Park photography

by Simon Knight

There’s not a huge amount of easy-to-spot insect life at the moment. There will be the odd butterfly or two about: speckled wood, peacock, brimstone, small white, comma, green-veined white and holly blue. I managed to photograph this perfect male green-veined white in the picnic area whilst deliberating over whether to continue to feed the birds in the picnic area.

I had started to fill the feeders again that are in the picnic area, and it had been going well for about a week, with blue tits, great tits, robins, great spotted woodpecker and even a brave jay coming in to feed. The feeders were never hugely busy as there is plenty of natural food out there for the birds at this time of year, but it was good fun watching to see who would arrive for a quick snack.

But then the squirrels discovered the feeders. I knew it was only a matter of time, and I wouldn’t have minded so much if they just ate the food, but they ate the feeders too. The greedy little critters weren’t content with what they could get out of the holes in the feeders, so they ate through the plastic to empty the feeders more quickly and feast on what fell to the ground. 

On Saturday I saw my first broad-bodied chaser. This male has emerged early compared to last year – I didn’t see a chaser until June 1st last year. This one posed nicely for me on the reeds as it soaked up the heat from the sun. 

Upon entering the park Sunday morning, I was greeted by this very cute fledgling robin. As robins often are, it was very relaxed around me, giving me a good couple of minutes to fire off a few shots before it went deeper into the hedgerow. 

Over the coming few weeks I am looking forward to the emergence of more dragonflies, grasshoppers and crickets. I did see one very young cricket on Saturday, which I think it could have been a dark bush-cricket, but I didn’t get a picture to help with its identification. It was only 4mm long, so it wasn’t the easiest of things to get a good look at, especially as all it wanted to do was jump away from me.

I am also excited to see what orchids appear this year. Will the pyramidal and bee orchids put in an appearance again? Could we even be lucky enough to add another orchid to the species list? Watch this space!

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