Park life


In the second of a series of articles featuring the images of local photographers who document the wildlife of Wanstead Park and the surrounding area, Diane Dalli presents her shot of a female ring-necked parakeet

I have been visiting Wanstead Park and Wanstead Flats to photograph the wildlife there for the past three years. It is a haven for a variety of birds and there is always something to spot, from birds of prey like little owls and kestrels to smaller species like stonechats and white throats.

The swifts and swallows that arrive in late spring are challenging to photograph and I will be attempting to get a sharp picture of them flying this year. They fly at up to 70mph, so they live up to their name!

Skylarks have been given their own territory on the Flats, fenced off to prevent disturbance during the nesting season, and can often be seen soaring over the flats, singing sweetly. Another challenging photo opportunity.

And then there is the large flock of ring-necked parakeets, which are present all year round and are very active, squawking as they fly by. The female parakeet pictured here was with her mate, checking out the hole in the tree as a possible nesting spot, so I will be returning later in the year to see if I can see any fledglings. While this colourful bird is named the ring-necked parakeet, only the males develop the telltale ring.

In the summer months, I also enjoy photographing the many varieties of colourful butterflies found locally, some quite rare, like the green hairstreak and the clouded yellow. 

There are many different habitats around here, including several lakes and ponds with a large variety of waterbirds. Dragonflies can also be seen, skimming across the water on a hot summer’s day. The ponds suffered last summer in the drought but are now looking ready to support this year’s breeding pairs of swans, egrets, ducks and grebes.

Wanstead Park is a peaceful place to spend a few hours away from city life and I will keep coming back with my camera.

To view more of Diane’s wildlife photos, visit swvg.co.uk/dalli