One of my favourite venues for watching and listening to wildlife is Bushy park with its rich mix of habitats.

Birdlife is quite special there. We can listen to the sweet silver song of skylarks on high, contrasting with the simple repetitive metallic cheeping of reed buntings, the beautiful melodies of song and mistle thrush and a variety of other birds in season.

Buzzards soar above and in summer a hobby can sometimes be seen, looking rather like a large swallow speeding by.

In the woodland gardens the little owl can occasionally be heard as can a tawny owl and three species of woodpecker, namely the great spotted, green and the very scarce lesser spotted, the latter seeming to thrive there.

On the woodland garden water bodies the colourful mandarin duck nests, the female also attractive in an understated way.

During the winter months black headed gulls are ever present swimming among mallard, coots and moorhens and on one memorable afternoon in late September an electric blue streak utters a thin 'peep' announcing the arrival of a kingfisher zipping from one bank to another.

Within the lakes huge carp swim among shoals of perch, the latter being a favourite dish of herons standing motionless in the shallows.

In summer, the common tern, flying with a graceful bouncing buoyancy patrols the larger lakes for small fry.

There is so much to enjoy in Bushy including of course herds of deer to be watched at a respectful distance.