This weekend sees me looking after my Grandson (J) and the dog (B); and we all needed some exercise. J and I discussed where we should go and J volunteered Richmond Park. There's a particular tree stump that is great for climbing and hiding and is a favourite of his.
We parked in the Pembroke Lodge car park and walked down to Pen Ponds - sun shining beautifully although the breeze was chilly. Walking around the woods in the lee of the wind it was very pleasant and we enjoyed the birds singing. After skirting the fenced-off wooded area the landscape widens out and leads you down a long grassy slope to the ponds at the bottom; the view is beautiful.
We walked right around the ponds for a change trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent B going for a swim. There were very few birds on the ponds except for about 60 Black-headed Gulls, a couple of Swans, a few Tufties and the usual Coots and Moorhens.
We walked around the ponds, further than usual, then it was time to go back. We'd had a good hour and half by now and we were getting hungry for lunch.
"We go this way" says I, with confidence. "We go that way" says J, with matching confidence. In the end, age triumphed over youth. This was a great pity really as I managed to take us in a left-hand circle instead of the right-hand circle.
So on we walked through some lovely woods (and some very boggy bits) and finally espied the road; but not the bit we needed; this was the furthest side away from where we should have been. One thing about walking in Richmond Park is that it is encircled by a road; hence you can never really got lost! Well, not really, really lost - just a bit side-tracked.
Walking back we heard a woodpecker drumming and J successfully identified a blue tit calling.
Eventually made our way back in very good spirits, found "our" car park and then home for lunch. By now we were starving!
A great two-and-a-half hour walk in very good company!
Interesting shapes of a dead tree.
A cosy duo of Jackdaws.
and some Deer - still with their antlers.
9 hours ago