only have 1 gig of photo memory to last me on this blog. Besides, you're mostly busy people.

Zoo verdict: Definitely worth a visit. We spent most of an afternoon there and didn't get round everything. Would definitely go again.

Camera verdict: Awesome. I feel fully justified in spending the money, and keen to get out there and learn more about it.


  1. Considering I didn't even know we had a golden eagle, some nice photos. Especially liked otters3 :)

    You went a very strange route round the zoo- personally I would have told you not to bother with the north bank and head to the blackburn bird pavillion instead. Hummingbirds and all sorts... You'd probably like the butterfly walkthrough too, and BUGS. Another time perhaps :)

  2. Will definitely be heading over there again.

    And DEFINITELY go look at the eagle. There's a nice little storyboard outside his cage which is most amusing :-)

  3. "Zeberas"?!
    - spelling dearest, spelling! And YOU an English graduate!

  4. If that's the only typo I've made in a post of that length then personally I'm impressed.