One of my favourite locations for watching wildlife is along the Thames from Kingston bridge upstream. Despite the fact that the towpath is always packed with people, the whole area is nevertheless brimming with wildlife.

Nesting along the riverside are swallows, house and sand martins, swans and Canada geese while pied and grey wagtails and a few house sparrows feast on the abundance of mayflies lifting from the river.

Three species of gull spend the whole year there together with mallard, a few crested pochard, tufted ducks, coots cormorants and great crested grebes.

If fortunate, we may also catch a glimpse of the resident Kingston peregrine falcon soaring above on the hunt for pigeons.

Colourful damselflies flutter among the bankside vegetation and on hot days, huge carp congregate where the Hogsmill enters the Thames and slurp down chunks of bread thrown by passers-by.

Also well worth looking out for is a rather special summer visitor, notably the common tern (pictured). Superficially resembling a rather slim-line black headed gull, it sports a pronounced forked tail and black cap.

A  couple of pairs patrol up and down the river, flying fast with a distinctive graceful bouncing buoyancy, heads pointing downwards searching for an unwary surface-feeding fish

Once one is spotted, the tern performs a curious sort of somersault in mid-air and rapidly plummets down to the water.

So, a wonderful place to walk with an additional bonus of a string of cafes at which to enjoy a refreshing cappuccino!