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July 2007

1st, North Cave Wetlands - Went to North Cave again this morning where very little was going on to be honest. Warblers around in good numbers though, and a Corn Bunting could be heard in the southern fields. The Avocets have now all gone, their chicks apparently having fallen victim to the local foxes.

8th, Tophill Low - Went to our nearest major reserve, but like North Cave last week it was on the quiet side. Most of the birds were on the southern marshes, including a family of Ruddy ducks. A few Common Terns also seen flying about the area, and there some brief sightings of Kingfishers too.

9th - A male and a female Bullfinch seen in the garden today. Thundery showers in the afternoon.

11th - The Oilseed Rape has now been cut in the fields.

15th - A male Bullfinch seen today, and in the garden beds the Lords & Ladies are now turning red, and the Buddleia is now coming into flower too, though around the town a few have been out for a few weeks. Thundery outbreaks of rain overnight.

18th - Two Barn Owls were seen hunting over the fields this morning. In the wood by the house there are now a few ripe Blackberries.

19th - Dense fog this morning, with visibility under 100 metres. Despite the fog I heard an Oystercatcher pass over the Parks area this morning.

22nd - The Barley harvest now under way. In the garden the Bullfinch pair were seen again.

Nettledale - Walked at Nettledale this morning, where the Yellowhammers were in good song, along with a few Willow warblers, Meadow Pipits, & Whitethroats. In the Gorse scrub a few Linnets were also seen. The local Redstart wasn’t about today, but there were good numbers of butterflies, including Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Skippers, and my first Marbled Whites of the year. Indeed they were quite plentiful. A lovely morning in this wonderful little dale.

24th, Bempton - Went to the coast again today, going with Mum, Dad, & Add. At Bempton cliffs most of the Guillemots & Razorbills have now gone, though there were still a few here and there with unfledged chicks. The Kittiwake chicks are all about ready to go, and indeed we did see a few on the wing with their distinctive ‘W’ pattern on their wings and backs. The Gannet chicks are still big fluff balls, though many are now as big as their parents. Puffins seen in good numbers, especially on the wing, though no doubt they are easier to pick out now since the other Auks have now departed. A few Fulmars also still about and a single Shag was seen flying low over the sea. An interesting start to the day.

25th - A pair of Bullfinches seen at Minster Nurseries this morning, and in the garden a Willow warbler was seen in the Hawthorn.

29th, Millingtondale - Walked in the Wolds at Millingtondale, doing the circular walk that takes in Nettledale and then over the top of the Wold to Sylvan dale and down the steep hill to the pond at the bottom. It was a lovely walk on a lovely day, with Yellowhammers and Linnets heard singing in the scrub, Willow warblers & Whitethroats calling in the shrubs and woods, and butterflies in the dales, including Meadow Browns, Marbled Whites, Small Tortoiseshells, & Skippers. The Harebells are also flowering widely in the dales now. A fine morning in the field. On the journey back we also saw harvesting now well under way, with even one field seen ploughed in already near North Dalton. On Huggatewold they were clearing in Barley bails too.

31st - Nearly 100% sunshine today, and the temperature rose to 22.5 C, which is actually the 2nd warmest day of the month and the 4th warmest this year. Indeed this summer has been very modest in terms of high temperatures and the years maximum is still just 23.6 C. Very different from last July.