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July 2016

1st July 2016, Friday
13.0 C to 18.5 C / 7.1 mm / 3.8 hours / SW 3-4
After an initially bright start it would become cloudier for a time in mid-morning, the cloud being thick enough to produce some light drizzle for a time. However the cloud and drizzle would soon clear to leave a mostly fine day with some decent sunny spells, though towards the end of the afternoon some very sharp showers would develop (peak rate of 96.0 mm/h), two of these showers being accompanied by thunder, lightning and hail. Showers clearing by dusk to leave a dry night with variable amounts of cloud.

2nd July 2016, Saturday
7.8 C to 18.6 C / 0.5 mm / 10.0 hours / SW 4
A fine day with plenty of sunshine throughout, though a moderate breeze did make it feel a little on the cool side, especially out in the open. Around dusk a brief moderate shower would pass over, but this soon moved on to leave variable amounts of cloud for the remainder of the night. The breeze would ease overnight.

Grosmont - Just a flying visit to the cottage today with other commitments meaning we had to get back to the old homestead. In the garden the foxgloves, both pink and white varieties, are now flowering well, especially down by the river, whilst as I mowed the grass on the steep bank I disturbed a Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba), the first I have seen up here this year.

Tranmire Bog - A short stroll around this lovely spot on what was an otherwise cool and showery late afternoon up here on the edge of the forest, a fresh breeze sweeping across the heather moorlands making it feel even cooler than the thermometer suggested. As a result it was unsurprising that neither dragonflies or butterflies made an appearance, though Rutmoor Beck was once more filled with tadpoles, whilst on the edge of the bogs Round-leaved Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) were widely in evident. The cotton-grass (Eriophorum) is now flowering in the boggier parts of the moors, whilst in the Mire itself the golden flowers of Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) are now apparent. Two types of heather have also begun to flower here and there, with the lovely dark purple Bell Heather (Erica cinerea) flowering in sunny and sheltered spots with Cross-leaved Heather (Erica tetralix) also noted in damper corners of t' moors.

Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)

3rd July 2016, Sunday
9.3 C to 19.0 C / 0.0 mm / 5.7 hours / W 3-4
A dry and bright morning with sunny spells, especially at first, though increasing amounts of cloud would bubble up as the morning wore on. Indeed around the middle of the day it was largely cloudy, at least for a time, but in the afternoon sunny spells would return with a fine end to the day. Clear spells overnight with temperatures falling into single figures.

A Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) was heard and briefly seen over the homestead today, always a welcome reminder that despite the ever growing urbanisation of the area some wildness continues to exist. However despite the presence of this raptor in the area the bird feeders remain as busy as ever, the sunflower hearts still attracting a good variety of finches, including at least four adult Bullfinches and two juveniles. Young Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Tits, Dunnocks, and Blackbirds are also nearly ever present, though the juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker seems to be visiting less frequently compared to last week. The adult Great Spot has also become less conspicuous during the past week.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

4th July 2016, Monday
7.8 C to 22.7 C / 3.6 mm / 7.3 hours / SW 3-4
A sunny start to the morning and remaining largely sunny and warm throughout much of the day, though in the afternoon cloud would begin to bubble up as temperatures climbed into the low seventies (Fahrenheit). Becoming cloudy by the end of the afternoon with a period of heavy rain in the evening (peak rate of 7.6 mm/h), and whilst this would clear by nightfall it would nevertheless remain cloudy for the rest of the night with temperatures falling no lower than 13 C.

5th July 2016, Tuesday
13.0 C to 18.9 C / 0.0 mm / 3.1 hours / W 4
A cloudy and blustery start to the morning, the brisk north-westerly breeze making it feel quite cool despite the fact that temperatures fell no lower than 13 C last night, though as the morning wore on some brighter periods would begin to develop. Indeed in the first half of the afternoon some good spells of sunshine broke through, and with lighter winds than during the morning it would feel quite warm. However the sunshine was relatively short-lived with cloudier skies by the second half of the afternoon, this cloud being thick enough to produce some drops of rain in early evening. This cloud would begin to break up around dusk with clear spells developing overnight, this allowing temperatures to dip into single figures by dawn.

Just a single Common Blackclock (Pterostichus madidus) in the pitfall trap this morning. Indeed the number of ground beetles being caught in the traps has been very disappointing lately and hopefully things will begin to improve soon.

6th July 2016, Wednesday
8.8 C to 20.2 C / 0.0 mm / 8.0 hours / SW 3
A sunny start to the morning and remaining largely sunny and clement for most of the day, though as the afternoon wore on it would become increasingly cloudy with largely grey skies by the evening. Remaining cloudy overnight with temperatures falling no lower than 13.9 C.

7th July 2016, Thursday
13.9 C to 21.6 C / 11.1 mm / 4.0 hours / SW 3
A cloudy morning, the cloud thick enough to produce some light spots of rain at first, but becoming brighter by midday. Indeed in the afternoon some good spells of sunshine would develop with temperatures climbing into the low seventies, though as the day wore on it would also become muggy and humid with dew points climbing in to the high teens. As a result of all this muggy air a very heavy shower would develop around 8 pm with a peak rainfall rate of 82.2 mm/h, but this would soon clear with skies clearing for much of the night. However rain would return towards the end of the night, this proving to be heavy at times, though it would begin to clear by dawn.

The number of juvenile bird visiting the bird feeders is proving to be most pleasing this summer with a good variety of different species being spotted. Blackbirds and Robins have now had at least two separate broods, with three newly fledged youngsters in the garden at the moment, whilst those from earlier in the year and now just starting to develop their distinctive red breast. At least three Bullfinch youngsters are also frequenting the bird feeders at the moment, though the exact number maybe as high as five or six, whilst the young of Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Dunnocks, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Great Spotted Woodpecker have also been seen well during the past few weeks.

Juvenile Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

8th July 2016, Friday
14.4 C to 20.0 C / 0.0 mm / 7.5 hours / W 4-5
A muggy morning after heavy overnight rain with further occasional outbreaks of light rain through the first part of the day. However by the afternoon it would become dry with good spells of sunshine, though a brisk WNW breeze kept temperatures to just 20 C and also made it feel much fresher than it had during the morning. The breeze would ease quickly in the evening with mostly clear skies and light winds overnight, though latterly cloud would increase with cloudy skies by dawn.

It is proving to be another very disappointing summer for butterflies here at the old homestead with hardly any about despite the seemingly favourable weather. Indeed apart from the odd Holly Blue and the occasional other visitor from time to time, the garden is almost butterfly free!

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), one of very few species visiting the garden at the moment

9th July 2016, Saturday
11.6 C to 21.7 C / 3.0 mm / 0.3 hours / SW 4
A cloudy and warm morning with outbreaks of rain after 11 am, this becoming persistent for a time. However by early afternoon it would begin to clear away to leave a largely cloudy and humid afternoon with temperatures in the low twenties and dew points climbing as high as 19 C. However despite the humid air it would remain mostly dry, apart from the odd light shower in late afternoon and the evening, whilst overnight it would remain cloudy and muggy with temperatures falling no lower than 16.4 C.

10th July 2016, Sunday
16.4 C to 23.6 C / 1.0 mm / 5.2 hours / SW 3-4
A cloudy and muggy start to the day with a short period of heavy rain around 9 am (peak rainfall rate of 72.4 mm/h), but by midday things would begin to improve with a fine afternoon following with plenty of sunshine to enjoy. Feeling warm and muggy with temperatures climbing up to 23.6 C and dew points again in the high teens. Variable amounts of cloud for much of the night but becoming cloudy by dawn. Very mild again.

11th July 2016, Monday
15.2 C to 21.3 C / 1.0 mm / 3.7 hours / W 4-5
A cloudy morning with periods of rain &/or drizzle but becoming drier by midday. Thereafter the remainder of the day would see a mixture of sunny spells and cloudier periods, though the main feature of the weather was the brisk westerly breeze, though this would begin to ease by the evening. Clear spells overnight and cooler than recent nights.

12th July 2016, Tuesday
12.2 C to 19.7 C / 0.0 mm / 6.4 hours / W 4
A sunny start to the day and remaining sunny and clement for much of the morning and into the afternoon. However from mid-afternoon onwards it would become cloudy with extensive stratocumulus invading from the west, and apart from the odd brighter period from time to time, it would remain cloudy for the rest of the day. Mostly cloudy at first overnight but clearer spells would develop later.

A few bugs were encountered in the garden this afternoon including a red form 3rd instar Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale), as well as numerous Flower Bugs (Anthocoridae) , what appeared to be Heterotoma planicornis, and an abundance of Whitefly (Aleyrodidae). Meanwhile Pollen Beetles (Meligethes aeneus) were noted amongst the garden flowers, a Common Marble Moth (Celypha lacunana) was found in the undergrowth, whilst a few female Plasterer Bees (Hylaeus communis) were again encountered around the flowers of the herbaceous border.

13th July 2016, Wednesday
11.7 C to 19.0 C / 1.2 mm / 7.0 hours / W 3-4
A largely sunny and clement day for the most part, though in the afternoon plenty of cloud would bubble up to create some cloudier periods from time to time, whilst a moderate westerly breeze would keep temperatures below 20 C. In the early evening a couple of sharp showers would also sweep through, the first preceded by some squally winds, but these would soon clear to leave a mostly fine end to the day. Clear spells overnight with temperatures falling into single figures.

14th July 2016, Thursday
9.4 C to 19.5 C / 0.0 mm / 9.8 hours / W 2-3
A clear and sunny start to the day and remaining mostly sunny throughout the morning, and indeed into the afternoon, though like yesterday some cloud would bubble up as well, though not becoming as quite as extensive with still plenty of sunshine to enjoy. Less breezy as well, though temperatures again would remain below 20 C today. Variable amounts of cloud overnight.

15th July 2016, Friday
10.4 C to 20.2 C / 0.0 mm / 2.0 hours / SW 3
A bright start with sunny spells and broken cloud but becoming cloudier by mid-morning. It would remain cloudy throughout the middle of the day and indeed it looked quite threatening for a time, but it would remain dry with sunny spells returning towards the end of the day. Warm despite the cloud and becoming quite muggy by the evening. Variable amounts of cloud overnight.

16th July 2016, Saturday
14.4 C to 22.7 C / 0.0 mm / 10.4 hours / W 4-5
A largely cloudy start to the morning but soon becoming brighter by mid-morning with the remainder of the day seeing sunny spells and temperatures up to nearly 23 C. However a brisk and occasionally fresh westerly breeze would help to make it feel that bit cooler, especially out in the open. Clear spells overnight with the breeze becoming light.

17th July 2016, Sunday
12.8 C to 23.2 C / 0.0 mm / 12.3 hours / W 4
A perfect summer's day with an abundance of sunshine and temperatures rising into the low seventies, though like yesterday there was a brisk westerly breeze as well, especially out in the open. Breeze easing in the evening with largely clear skies overnight.

18th July 2016, Monday
12.2 C to 27.8 C / 0.0 mm / 13.1 hours / W 2-3
A hot and sunny day with temperatures climbing above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time this summer whilst dew points would reach a rather tropical 70 F (21 C) for a time in the afternoon. Remaining largely clear overnight with temperatures remaining above 15 C.

A Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly was briefly spotted fluttering through the garden today, whilst a few species of White (Pieridae) were also identified. However by and large the number of butterflies in the garden continues to disappoint this summer. Bumblebee wise a Red-tailed (Bombus lapidarius) specimen was good to see, this proving to be a rather elusive species this year, especially in recent weeks, whilst other bumbles included Buff-tail (B. terrestris), Carder (B. pascuorum), Early (B. pratorum) and Garden (B. hortorum). A small species of bee was also noted around the herbaceous border, this possibly being a Furrow-bee species (maybe Lasioglossum calceatum).

Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum)

19th July 2016, Tuesday
15.6 C to 29.8 C / 0.0 mm / 14.0 hours / SE 2-3
Hot and sunny again with temperatures above 70 F before 9 am and above 80 F by 10 am, the mercury thermometer eventually reaching an impressive high of 29.8 C (85.6 F). This makes today the third hottest day on our weather records dating back to 2003. Skies remaining clear throughout most of the day and into the evening, though around dusk some altocumulus (including castellanus) would begin to invade from the west with variable amounts of cloud for the rest of the night. Remaining very warm overnight with temperatures falling no lower than 17.8 C (a new July record).

A Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) was in the garden today, the first I have seen here at Woldgarth this summer. As temperatures soared in the unbroken sunshine a species of bumblebee appeared in my office window, this appearing to be a Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus vestalis), a species which I have never previously recorded at Woldgarth. It was certainly an attractive and fresh looking specimen and it was good to add another species of Bombus to the garden list.

Other news from the garden today included a number of young Bullfinches still, whilst a juvenile Blackcap was also spotted, the first I have seen this year. Overhead a Hobby (Falco subbuteo) was spotted amongst the Swifts, this summer visiting raptor only being an occasional sighting above the old homestead (though they have become increasingly common in recent years), whilst a Sparrow-hawk was also seen, this woodland raptor being chased by the local Swallows as it passed over.

20th July 2016, Wednesday
17.8 C to 28.8 C / 0.0 mm / 7.1 hours / W 3-4
A warm and muggy start to the day with hazy sunshine and variable amounts of cloud, and once again the temperatures would quickly soar with the thermometer reaching 28.8 C by midday. Becoming cloudier in the afternoon but remaining very warm and muggy (dew points 21/22 C), the lack of wind, at least at first, making it feel very close indeed. Becoming sunnier again in the second half of the afternoon, and with the breeze also picking up it would start to feel somewhat fresher than it had earlier. Mostly clear in the evening and overnight and not feeling quite as warm or as muggy as recently.

Ideal mothing conditions last night meant that the trap was rather busy when I went to empty it this morning, indeed many moths escaped before I was able to record them, but nevertheless at the very least 145 moths of 45 species were recorded. One of these moths was actually a new addition to my moth list, this coming in the shape and form of a Small Fan-footed Wave (Idaea biselata), whilst a whole host of other moths were new additions to the year list (not really surprising since I haven't done any moth trapping for more than three weeks!).

Swallowtail (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

Poplar Hawk-moth (Laothoe populi)

Other new moths for the year list were as follows; Common Footman x3, Yellow-tail x1, Swallowtail x6, Dun-bar x2, Poplar Hawk-moth x1, Small Rivulet x1, Clay x1, Dark Arches x13, Light Arches x1, Common Rustic agg. x3, Fan-foot x4, Single-dotted Wave x4, Smoky Wainscot x1, Lesser Yellow Underwing x3, Dot Moth x1, and Rustic x1. Other moths also recorded included; Green Pug x2, Wormwood Pug x1, Mottled Pug x1, Double-striped Pug x1, Garden Carpet x2, Brimstone x1, Light Emerald x1, Willow Beauty x5, Mottled Beauty x1, Riband Wave 20+, Cabbage Moth x2, Mottled Rustic x1, Bright-line Brown-eye x6, Uncertain x3, Double Square-spot x1, Heart & Dart x2, Large Yellow Underwing x17, Small Angle Shades x2, Marbled Minor agg. x3, Marbled Beauty x3, and Small Fan-foot x1. Micros included Small Magpie x2, Diamond-back Moth 10+, Bee Moth x4, Beautiful Plume x1, Maple Button x1 (Acleris forsskaleana) and Water Veneer 5+ (Acentria ephemerell).

Additional creatures found within the trap included a Common Red Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva), only the second ever garden record of this species, whilst a Ground Beetle species was also unearthed, this turning out to be a Strawberry Seed Beetle (Harpalus rufipes). Whilst this is a common species of Caribidae it was nevertheless the first time I have ever knowingly encountered it.

Strawberry Seed Beetle (Harpalus rufipes)

21st July 2016, Thursday
14.8 C to 24.5 C / trace / 8.3 hours / SE 2
A sunny and pleasant morning with temperatures thankfully much more comfortable than of late, and remaining sunny and warm throughout with a more modest high of 'just' 24.5 C today. Becoming cloudier in the evening with cloudy skies overnight, this cloud even being thick enough to produce a little bit of rain shortly before dawn. A very mild night as well with a low of just 16.3 C.

22nd July 2016, Friday
16.3 C to 23.9 C / 0.0 mm / 6.5 hours / SE 1-2
A cloudy and muggy sort of morning and only slowly brightening up by midday. However in the afternoon long spells of sunshine would develop, this helping to push temperatures once more well into the mid-twenties, and it would remain bright throughout the evening. Clear spells overnight but still remaining fairly warm and muggy.

23rd July 2016, Saturday
13.9 C to 24.7 C / 0.0 mm / 5.0 hours / SE 1-2
A warm and bright day with alternating sunnier and cloudier periods, and with temperatures climbing up into the mid-twenties it felt rather warm, especially with little in the way of any breeze. Becoming cloudier in the evening and remaining mostly cloudy throughout the night, whilst by dawn it would also become a little misty, something which has been rather rare this summer.

The barley harvest in now underway in the local area with a few fields having been collected recently. The wheat is also goldening nicely, the recent sunshine and heat being perfect for this most important and valuable of the local crops.

24th July 2016, Sunday
13.9 C to 23.9 C / 0.0 mm / 4.3 hours / SW 3
A grey and misty start to the morning but soon brightening up by mid-morning with some sunny spells developing in the second half of the morning. Remaining bright and warm into the afternoon, indeed it would feel quite muggy for a time, but cloud would increase later with rain threatening by the end of the afternoon. However in the end this threat would come to nothing, bar the odd drop or two, and overnight skies would begin to clear with clear skies by dawn.

A Hawker species of dragonfly was in the garden today (probably Southern Hawker), this being the first Hawker of the year at Woldgarth. Meanwhile the barley harvest continues apace throughout the local countryside, whilst up in Ryedale many fields have not only been harvested but also baled and in a few cases already cleared in preparation for ploughing! A less welcome sight meanwhile was a dead Badger near Cherry Burton, this species being relatively uncommon in the countryside surrounding Beverley.

25th July 2016, Monday
14.4 C to 20.6 C / 0.0 mm / 7.1 hours / W 3-4
A sunny and clement summer's day with plenty of sunshine to enjoy, the fresher feel and somewhat lower temperatures making it feel particularly pleasant after all the recent heat. More in the way of cloud in the second half of the afternoon but remaining bright nevertheless, with variable amounts of cloud in the evening and overnight.

Grosmont - An interesting species of jumping Spider was found on the outside wall of the cottage, this probably being a Sitticus pubescens. I thought I had come across this spider earlier in the year but today I had a better and longer view which allowed me to more accurately identify this attractive and distinctive species. Meanwhile the river, which is currently very low, hosted a few jumping fish, most of which seemed rather small, whilst the riverbank had a few species of wildflower in bloom, including the attractive purple spikes of Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica). Less welcome however was a dead Jackdaw in the living room, the poor bird having obviously becoming trapped after falling down the chimney a few days ago. It did produce a fair bit of mess but nothing too bad.

Stape - A summer walk in the area around Raindale Head and Cropton Forest Lodge brought some nice sightings, including an abundance of wildflowers. Common Spotted Orchids were particularly plentiful, as were Knapweeds, Yellow-rattle, Tufted Vetch, Meadow Vetchling, Scabious, and my favourite, the diminutive Eyebrights. These flowers attracted a decent number of butterflies and moths, especially Meadow Browns, but other species included Ringlet, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and at least two species of White. Both Six-spot and Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moths were also noted along the walk, these being the first I have seen of either this year, whilst the woods were absolutely full of moths. This would certainly be a wonderful location for moth trapping, at least in summer!

Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet (Zygaena lonicerae)

26th July 2016, Tuesday
12.0 C to 21.6 C / 4.6 mm / 1.8 hours / SW 2-3
A bright and sunny start but becoming ever cloudier as the morning wore on. Indeed by the afternoon it had become cloudy, though despite the grey skies it was bright enough with temperatures still reaching a warm 21.6 C. Cloud continuing to thicken in the evening and overnight with some outbreaks of rain arriving towards the end of the night. This was the first measurable rainfall at the weather station for 12 days.

27th July 2016, Wednesday
15.8 C to 22.8 C / 0.0 mm / 6.0 hours / W 2-3
A damp start with outbreaks of rain, these heavy at first, but by mid-morning things would begin to quickly improve with sunny spells soon developing. Variable amounts of cloud in the afternoon with some cloudier periods from time to time, but otherwise it was mostly fine with plenty of summer sunshine to enjoy. Clear spells in the evening and overnight though cloud would increase towards the end of the night.

A medium sized species of Hemiptera was found crawling on the kitchen window in this evening, this turning out to be an example of Deroeocoris flavilinea, a new species to me. This species is a relatively new arrival to the British Isles but has already become common in most of southern and central Britain, including parts Yorkshire and VC61.

28th July 2016, Thursday
12.2 C to 20.2 C / 1.0 mm / 2.4 hours / SW 1-2
After an initially cloudy start it would soon brighten up with some pleasant spells of sunshine for a time in mid-morning. However cloud would increase again by midday, this cloud becoming thick enough for some patchy rain and drizzle during the afternoon and the first half of the evening. Becoming drier by dusk but remaining mostly cloudy for the remainder of the night, though it did also become misty for a time. Cloud thickening again by dawn with outbreaks of rain returning.

29th July 2016, Friday
13.7 C to 19.8 C / 3.4 mm / 2.2 hours / N 3
A cloudy morning with outbreaks of rain and/or drizzle, some of which were quite heavy (5.8 mm/h), but by midday things would begin to improve and brighten up with some sunny spells in the first half of the afternoon. However cloud would increase again later with mostly cloudy skies for the rest of the day, this bringing some outbreaks of rain shortly after dusk and during the first part of the night. Clearing by midnight with some clearer periods managing to develop by dawn.

30th July 2016, Saturday
11.1 C to 22.3 C / 0.0 mm / 8.5 hours / W 4
A mostly fine summer's day with plenty of sunny spells and temperatures around normal for the time of year. Indeed by the end of the day it had become mostly clear and it would remain so throughout the evening and overnight.

The herbaceous flower bed is still attracting large numbers of bumblebees, especially Carder and Early Bumblebees, the latter looking especially attractive and fresh in recent days. A few more Red-tailed Bumblebees have also been spotted in recent days.

31st July 2016, Sunday
10.3 C to 20.8 C / 0.0 mm / 7.9 hours / W 4
A fine morning with plenty of sunshine but by midday cloud amounts would begin to increase with mostly cloudy skies for much of the afternoon. However in the evening some sunny spells would return to end the day, whilst overnight skies would become mostly clear again.

North Cliffe Wood - Our first visit to this lovely little nature reserve near Market Weighton for quite some time was taken on what was a sunny, if somewhat breezy morning. However the moderate breeze did help to keep the dreaded mosquitoes and horseflies at bay, at least for the most part, whilst the wood and heath were reasonably sheltered so that a decent number of butterflies and dragonflies were widely in evidence. Nevertheless the number of odonata was notably lower than what one would usually expect at this time of year, Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum) for example numbering in just single figures, whilst Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta) were also seen in only small numbers. However 4+ Brown Hawkers (Aeshna grandis) was a decent enough count of this always impressive and striking species, with a female additionally seen ovipositing in the heathland logoon, the level of which is still quite high considering that it is now high summer.

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

On the damselfly front a healthy number of Emerald Damselflies (Lestes sponsa) were encountered amongst the grasses surrounding the lagoon, including some lovely emerald green female specimens, though numbers were again perhaps not as high as they have been in recent summers (certainly less than a hundred anyway). A few Blue-tailed Damselflies (Ischnura elegans) were also found, as was a single Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) but interestingly I was unable to locate any Common Blues. Meanwhile butterflies were about in reasonable numbers, Gatekeepers (Pyronia tithonus) proving to be particularly common along the western path and out on the heath, whilst other species included Ringlet (10+), Meadow Brown (5+), Red Admiral (3+), Brimstone (1), Speckled Wood (x1), Green-veined White and Large White.

Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Further observations of interest included the "ling" heather (Calluna vulgaris) coming into flower out on the heath, this hopefully helping to draw in more butterflies, including the lovely Small Coppers, in the coming weeks, whilst the berries on the rowan trees are already beginning to ripen, especially out on the open heath. Birds included a few late singing Willow warblers & Chiffchaffs, whilst reserve specialists such as Jay, Marsh Tit and Treecreeper were all recorded. Buzzards were also seen and heard whilst I also thought that I heard a Hobby fly over at one point, a summer visiting raptor which has become a regular sighting in this area during the last three or four years.

Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

July 2016 Weather Report
A warm, dry and relatively sunny month with a short heatwave during the middle of the month seeing temperatures climb above 80 degrees with a high of 29.8 C (85.6 F) on the 19th, the third highest temperature ever recorded at the weather station (since 2003). The night which followed (19th/20th) meanwhile become the warmest ever July night on the records, a minimum of just 17.8 C also coming close to beating the highest ever minimum ever recorded here at Woldgarth. However overall the month concluded only about 1.1 C above the 1981-2010 average, the more unsettled and cooler conditions at the start of the month keeping things pegged back just a bit.

Rainfall wise the month was predominantly dry with just 10 days seeing rainfall in excess of 1 mm, and indeed most of the monthly total of 37.5 mm (1.48 inches) came during the first week of the month, including 11.1 mm (0.44 inches) from a torrential shower on the evening of the 7th in which a peak rainfall rate of 82.2 mm/h was recorded. However a thunderstorm on the 1st, which was accompanied by hail, brought even heavier rain with a rainfall rate of 96.0 mm/h being recorded via the Davis Vantage Pro 2 AWS. However the middle of the month was much more settled, including a 12 day period from the 14th to the 25th which saw no rain whatsoever, whilst overall just three-quarters of the long term average rainfall was recorded this month.

The dominance of westerly and south-westerly winds during the month (87%) suggests that this would have been an Atlantic dominated month, such weather in summer often bringing cloud, rain and muggy conditions, but in the end the month saw slightly more sunshine than usual, with 200.7 hours being recorded in total at roughly an average of about 6.5 hours a day. Indeed no sunless days at all were recorded (in contrast to the 5 recorded during the past June), and the middle of the month was particularly blessed with an abundance of sunshine, this coinciding with the short heatwave which saw temperatures climb up to nearly 30 C.

JULY 2016
Average Temperature
 17.4 C
 +1.1 C
Average Maximum
 22.0 C

Average Minimum
 12.8 C

Highest Maximum
 29.8 C
Lowest Maximum
 18.5 C
Highest Minimum
 17.8 C
Lowest Minimum
 7.8 C
 2nd & 4th
Air Frosts

Grass Frosts

Frost duration

Total Rainfall
 37.5 mm
Maximum total
 11.1 mm
Days =>0.2 mm

Days =>1.0 mm

Days =>10.0 mm

Total rain duration
 32 hours

Total Sunshine
 200.7 hours
Average per day
 6.47 hours

Sunless days

Average Wind Speed
 1.9 knots

Maximum gust
 29 knots
 8th & 16th

Days with Fog

Days with Thunder

Days with Hail

Days with Snow

Days with Snow lying

Maximum Snow depth

Snow Index