Friday, 13 May 2016

Abington Park

With a couple of hours to spare in Northampton I decided to stroll around an old 'patch' of mine, Abington Park. It had been quite a long time since I had last been there (14 years?) and I was curious to see what changes - if any - had taken place.

 Dock Beetle. Abington Park, Northampton.
13 May, 2016

A formerly dry area had become quite wet and in the muddy patches quite a few dock plants, Rumex species, had become established. It was no surprise when I found several Dock Beetles, Gastrophysa viridula, some in copula, i.e. mating. This is a very widespread insect and, at this time of the year, any substantial patches of dock are likely to harbour this eye-catching species.

This Willow Leaf Beetle was where one would expect it
to be - on a willow leaf. Abington Park, Northampton.
13 May, 2016

Also present was the Brown Willow Beetle, Galerucella lineola. This is also widespread and is usually found on willows - as it was here, but may occur on alders and hazel. Unfortunately it was at the tip of a wind-tossed branch, making photography tricky but later on I was able to collect the specimen for a closer look.

Large Red Damselfly on elm. Abington Park,
Northampton. 13 May, 2016

The warm sunshine together with the proximity of water (Abington Park boasts four lakes) had resulted in myriads of insects being present, including a Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula. This handsome insect is found throughout Northamptonshire but I was still pleased to see it.

My visit to the park had always been envisaged as a short one but I began to wish for a little further time. My overall impression was that, in recent years, the park has improved and I expect to spend a little more time there in forthcoming weeks.

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