Sunday, 9 August 2015

Bushy Park and Home Park

I spent a couple of days with Paula and Susan this week, and we had much fun and also ran 11 miles on Thursday morning, which makes me feel rather better about the fact that I'm doing the Great North Run next month. There was also a bit of walking in the parks. Home Park, for those who don't know (which included me until the other day) is south of and adjacent to Bushy Park and is kind of wrapped around Hampton Court Palace and its gardens.

First off, some Odonata. The Banded Demoiselle and Common Darter were in Bushy Park, on a little lush channel that we paused by for a sit-down (well, the others sat down, and I stalked the bankside as the sun went in and out). Then we have a Blue-tailed Damsel and what I presumed was a male Red-eyed from Home Park, but I am now wondering if the latter was actually a Small Red-eyed. Unfortunately I was a dummy and didn't take any shots that are sharp on the diagnostic tail end.

The centrepiece of Home Park is the ornamental Long Water, a very long canal-like parallel-edged lake. Very picturesque. This was where the Red-eyed was. It also hosted Canada and Egyptian Geese, a family of Mute Swans, Coots and an assemblage of manky and non-manky Mallards, plus a fly-by Common Tern.

Part of a big flock of Black-headed Gulls in Home Park, at various stages of moult. And a Meadow Brown hunkering down in the grass, waiting for some sunshine.

Bushy Park has Fallow and Red Deer. I suppose Home Park does too but I only saw Fallows there, the bucks and does very much in separate bedrooms mode and many of the does with fawns in tow. Here are four of the five standard colour variants - the missing one is the pure white form.

To get from one park to the other you can go through Hampton Court Palace gardens (some of them, anyway), including a lovely rose garden and a thriving kitchen garden. The young Blackbird was in the former, the Jackdaw in the latter.

Back in Bushy Park, one of four baby Mandarins on one of the bigger waters, and a still smart-looking Gatekeeper.

And to finish, another entry in my occasional dog-blog series - here is Ruby the flat-coated retriever, and Clive the mini-schnauzer, having fun in Bushy Park.

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