© 2014 by Barbara Copperthwaite.

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Always learning

Saw my first Skipper of the year! I hadn’t actually realised there were any at Highbury Park and was wondering along, walking Scamp in a bit of a daydream, when I suddenly saw a butterfly resting on a leaf… It looked very familiar and I was overjoyed to realise it was a Skipper. I had photographed my first one ever last year, an Essex Skipper, in Colchester, and it was lovely to now see its cousin, the Large Skipper. One of the things I love about doing this website is that I’m constantly learning. I don’t profess to be any kind of expert, just an enthusiastic amateur who is hoping others will be interested enough in what I write to learn alongside me. And today I took a photograph of and id

Sunshine & nature spotting

Before I’d even arrived at Highbury Park a dozen Swifts had soared above my head, making their shrieking call; I had a feeling today was going to be a good day for nature spotting. The minute I arrived inside the boundary a couple of Speckled Wood butterflies danced by – this year seems to have been a really good one for them. Walking on, I looked up into the branches of a horse chestnut, and almost bouncing from branch to branch was a pair of Jays. They are normally quite secretive birds, but today perhaps the sun was putting them in as good a mood as everyone else because instead of peeking furtively from beneath leaves they chased one another in flirty fashion, or sometimes paused to pose

A touch of the exotic

The sky was a brilliant blue, the bright green of the leaves standing out against it, while the grass’s own green was peppered with clover flowers bursting forth. Two siskins flitted across from one tree to another in front of me, but just as I reached for my camera I was distracted by the call of a Ring-Necked Parakeet nearby. Immediately, I turned, lifting my camera, hoping… I often see these exotic birds in Highbury Park but have failed to get a single photograph of them – even a blurry one. I have mentioned in my blog before that they now have several breeding colonies in London but outside that city they only have two other strongholds, both in the Midlands. Highbury Park is one of thos

Go Bumblebee Wild!

It really was bee wild yesterday! As I walked with a friend, he suddenly stopped and peered at a hollow tree trunk… We’d stumbled across some bees in Highbury Park which have set up their own hive. We didn’t get too close as it was very hot at the time, and heat can make them a little grumpy and overprotective…and therefore prone to sting (it really is rare for a bumblebee to sting, but it is better to be sensible around them than ask for trouble). It’s lovely to see them buzzing busily, and by the look of the glistening interior of the hollow, they have got lots of honey on the go in case of the odd cool, wet summer’s day. I’m going to head there with my camera early in the morning one of t

Park life!

Yesterday was such a busy day that I've had to split it into sections, so please bear with me! Almost the second I stepped outside into the glorious sunshine, I heard a loud, repetitive call immediately above my head. It was the House Sparrow which has set up a nest under the eaves of a nearby house (I am so jealous. Why isn’t it nesting under my eaves?!). When I got to Highbury Park it was once again the call of a bird that alerted me to it – the Ring-necked Parakeets. It was a bit of a relief, as I hadn’t seen the pair for a good couple of weeks and was starting to be concerned. As I peered up at them, a flurry of movement caught my eye in another tree. It was a pair of recently-fledged Lo