Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sunday at Bushy Park with the Fewy and my first Demoiselles of the year

Sunday found me awake very early and must more rested than on Saturday. All I had to was decide where to go. RSPB Rainham looked promising until I looked at the train websites and saw some of the journey was subject to delays. WWT London also looked to be good until I saw it was family fun weekend and I didn't fancy battling my way through the crowds.
 My mate Fewy often raves on about Bushy Park, a place I've never been, so as I was up early enough to afford the hour long bus journey before losing the best of the morning light, it was Bushy Park I chose.
map of Bushy Park
 Bushy is smaller than it's close neighbour, Richmond Park, but just as beautiful. It shares the same different habitats, and Fewy and I spent most of our time in the Woodland Gardens...
Woodland Gardens
Fewy had found a Great Spotted Woodpecker nest on one of his previous visits, which was at the wrong angle for me to try and grab any photos with my little 300mm zoom lens, but there was plenty to keep me occupied whilst Fewy staked out the Woodpecker nest tree...
It really is the month for critters, and to add to my growing photo collection of them was this lovely Wasp Beetle, a beautifully marked critter that shares the same 'warning' markings as a Wasp.
Wasp Beetle
 There were other beetles around too, both of the below which I've already got on my 2015 photo list...
Black-headed Cardinal Beetle
Cardinal Beetle
Fewy found a mating pair of Large Red damselflies. As they moved around the female (at the back) clung on to a strand of grass as if to say 'I've had enough !'.....

mating Large Red Damselflies
But the high-light of my day was finding lots and lots of both Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles. To me these have to be the most beautiful of all the Odonata.

male Beautiful Demoiselle
immature male Beautiful Demoiselle
male Banded
male Banded

female Banded
 I could have photographed these beauties all day.
There were other distractions around with a Nuthatch landing near to me.....


and a Wren that kept landing on a nearby log looking for tasty tidbits...

Fewy also got down with the Demoiselles and also found a pair of mating Green Dock Beetles
It was around this time that disaster struck. My favourite and most often used camera lens, the Sony 75-300 zoom, started malfunctioning. I could still use my little 18-55 lens so not all was lost, but it did put a sour note on my so far enjoyable day out.
Fewy came up with a solution though. His camera can take two SD cards at the same time.
So all the photos below are taken by the Fewy but on my piggy-backing SD card....

male Great Spotted Woodpecker with food

looking inside the nest hole....

emerging from the nest hole with a nice fat juicy fecal sac
 mating Green Dock Beetles
mating Banded Demoiselles

female Beautiful Demoiselle

female Banded Demoiselle

Robin with food

So the day was not in vain after all. We didn't spend the whole day at Bushy, I was still feeling very lethargic and achey, but it's certainly on my list of places to re-visit very soon.

Thanks Fewy :)


  1. Great post Wendy, super photos. Bushy Park looks a good place to visit.

  2. nothing about the deer in Bushy ? Thought you might of got some pics of the this years young ones getting older and some starting Antler growth ?

  3. Thanks Ian.

    Kish, I wasn't there for the deer, I was there to explore the Woodland Gardens.

    Most of this years young ones haven't been born yet. Both Red Deer Hinds and Fallow Deer Does give birth late May-mid June to respective calves and fawns. For the first few days the calves and fawns are hidden in bracken and long grasses with the mothers only returning a couple of times a day to feed them. The best time to see young deer are July and August when they are back with the herd.

  4. Wendy, what you say makes sense, but I thought with the number of deer around Bushy Park you would of taken the opportunity to take one or two snaps as it is almost impossible to go into the park without seeing some of them. I should of realised about the young being concealed in bracken, but I have seen on other pages mention of young deer being seen already and photos showing the beginning of antler growth have been posted on some websites so I assumed you may have seen some during a visit to Bushy Park....

    1. When your in the Pheasantry & Woodland Gardens it's fenced off so you don't see any deer. At this time of year the gardens are a fabulous place for nesting & migrant birds, the deer can wait. The deer can get spooked if you follow them around & I know what I'm talking about because I'm a park regular

  5. Kish, as I previously said, I was at Bushy to explore the Woodland Gardens........

    There is much more to both Bushy and Richmond Park than the deer. I will of course pay a visit to see the deer at a time that suits me. I was also a little pre-occupied on that day with a malfunctioning camera lens, as I mentioned in my blog post above.

  6. I didn't realise the Woodland Gardens were fenced off enclosure - most of my visits to the park have been just a drive through or some other event and not spent a lot of time exploring it or photographing the birds and wildlife ...maybe I need to get there more often since it is nearby....