Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wildlife in the park

The final photo post about the park and then I'll get back to wittering about the balcony ...

Given that the park, though large, is on the outskirts of the city and surrounded by built-up areas, it has a fairly respectable amount of wildlife. In fact, till recently there was a stag living there. No-one is quite sure how he got there, and in the end they moved him to a more suitable habitat. A hot Sunday morning, when half Milan is there jogging, biking or walking their dogs or kids is not the best time to spot anything but my son turned into an aspiring David Attenborough, appropriated the camera and started stalking. Spot the heron ...

The park has quite a good rabbit colony, and we disturbed a few as we walked around, but they disappeared into the underground far too quickly to photograph or even see properly. We had more luck with the pond life. There were lots of frogs on the lily pads making a tremendous racket given their size, but they plopped into the water as soon as David Attenborough came into camera range. He had more luck with the moorhens ....

... and then spent ages creeping slowly up on this little group of turtles. He was getting really close when a group of people rushed up and sent them skittering into the water.

The turtles aren't indigenous but have been released by people who bought them as pets when they were tiny and then got fed up when they grew or when they wanted to go on holiday and released them. Great for the summer - I'm sure they'll have a whale of a time. But they can't survive the cold winters. This winter was so mild though this year that they may well have made it - there's certainly an enormous number of them in all the different ponds.

Given my recent post on bees I was keeping an eye open to see how many I could spot. Pitifully few. I think it was three in the whole morning, one of which was collecting pollen from this iris - he's in the middle flower. I clicked a second too late!


Dawn said...

What a lovely walk you had with your son! I like the turtle shots. Milan is such an interesting city. I had no idea there was a stag in the park though. Wow! I wonder how they caught him.

I'm enjoying your blog. Well done!


Mary said...

Love the turtles!

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