What is around in August

August is the month when high summer turns to late summer and it has its final fling .It is often the most settled fine weather of the year but we have already been very lucky in late June and July. Schools are on holiday and it is a great time for families to get out into the countryside or to visits the seaside.  This is a great time to search along the sandy seashore, and investigate rock pools for goby fish, shrimps, crabs, sea anemones, snails, shellfish worms and empty shells on the beach. There is still plenty around to see with wildflowers reaching their zenith and many butterflies moths and dragonflies still flying about especially on warm days. Unfortunately August sees the true start of the autumn migration with large flocks of waders passing through Britain on their return journey from their breeding grounds in the Artic to South Africa. Also soon we will be missing the screeching of the Swifts as they start their long journey to warmer climes. The weather has been hot and the countryside starts to look parched and tired, as grasses brown and even tree leaves start to wilt.  In the hedgerows the blackberries have already started to ripen, going from green to red then finally black   Elderberries, hawthorn (‘haws’), sloes and rose hips are also ripening. . All of these are good to pick either to eat, or make into jams, jellies or wine. Remember to leave some as they will provide sustenance for many species either now for hungry birds such as starlings and blackbirds or through the winter months.

So what is there to look or listen for this month.

  • Bats on the wing
  • Dragonflies and damselflies near water
  • Butterflies and moths including the meadow brown, small skipper large whites and Gatekeepers. These are particularly attractive orange and brown butterfly currently on the wing, and can be found near hedgerows.
  • Plants on the sea shore including Sea Lavender, Sea Poppies,
  • Animals and ,invertebrates in seashore rock pools
  • Generally empty shells on the seashores.
  • Flocks of waders passing through the country as passerines
  • Birds will return to the garden as the breeding season draws to close but as some are moulting they may rather skulk around.  Put out water for the birds now as other sources may not be available especially after the dry summer.
  • Cuckoo Pints ….(Lords and Ladies) are seen in the base of many hedges. Their foliage has totally died down and only the poisonous red berries can be seen.
  • Remember to look in photo album ..August to help with identification
  • Birds will return to the garden as the breeding season draws to close but as some are moulting they may rather skulk around.  Put out water for the birds now as other sources may not be available especially after the dry summer.
  • Cuckoo Pints ….(Lords and Ladies)  are seen in the base of many hedges. Their foliage has totally died down and only the poisonous red berries can be seen.
  • Remember to look in photo album August to help with identification

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