So, have you got wet this week? We have- repeatedly- and sometimes more than once in the same day. We’re still getting heavy, thundery showers here, with damp clear mornings. Hate to say it, but the mornings almost feel autumn-y, cool and still with all the grasses and spiders’ webs soaked in dew or rain.
A sure sign of autumn has been the curlew, passing high overhead on their way south. We’ve heard several this week- it’s the start of the autumn migration.
But, in other respects, we’re in the heart of midsummer. The heather is just starting to come into bloom, with the bell heather coming out first.
The small pearl bordered butterflies are taking full advantage of this new nectar source.
The woods have gone very quiet now. We’re in the middle of the mid-summer lull, where all the birds stop singing and concentrate on fledging youngsters or moulting feathers. Apart from a particularly persistent chiffchaff, there hasn’t been much singing in the woods this week.
We’ve not had a great deal of time to look out for the wildlife this week, what with being in the middle of preparation for our Fun Day – there’s an oxymoron when you’re up to your eyes in prep! It’s this Friday, 8th July, 12-4pm if you want to come along. But we have seen and heard several ospreys fishing over the lochs. Ospreys have an odd call- its a penetrating but surprisingly small sound to come from such a big bird, and sounds like it should be coming from something much smaller, like a wader or passerine. They also have a very distinctive profile, with a sharply-bent wing joint to help hover in search of fish.
We’ve also seen our first adder in ages this week, spotting a very shy male in the grass.
But, as we said, most of this week has been take up with prep for the Fun Day. Here are some pics from last year’s Fun Day….maybe they’ll inspire you to come and see us and try your hand at bird box making…or have your face painted…or make something fun in the craft stalls….or listen to local tales from the storyteller…or win at antler hoopla….the list goes on!