This July has been great for wildlife watching and we have been really busy talking about where to go to see various spectacles as well as the usual July gull fledging shenanigans. Earlier this month my colleague and I went up to Scotland to deliver some training to our teams in Scotland, we managed to fit in a trip to Fowlsheugh before the long trip back. This was a good call, the cliffs were jampacked with kittiwakes, many feeding young as well as razorbills, guillemots and fulmar. We spotted a few 'jumplings' (this years young that have grown to a stage where they are ready to leap into the unknown to continue their development at sea) in the sea far below with their parents in close attendance, ever wary of the patrolling gulls. We also managed to spot some puffins as well, you can't help but smile whilst watching this clown of the sea! If you are up in the Aberdeen area please pop along to the reserve and also drop in and say hi to the staff at our Dolphin date with nature at the Torry Battery by Aberdeen harbour, you get some great views of these awesome creatures as well as some seabirds such as sandwich terns, eider ducks and shags.
We also came across this busy yellowhammer doing it's best to feed it's young tucked away nearby in a gorse thicket...
...which brings me on to another frequent line of inquiry we have had this July, insects, especially butterflies and moths. These chicks were eating well with plenty of fat green caterpillars heading their way, given the proper summer weather over the last few weeks it has been much easier to spot some of our other winged wildlife, what have you noticed this summer? If you can spare some time over the next few weeks, make a note of the butterflies you see and record them as part of Butterfly Conservations Big Butterfly Count. I was lucky enough to spot some white admirals recently as well as loads of the more common species like meadow brown, gatekeeper and ringlet.
The storms have eased concerns for many about the impact of the heatwave on wildlife. Our advice is to make sure that a shallow bowl of water is made available to give birds and other wildlife somewhere to drink and bathe when necessary if the hot conditions continue.