It's a rather late update for July I'm afraid - my apologies! My family and I have just returned from a truly adventure-filled holiday. We chose to head north to explore and absorb as much as we possibly could of the the beautiful Cairngorms.
We stayed in a hotel in Coylumbridge where we were surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. Needless to say that made us feel right at home, with red squirrels outside our bedroom window and deer just along the bicycle tracks.
We walked, cycled and used the Cairngorm funicular railway to take in the wonderful views. There are still pockets of snow nestled into the mountains where the sun doesn't quite reach. My son Jake spotted four Ring Ouzels - a real treat for any bird spotter. My daughter Amber was overwhelmed when, high up in the mountains, we passed a herd of reindeer - possibly Santa's very own, resting until Christmas Eve?
My poor kids found themselves being positioned in front of all sorts of strange things, just so I could get some great photos!
My favourite day of all was when we visited the Highland Wildlife Centre.
The conservation work they are doing there is incredible. I so wish I lived nearer as I would love to volunteer and be part of it all. I learned many new things there that I will be happy to pass on to my Wildlife group back home.
Anyway - enough about my holibobs...
Back home in the lovely Scottish borders, we're seeing baby creatures everywhere. My son and I conducted our own bird-watch from our living room window and spotted the following:
1 adult great tit with five young;
1 adult female woodpecker with two young;
1 adult nuthatch with two young;
2 adult bluetits and four young.
It was like watching a feeding frenzy - or maybe the bird version of playgroup? The woodpecker would only come in with her young when no-one else was there. She was so loving to her family as she fed them and it was a comical sight as they spent most of their time upside down on our garden bench. Several other types of bird fluttered in and out but we particularly enjoyed watching the juveniles.
Our wagtail nests have all fledged as have our wrens. We are now watching a second blackbird nest with five chicks, already a good size at just one week old.
What we can do in July:
* Leave patches of clover on your lawn - this is so important to help our bees thrive.
* Is there an area in your garden you could leave to go 'natural'? Allow nature to take over and enjoy the results.
* Check your hedges before clipping - in case birds are still nesting or feeding.
Have a wonderful July, keep your eyes and ears open to all the wonderful riches
nature has to offer at this time of year.