On a warm sparkling mid-September afternoon I'm walking round the lake in Bushy park. There are few signs of autumn. The trees are clothed in green foliage with just a hint of gold on some.

A family of swallows swoop down to the surface and streak across drinking and catching flying insects. A heron stands statuesque in the shallows and a cormorant perches on a log, wings outstretched to dry and probably as an aid to digestion following a successful day catching perch.

Gulls and mallard noisily squabble over scraps of bread and deep in the bracken a wren and reed bunting seem to be conversing. Two small white butterflies flutter by and a small heath feeds on mint.

Huge carp cruise by flanked by a shoal of young perch. But the highlight of the afternoon is a super-abundance of dragonflies. Common and ruddy darters and emerald damselflies are here but most numerous of all are migrant hawkers. They have recently hatched and sport what I call 'soap bubble' wings glinting with iridescence . As days pass, those wings will lose their sparkle.

Many mating pairs cling to reeds while others patrol and hover. Suddenly, a hovering male zooms vertically upwards to intercept a rival high above, his superb all round vision honed to perfection over nearly four hundred million years of evolution giving him mastery of the skies.

What a feast of wildlife to enjoy in Bushy park