It seemed very hot (much hotter than the 24 °C recorded) when we took an afternoon walk around Duchess Pond on Stoke Park Estate. Even though we don’t see many birds at the moment it is comforting that we can now identify an increasing number of birds by their calls and their song. Around the lake we could pick out with confidence whitethroat, chiffchaff, goldfinch and greenfinch. The birds that we could see clearly were swifts as half a dozen soared above and occasionally swooped down to the lake for a drink. The goslings are growing rapidly and are being protected by very attentive parents.
The main point of interest at the moment is the increasing number of dragonflies and damselflies. I must say that Wendy was very patient as I attempted to photograph these and the swallows. I am now (with the help of Larry Sweetland) beginning to ID a few of them. Just wait until I get in to butterflies!
Small Red-eyed Damselflies (by all accounts these are just coming out and will soon be more numerous than the Red-eyed Damselflies)
The water lilies are now beginning to bloom and I look forward to seeing the coots and moorhens scamper across them.
There were lots of youngsters sitting around the lake enjoying the sunshine and there was very little evidence of anti-social behaviour except for a few on bicycles and a motorised scooter.
I’m not sure the fishermen will be pleased with people swimming in the lake but I find this less of a problem than the people who leave all the litter and other detritus after their visit to the park.