Park Life

DSC_5410-copy_Nursery-Spider©Deepak Dembla

In the ninth of a series of articles featuring the images of local photographers who document the wildlife of Wanstead Park and the surrounding area, Deepak Dembla presents his macro shot of a Nursery Web Spider

I am an IT professional by trade, but photography, stargazing, fitness and dancing are my passions. Covid lockdowns made me explore Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park more than ever with my camera. And ever since, nature has always surprised me with something amazing. It’s a genuine treasure on my doorstep!

Shooting spiders can be tricky at times; some hide and some keep moving among bushes. But it’s easy with Nursery Web Spiders – as pictured here – as they love sunbathing. It means plenty of light and opportunities to shoot. A good tripod is often required while doing macro photography like this, but I generally tend to shoot handheld. This shot was taken with a Nikon D610 camera and Sigma 105mm macro lens. I used manual focus and my settings were 1/160th second shutter speed at F-stop 11 and ISO 640.

Both Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park are a great place to do macro photography. You can typically spot bees, hoverflies, common flies, hornets, wasps, caterpillars, insect eggs, butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, craneflies and, of course, numerous spiders, to name just a few.

The Nursery Web Spider is a common spider of grassland and scrub. It is often seen among brambles and stinging nettles, and typically holds its front two pairs of legs together pointing forwards. They are relatively large, ranging between 10mm and 50mm. They vary in colour from grey through to orange and dark brown, and their legs have small black spines sticking out.

Nursery Web Spiders are roaming hunters, which means they don’t use webs for catching prey (it gets its name from the delicate care the female takes of her egg sac). Many can walk on the surface of still bodies of water and may even dive temporarily to escape enemies.

To view more of Deepak’s wildlife photos, visit wnstd.com/deepak