I wrote last week about the need for birdbaths, and what then happens? The heavens open! From the forecast, it looks like pretty much all of your gardens will have got a soaking in the wake that heatwave earlier in the month.
But there is every chance that hot, dry weather will return, so putting in (and looking after) a birdbath remains up there as our July Giving Nature a Home activity of the month.
I'm sure many of you have one already, and I hope you get much enjoyment from it. I have two (greedy, I know), but I also designed my pond to have very shallow, shingle margins, so that for me is one very large birdbath indeed.
My regular bathing Sparrowhawks continue to visit for their own splash session, and I tend to see at least one bird daily. By the end of a splash about, they can look a right state!
However, on one day last month two were in the pond simultaneously, and were fairly tolerant of each other.
What I love about bathing birds is that when one bird starts, it seems to be a temptation that other birds then can't resist. Ok, so when the Sparrowhawk is in, everything else stays out of the water (although they don't disappear - they seem to know that their nemesis is temporarily incapacitated).
But when, for example, a Blackbird wades in, it can soon be joined by a House Sparrow, and couple of Blue Tits and a Goldfinch in a communal ablution.
Here are a couple of more unusual bathers that have visited recently:
The first is of course a Jay, and they always raise their crown feathers in excitement when in the water.
But how about this one?
It's a thrush, obviously, but sometimes you have to add together the little things to identify them.
Song Thrush: On the belly, has rather tear-shaped black spots on a yellow-buff base colour, the spots in more or less neat lines. Upperparts on the warm side of brown. Rather fine bill.
Mistle Thrush: On the belly, has rather rounded black spots on a rather whitish base colour, the spots a bit of a jumble. Upperparts the grey side of brown. Rather strong bill.
As this bird flew from the pond, it revealed its white outer tail feathers and gave a rattling call, proof that it was indeed a Mistle Thrush.
As I always say, provide water and you never know what will arrive.