Nature Notes – July 2024

There are few bees, butterflies, moths and hover flies at present. This is due to the inclement weather, especially in May, which was the sixth wettest on record. This decimated the pollinators and is holding back mid-summer insects; it is known as the ‘June gap’. The warm weather since the solstice should rectify the situation. The benefit of the wet weather has been the vigorous growth of trees and hedges and especially verge plants; in places cow parsley is over five feet tall.

The breeding season for many birds is over and so the dawn and evening chorus will soon come to an end. Unlike last year, the wet weather has meant ample food for blackbirds, thrushes and starlings, but swallows and house martin numbers are down. Good news that the swifts are doing well. The spotted fly-catcher no longer seems to be breeding in the village, the last ones seen at the junction of Ham Hall Lane and Fleetham Lane.

Sightings:  Hazel Pratt spotted a magnificent Eyed Hawkmoth and a Southern Hawker dragonfly. A flock of about sixty lapwings was also spotted, back from breeding up in the Dales.

Southern Hawker DragonflyEyed Hawkmoth