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David

Colours of spring: red-leaved acer, Bantock Park

Colours of spring: red-leaved acer, Bantock Park

Japanese acer near the house and the formal garden at Bantock Park. One of two planted near to each other with leaves which are in different shades of red when they first open in the spring.

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David

Magpie in long grass

Magpie in long grass

One of the West Park magpies in a patch of long grass near the Conservatory. The greylag goslings, recently hatched and still tiny when these pictures were taken, were in the same patch of long grass being guarded by three adults.

I had my suspicions that the magpie was after bigger prey than insects hidden in the grass. So did the adult geese, who made sure the magpie never got too close to the young ones.

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David

Chocolate mining bees (probably)

Chocolate mining bees (probably)

The first two pictures are of a bee which helpfully rested on a leaf, in clear view. I’m fairly sure it was a chocolate mining bee. The second one was busy flying from flower to flower. The whole time it was either flying fast and unpredictably, or half-hidden behind vegetation.

I think it was the same species; possibly the same individual.

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David

White cherry blossom, Bantock

White cherry blossom, Bantock

A mass of white blossom on a flowering cherry at Bantock Park, hanging from branches arching over the path by the small pond.

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David

Small flies resting on leaves

Small flies resting on leaves

Small flies warming themselves in the sun as they rested on leaves. There’s more than one species represented here.

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David

Cowslips, Bantock

Cowslips, Bantock

The wildflower meadow area of Bantock Park doesn’t seem to me to have as diverse a range of wildflowers as it did a few years ago. But one species which is hanging on is cowslips.

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David

Long-tailed tit gathering lichen

Long-tailed tit gathering lichen

A long-tailed tit, one of two or three which were flitting about high in one of the trees overhanging the lake in West Park. The tit seemed to be busy pecking at the lichen which was growing thickly on the branches of the tree. Perhaps it was gathering some. Moss and lichen are important building materials for long-tailed tit nests.

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David

Down to two

Down to two

The West Park greylag geese have lost half their goslings. They had grown quite big, so it might have been a fox which took them. The remaining pair, still growing fast, are being guarded as fiercely as ever by the three adults.

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David

Dandelions, almost gone

Dandelions, almost gone

Dandelions after they’ve finished flowering. For one, the seeds have ripened and been dispersed by the wind, with perhaps one final seed still clinging to the plant.

Dandelions, almost gone

On another stem of the same plant, the seeds are still ripening, and have not yet opened to form a ‘dandelion clock’.

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David

Caterpillar on a stick

Caterpillar on a stick

A scarlet moth caterpillar climbing on a stick, the remains of one of last year’s plants. Anther one was nearby on a living leaf.

There were several of these caterpillars around, but now they’ve disappeared. Hopefully, most of them are now pupating, and will be on the wing later in the summer.

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David

Tufties on a log

Tufties on a log

A pair of the West Park tufted ducks resting on a fallen tree by one of the islands in the lake. I can’t remember ever seeing a tuftie out of the water in the park before – the bird sleep afloat. Although they were at opposite ends of the log, they seemed to be a pair. Perhaps they are thinking of nesting on the island. That, too, would be a first as far as I know.

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David

Greylag gosings out again: West Park

Greylag gosings out again: West Park

This year’s gaggle of greylag goslings out again last Sunday morning. This time they were stretched out on the path by the lake, basking in the morning sun. Once again, they were guarded by three adults: the parents and another female.