There are areas of Milton Keynes that I return to time, and time again, like Oakhill Wood, and just like that Tattenhoe Park is fast becoming one of those areas, it may not have muddy crapes for waders, or sweeping vistas to wonder over, it may not even have dappled light gently tumbling through golden leaves, but what it does have in abundance is Dragons.
Howe Park Wood Starter
As seems to be my usual I started out in Howe Park Wood, it is very convenient for buses, getting off the bus I was hit by the humidity and it didn’t take much walking to build up a sweat. Wandering along the woodland edge I was sad to not be seeing many butterflies, a few Meadow Browns and the odd Gatekeeper but little else, a lone female Emerald Damselfly, caught my eye, and I in turn captured her photo (more further down), as she clung on to thick grass stalks.
|Female Emerald Damselfly|
Navigating passed the woods and as I approached Tattenhoe Church, a family party of Green Woodpecker, flew between trees, muddy brown and green speckled youngsters led the way, but an adult, kept close at hand following them on their early sojourns off into the wilds. Pausing briefly on a small tree, not always the most common place to see a Green Woodpecker oddly, I managed a lovely shot before bidding them farewell and heading off to the linear park.
|Green Woodpecker hiding behind a tree|
Wandering through the tall, golden grass that edges some of the larger ponds, I needed to be careful where i trod, as dozens of crickets and grasshoppers leapt away from every brush of my foot, the cacophony of chirruping and hissing enough to drown out birdsong at times.
|Meadow Grasshopper (?)|
|Meadow Grasshopper 2 (?)|
As I became more accustomed to what I was looking for I began to notice damselflies more, mainly Common Blue & Azure as the delicately flew through the grasses, but also regular Blue-tailed Damselfly as well as quite good numbers of Common Emerald. It always amazes me how these quite long creatures can navigate so seamlessly through what to them is a jungle.
|Blue Tailed Damselfly (male)|
|Male Common Blue|
|Male Emerald Damselfly|
|Female Common Blue|
Stopping to eat my lunch I began talking to another local wildlife enthusiast, Hi Harry, and it was interesting to hear about what he has been seeing regularly at the park, and the best places for certain species, certainly gave me some ideas of where to look from now on. It is always worth listening to locals as they will have way more insight than I to the area.
As the mornings humidity turned to light drizzle I began to walk through the linear park, heading in the general direction of home, albeit many miles away. And as I walked I enjoyed spectacular views of a female Broad-bodied chaser, several Common Blue butterflies, an amazing swarm of Honey Bee, and a quite spectacular Emperor Dragonfly as it finished off a snack.
|Broad-bodied Chaser (female)|
|Large Bee Swarm|
|Common Blue at Tattenhoe Park|
|Emperor Dragonfly finishing off a meal|
Furzton & Teardrop Lakes
Eventually the linear complex runs into Furzton Lake, and so did my journey, walking through the nature reserve area where I stumbled across a secretive Orange Ladybird, only the third time I have seen one, as well as a few more common Blue butterflies.
Last, but by no means least, I carried on to the Teardrop lakes complex, with the drizzle continuing and grass cutting in action there was little to see, until the very edge, just as I was about to leave the wild areas of Milton Keynes and head to the rail station, when a black, red and gold Rove beetle of some kind dashed across the path in front of me, a stunning Platydracus stercorarius.
Other Photos From Tattenhoe Dragons
|Close up of preening mallard|
|Art at Furzton Lake|
|Peek-a-boo Emerald Damselfly looking around reeds|
|Emerald Damselfly, female, at Howe Park Wood|
|Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar|
|Marbled Whit, side view|
|Common Blue at Furzton Lake|
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