Nature Notes – July 2022

by Andy Johnson

The dawn and evening chorus has come to an end this mid-summer week. It tends to be dominated by blackbirds, and as it is the end of their breeding season they will gradually disappear during July, inhabiting herbaceous borders and hedges to moult.

The song thrush will continue to sing for the next few weeks. Although it is in decline nationally, we still have half a dozen pairs in and around the village. For the past fifteen years we have had at least two pairs of spotted flycatchers nesting in Scruton. Unfortunately I have been unable to locate them this year and it would appear this loss reflects their decline in the north of England – 32% in the last twenty years.

On a brighter note, Audrey Blenkiron tells me that she has had two fledged little owls in her garden. Hopefully the result of the pair that is infrequently seen perched in the weeping ash tree. Those of you walking along the Swale will be aware of the increase in little egrets. Despite them being white nobody knows where they nest in our area!