In and around the lakes at Prior Park

There are four lakes in the garden - the three lower lakes and the serpentine lake at the top.

Many species of fish live in the lakes, including carp, which are easily visible because of their size. In the spring and summer, brightly coloured dragonflies and damselflies can be seen hovering above the lake.

 

A family affair

A pair of mute swans have been living on the bottom lakes for a few years now and have had several clutches of cygnets.
 
Other birds that you may spot nesting on the lake are ducks, moorhens and coots. Moorhens and coots look very similar but coots are larger and have white beaks, whereas moorhens’ beaks are bright red.
 

A spot of fishing

Another regular visitor to the lake is the grey heron. You might spot one high in the trees, or standing motionless around the lake waiting to catch a fish. 
 
If you’re really lucky you might see a kingfisher around the bottom lakes. Look out for a flash of electric blue close to the water level, or for the kingfisher’s distinctive blue and orange plumage as it sits by the lake looking for fish.
 
Recently we have spotted an egret by our lakes, a distinctive white bird. 
 

In the water

Across the UK the non-native American signal crayfish is invading. We have a predatory gull which picks them out and consumes them on the middle dam, which is why you may find crayfish remains around the garden.

Grey wagtails and green woodpeckers can often be seen around the lakes, and a little family of grebes bobbing about.

Starwort and mare’s tail are great oxygenating plants but they grow thick and fast, so we are looking into partial removal of some to keep at least two thirds of the water free from vegetation.