Nature Notes June 2021

Total monthly rainfall: 121.5 millimetres   Maximum daily rainfall: 29 millimetres (17th June).

There were 13 days with no measurable rain, and it remained dry from June 6th to the 16th. There were 14 days with 100% cloud-cover for at least part of the day.

Maximum temperature on the warmest days was 25°C on the 1st and 13th. Maximum temperature on the coldest day was 14°C on June 21st. Unusually, there were no days when the wind-strength rose above Force 4 on the Beaufort Wind Scale.

 

Wildflower first-sightings for the month were marsh bedstraw (6th), white water-lily (9th), and woodland honeysuckle (11th). There was nipplewort and sow thistle on the 16th, white clover and tufted vetch (17th), and self-heal plus marsh willowherb (18th). Meadow vetchling (20th), yellow archangel (24th), pineapple weed and water figwort (26th) and pink convolvulus (28th) completed the list for the month. These 14 brought our running total to 43 species to date.

Dog rose (1st June) and guelder rose (2nd) were the only wild shrubs to flower this month.

There were 4 more butterfly sightings this month bringing our running total to eleven species. The first was a painted lady on June 9th, quickly followed by the first of many meadow browns on the 10th. Last of all was a large skipper and a ringlet on the 23rd.

This was a comparatively good month for moths. The Silver Y moth arrived rather late on June 2nd; the common swift moth and common white wave moth on the 15th; the garden grass veneer moth on the 17th and the straw grass veneer on the 18th; the brown china-mark on the 19th, and the green oak tortrix moth on the 23rd, followed by a possible grey dagger moth indoors (28th) and the six-spot burnet on the 29th. These 9 moths take our total to 20.

We have 6 species to add to the 7 dragonflies already recorded so far this year. The Hairy dragonfly first appeared on June 3rd – another late arrival. A visiting banded demoiselle arrived on the 6th, a common blue damselfly on the 9th, and a broad-bodied chaser on the 13th. Later in the month, on the 23rd, a common darter appeared, with a southern hawker and exuvia on the 28th – yet another late first-sighting.

Final insect sighting for the month was a spotted crane-fly on the 15th.

Bird observations include 5 house sparrows perched on our garden fig tree overlooking a small garden pond on June 1st.They were eating the emerging common darters; 4 moorhen chicks hatched on the 6th; a bullfinch was seen on the 14th; on the 16th a great-spotted woodpecker and chicks stripped a twenty-centimetre area of bark from our Victoria plum tree and drilled a hole in the middle; no mallard ducklings were hatched all month due to the crows’ 100% success-rate in pillaging their eggs, and the Canada geese lost none of their 5 goslings.

Nature Notes June 2021