Like many people enduring lockdown I've been unable to visit most of my favourite wildlife habitats, one of which is the Thames towpath at Kingston and I wonder how the swallows are faring and how many pairs are nesting along the riverside.

Instead, I have been taking my daily walk around a couple of small but productive local green spaces and enjoyed watching the burgeoning of flora on a daily basis. It's amazing how rapidly trees burst into leaf and blossom and wild flowers flourished earlier than usual. And that glorious birdsong!

The first flush of spring butterflies took advantage of the prolonged warm sunny weather, laid eggs and faded away leaving caterpillars to feed up and emerge later this month. However, there is always a lull at the beginning of June before the summer generations take to the wing.

Now is the time for damselflies to emerge, the first species being the large red, followed by common blue, azure blue, blue tailed and my favourite insect the larger banded demoiselle. Damselflies are the rather dainty slimmer relations of dragonflies and first appeared on earth three hundred million years ago, so predated dinosaurs and outlived them to be with us today; virtually unchanged in appearance..

Still waters are the favoured habitats for some and often appear in swarms flying low over the water. The banded demoiselle (male pictured) inhabits flowing water.