The next four weeks or so are, on average, the warmest of the year and the summer should be at its peak. It doesn’t seem like high summer as I write this as the rain is falling and the temperatures are in the teens. However, yesterday was a bit better and I took a walk around Wybunbury Moss, something I haven’t done for quite a while. My now regular circular walk through the woodlands and meadows around the outside of the Moss really help to give me a sense of the moving seasons and how this small bit of countryside changes as the year moves on. I got a good list of 30 birds yesterday (all recorded using the BirdTrack smartphone app, which uploads records to the British Trust Ornithology’s database) but the Moss is much quieter now than previous months. The great rush to breed is now reducing and there was less bird song to be heard; July is a time when many birds are moulting after their broods have fledged so they tend to sing much less. Whilst the birds are quieter, the wild flowers are much ‘louder’ now and there’s quite a good show at Wybunbury. Wandering around the area I saw plenty of flowers I knew and plenty I’ve yet to learn the names of but those I could identify included red campion, honeysuckle, rosebay willowherb, foxglove and common spotted orchid. In addition, the brambles aren’t just flowering, they’re starting to show the first signs of a good crop of blackberries. As well as birds and flowers, there were a few butterflies around to be seen including large white and spotted wood.
There were also some mammals around including rabbits and the little dexter cattle being used to manage the grassland around the outside of the Moss. They look a bit like Spanish fighting bulls but they’re quite friendly and are more like large pointy-horned dogs.