Now that the antlers are fully grown, the 'velvet' covering becomes redundant. It dies and shreds and the deer thrash their antlers against vegetation to rub it off. At this time they may be seen briefly with blood stained tatters of skin dangling across their faces. This is especially so with the fallow bucks.
Green Flag Award
Bushy Park has retained its Green Flag for 2014/2015.
The second phase of the cleaning will take place in August. This will include the cleaning of the upper part of the stones and bronzes; the fountain nozzles will be inspected and cleaned and adjustments made to the water flows if necessary.
Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria, also known as Cyanophyta)
This naturally-occurring algae reaches its peak 'bloom' during August in the Diana fountain and the park's ponds. It is recognisable as it looks like small grass cuttings floating in the water and can create a scum of algae blown by the wind to collect along one bank.
Blue-green algae has been known to produce toxins which could cause rashes and illnesses to humans or animals when swallowed.
It is a sensible precaution for you, your children, and your animals to avoid contact with the water at this time.
For further information, please see the Blue-green algae: advice for the public from the Environmental Agency.
By the now we should have seen the first signs of birds on the move with an increase in the commoner warblers.
For those who live close to or choose to visit the park in the evenings then you should notice the numbers of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins building up as they feed on the abundance of airborne insect life that is to be found here. The Swifts will also head off to Africa before the end of the month, but they and the hirundines had better be on the alert in case they fall victim to our local masters of the air, the Peregrine and the Hobby - both species breed close by. I should also say that the Sparrowhawk is also partial to a recently fledged Swallow or Martin.
From the middle of the month it is worth checking the first 100 metres of scrub that runs north of Dukes Head Passage. It may be behind the fence but this gives the birds a bit more confidence knowing they can feed without being disturbed. It is possible to see Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher amongst good numbers of the other warblers. A short walk along the passage will give you the chance to view the scrape. If conditions are right then there is a chance of Green Sandpiper and Snipe.
There is one other area that is also a migrant hotspot as it allows migrants that are feeding in the bracken or stunted Hawthorns - somewhere to retreat into- is the garden of Hawthorn Cottage. There is actually no need to look into the garden - just keep an eye on the fence and trees that border it. Being one of the best months for migrants you never know what could be waiting for you.
For more bird news check out The Regent's Park Birds Blog it also covers Bushy Park by Tony Duckett
The Woodland Gardens
The long grass areas are to be cut down towards the end of the month. This is part of the grass land management to prevent the area reverting to rough woodland over time.
In the meantime it's worth looking at the Grasses and in particular in the Robesonia Garden where the colours are outstanding. Birch Glade with its ferns is a peaceful and cool place to visit on a hot August day. If you want a place to enjoy the sun Fishers Field on the southern side or Canada Glade complete with the Totem Pole are the places to be.