Tattenhoe Dragons

Tattenhoe Dragons

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.

They may not be the fire breathing, armour scaled, beasts of legend, but they are still champions of the air, and as ferocious as any from the great tales of St George.

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
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
Green Woodpecker hiding behind a tree

 

Tattenhoe Dragons

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 (?)

 

Meadow Grasshopper 2 (?)
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)
Blue Tailed Damselfly (male)

 

Male Common Blue
Male Common Blue

 

Male Emerald Damselfly
Male Emerald Damselfly

 

Female Common Blue
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)
Broad-bodied Chaser (female)

 

Large Bee Swarm
Large Bee Swarm

 

Common Blue at Tattenhoe Park
Common Blue at Tattenhoe Park

 

Emperor Dragonfly finishing off a meal
Emperor Dragonfly finishing off a meal

 

Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly

 

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.

Common Blue
Common Blue

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.

Platydracus stercorarius
Platydracus stercorarius

 

Platydracus stercorarius
Platydracus stercorarius

Other Photos From Tattenhoe Dragons

 

Mallard Preening
Mallard Preening

 

Close up of preening mallard
Close up of preening mallard

 

Art at Furzton Lake
Art at Furzton Lake

 

Peek-a-boo Emerald Damselfly looking around reeds
Peek-a-boo Emerald Damselfly looking around reeds

 

Emerald Damselfly, female, at Howe Park Wood
Emerald Damselfly, female, at Howe Park Wood

 

Common Darter
Common Darter

 

Small White
Small White

 

Small Skipper
Small Skipper

 

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar
Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

 

Marbled Whit, side view
Marbled Whit, side view

 

Common Blue at Furzton Lake
Common Blue at Furzton Lake

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