This is why I love where I live. I have the most beautiful park on my doorstep, full of the most interesting wild animals. Every single time I walk in Crystal Palace Park, I see something new or at least a new behaviour. Today was no exception. I started, as I always do, by dinosaur island. A heron was standing on the shore between two of the beasts, preening rather than fishing. The evolutionary link was certainly not lost on me.
Just across the water, a white duck and his foreign bride were sat on the bank soaking up the sunshine. I thought perhaps they had ducklings with them but it was just the pair enjoying the warm weather.
These ducks may not have had little ones in tow, but a mallard bobbing in the lake did. Crowds of people flocked to gawk at the little fluffy ducklings chasing breadcrumbs around. I took a photograph of one just he seemed to crack a smile, with a glint in his eye.
The park is full of colour now as Spring prepares to turn to Summer. Bluebells and all sorts of flowers are in full bloom.
I left the flowers and headed to my favourite spot by the lake, where the terrapins come to sunbathe. It was a balmy 16 degrees in the sun today and the cold blooded occupants of the lake were making the most of it. I counted at least six, in assorted sizes, draped on the fallen tree that juts out over the water. I climbed the fence to get closer to them and found one right at the water’s edge. This one was small compared with the others, eyes firmly shut in a deep, battery charging sleep.
The terrapins weren’t the only ones enjoying the sunshine. A cormorant sat on a post overlooking things with a large open mouthed grin on its face.
I carried on around the park, making a big loop to see what I could find. I was actually looking for butterflies, but didn’t see a single one. As I was leaving, I came across a squad of starlings plucking flowers out of the ground. Amongst the starlings was one very brave goldfinch.
I left the park, having forgotten all about my failure on the butterfly front. As I reached the exit of the park, next to the station, a bird came bombing towards me at waist height. I couldn’t see what it was head on, but as it landed on the branch in front of me, I saw it was a mistle thrush. It postured in the tree before hopping to the ground to gobble up worm after worm, like a full plate of spaghetti. I couldn’t believe the display it put on for me, completely unphased by people walking past it on the pavement a few feet away. What a bird.
Like I wrote in an earlier post, times of plenty are here. To see a spoiling of wildlife is as easy as a walk in the park.