July Wildlife

A good month for flowers and everywhere is alive with busy insects, but a quiet time for birds.

Flora

Hop in flower – quite common in the hedgerows around Paulton where Bristol brewery had hop fields.

Lots of plants come into flower including: Tansy, Burdock, Willowherbs, Perennial Sow-thistle, several Thistle species, Scentless Mayweed, Teasel, Hemp Agrimony, Bindweeds, Wild Angelica, Pyramidal Orchid and Fat-hen.

Traveller’s Joy and Sweet Chestnut are in flower.

Field Maple keys appear.

Bird Cherry fruiting.

Birds

Most birds are going quite now as they begin their moult and become secretive at this vulnerable stage. They mainly stop singing now but their calls can still give away their presence as they move almost invisibly in the fully leaved trees and bushes.

Swifts scream overhead.

Cuckoos start to depart for Africa already.

Insects

Single generation Marbled White and Gatekeeper on the wing.

Single generation Peacock and Brimstone (which will overwinter as butterflies) also flying.

Second generation: Speckled Wood, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Large White, Green-veined White.

Butterfly caterpillars around include: Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, and Large Skipper.

Late pupaters: Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Brown Argus, Holly Blue, Orange-tip and Brimstone.

Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillars feed on Willowherb and Puss Moth caterpillars on Willow or Poplar trees.

Look for groups of yellow and black Cinnabar Moth caterpillars feeding on Ragwort.

Migrant Hawker dragonfly might be seen.

Mammals

Roe Deer are rutting.

Bats are very actively feeding now and suckling young.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Grass snakes lay their eggs.

Common Lizard young are born.

Newts start to leave the ponds.

 Header: Male Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) in July at Melilot, Radstock