It is usual for the park’s deer to give birth in late May and early June. The young are not ready to follow their mothers for one or two weeks and hide in dense bracken, with their mothers grazing in the vicinity.
Deer are giving birth before the bracken growth is high. Bracken is important to the deer to hide their young. The lack of shelter will mean an anxious period for the young mothers. It is not advisable to walk your dog in the Park during this time. If you choose to, at your own risk, please keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates.
If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them. If a Red or Fallow Deer approaches you it is probably because she has a calf somewhere nearby. Walking away from her may inadvertently mean that you are walking towards the calf causing her to be more defensive. The preferred course of action would be to retrace your footsteps, back the way you came and take a wide berth on a different track.
Ticks and Lyme disease
Ticks are small creatures related to spiders and mites and feed on the blood of humans, dogs and other animals. They cannot jump or fly, so they cling onto vegetation and wait until an animal or human brushes past to attach to their skin. Whilst the risk is very low, they can transmit diseases including Lyme disease.
During spring, summer and autumn, ticks are more numerous and more active. Park visitors are advised to guard against tick bites by avoiding tall vegetation (especially if wearing shorts) and by staying on well worn paths. Insect repellent can also be used. Check yourself after walking in the Park and remove ticks immediately. If concerned, you feel unwell or a rash appears, consult your GP immediately. For more information, please see The Royal Parks website or visit the Bushy Park Office for a leaflet.
June is a month when nearly all our summer visiting migrants will have arrived in the United Kingdom.
However if the weather has been against them there could be a few stragglers. A species that often arrives late and is worth looking out for is the Spotted Flycatcher once a common parkland species.
This year’s warm weather in early spring encouraged many migrating species to arrive early. One with a very distinctive call that you may have heard is the Cuckoo, at least one of these has been present for several weeks.
There will already be lots of juveniles present, species like the Blackbird, Mistle and Song Thrush will have benefitted from the recent wet conditions. However with the temperature now dropping members of the tit family, species of warbler such as Blackcap and Chiffchaff may find it hard to find small caterpillars.
With luck the warm weather return and the skies on calm days particularly during the evenings will be filled with insects. The smaller species will attract Swifts, Swallows and House Martins, the larger ones i.e. Mayfly, Damselfly and Dragonfly will attract one of our top park birds of prey, the Hobby. As well as eating these insects they will eat the birds and even the bats that are attracted to the abundant supply of insects.
June will see the last of the Rhododendron flowering with Azaleas continuing to the middle of the month.
The yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus) is in abundance in the margins of Fishers Pond but is also dotted throughout the Woodland.
The new bog garden near the Gunnera Glade entrance is worth looking at especially Gunnera manicata which is particularly spectacular. The new path has been constructed to allow improved access to view the area.
Grass is being cut at a higher level in areas of heavy usage to help keep it green as well as protecting it against the strength of the sun. All spring flowering bulbs are dying back – the grass is left uncut to allow the goodness to go back into the bulbs.