June in the Cairngorms

As we leave June, midway through the year, lets look at what wildlife was seen in the Cairngorms National Park this month. We have all been exploring our surrounding further and taking notice of nature in our gardens and on our nearby walks. Daylight saving means that evenings were light until around 11pm, providing some great sunsets and evening strolls.

Sunset

As spring rolls into summer, the loud and apparent birds quieten down as they feed their young in nests. Through June we have noticed a lot of fledglings in the garden with the constant begging calls to parents who have frantically visited feeders to feed their young. The Blackbirds in the garden are the most vocal as they follow parents about, even using my doorstep to vocalise. Watching young birds as they grow and learn to feed themselves is a joy to observe. Other young including these Treecreepers still in their nest, a Spotted Flycatcher and the many Great Spotted Woodpeckers with their red caps learning to feed on the garden nuts.

Poplar Hawkmoth (Kate M)

As mentioned in last month’s blog and our recent extended live video on Facebook, using a moth trap is a great way to see these insects and this month has provided with more impressive moths like this Poplar Hawkmoth. During daylight hours on a sunny day, butterflies use heathland and gardens full of flowers to feed.  Each butterfly has unique patterns and colours to observe and the Butterfly Conservation have great guides you can look at for your area.

Blanket of Bog Cotton (Kate M)

In the damp peaty plains of heather and clear-felling, Bog cotton also known as cotton grass, spreads and creates a white carpet across the landscape. Even in a slight breeze, the stems sway in the wind which is relaxing to watch. There has been a big expanse this year being observed all over the park and it is thought that the lack of rain in early spring has contributed to this with rain arriving just as they began to grow. The flowering head of cotton grass was once used as filling to pillows and dressings in the first world war.

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