After Cranford Park my second favourite place is Maple Lodge NR (link to website here ). I must confess though I've been so busy I haven't visited the site for several months. This weekend was their open weekend with guided tours, cake stall, book stall, plant table, paintings, refreshments and more. Just like last year I volunteered to lead a couple of guided walks and had a great day. My friend Steve dropped his daughter, Stella, off and she had a great day too.
The high-light had to be the very obliging showy Kingfisher. There were at least three on site but one particular male perched in front of the Long Hedge Hide for a good part of the day, fishing and flying around but always coming back to the same perches. Stella played a blinder in the afternoon by staying in the hide and texting me whenever the Kingfisher appeared, therefore allowing me to take my party of new visitors straight to the hide for some really good views of this beautiful little bird.
So excuse the overload of photos - had to be done......
In between guided walks I was able to walk around the site with Stella and get some other photos.
|Common Blue damselfly (immature female ?)|
|juvenile Grey Heron|
|female Green-veined White|
|gaggle of goslings (Canada Geese goslings)|
|mating 14-spot ladybirds|
|mating Harlequin ladybirds|
|Great Crested Grebe with two youngsters|
|male Common Newt|
|the beautiful Stella multitasking with her mobile phone and my binoculars|
I always enjoy my visits to this lovely private reserve and it's a pleasure showing others what is on site.
Thank you Stella for all your help.
Planning my next visit already.....