July is the height of summer with still a lot of breeding and flowering activity still going on all around us. The countryside has taken on a rich uniform green, punctuated with contrasting golden squares, where the hay and silage has been cut, or the barley is ripening. The wild flower meadows are still looking good at the beginning of the month and there are large splashes of brilliant red in some fields from the field poppy. The air has a scent of cut grass and frizzes with insects. This is generally one of the warmest months. The chances of hearing the Cuckoo are diminishing; not only because their numbers are in decline, but those birds that arrived here to breed will already have left their progeny to the care of their foster parents and will be migrating back to their wintering grounds. Followed soon by the swifts, their screaming behaviour low over our rooftops will be lost for another year. The hedgerows are full of colour with many wild flowers or “Weeds” like hedge parsley, greater bindweed burdock, cleavers, creeping thistle, meadow crane’s-bill, and plump with green foliage of nettles, and tall upright grasses setting seed.. Last month in our parish a bee orchid was seen and masses of caterpillars were seen eating away all the foliage of some Hawthorn bushes….. (you can see some photo’s at the start of the nature page). The days are still very long so get out side, enjoy them and see what is around just on your doorstep.
So what is there to look or listen for this Month.
- Bats are about from around sunset searching for food.
- Owls can be seen also especially at dusk busily searching for food for their young.
- Dragon flies –Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire is a hotspot for then or just look at your garden pond .There could be some flying low over it ….we are luck enough to have them!
- Lots of flying insects. around There are lots of black and gold insects which are not bees, or wasps, but are in fact harmless like the hoverfly or a wasp beetle or a hornet moth.
- Swifts, swallows and house martins chasing insects
- Butterflies some very pretty and some the gardeners enemy…the cabbage white!
- Moths are now plentiful and can be attracted with lights at night.
- Finally remember if you see anything interesting please share the details with either Norfolk Biodiversity information Service at [email protected] norfolk.gov.uk or to the parish website at [email protected]