The settled, warm weather continued throughout the majority of the month and most of my free time was spent at taking advantage of it at my local reserves: Attenborough, Straw's Bridge and the slightly more distant Drakelow.
The Great Reed Warbler continued to sing from his small patch of reeds at Straw's Bridge until the middle of the month.
Whilst the Great Reed Warbler unsurprisingly failed to attract a mate, most of the other birds at Straw's Bridge were busy raising their chicks.
Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)
Water Crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis)
Dragonflies and damselflies were enjoying the warm weather, basking in the sun at the edge of their breeding ponds...
Banded Demoiselles were the commonest Odonata species at Drakelow towards the end of the month, with at least 30 seen along one 100m stretch of path.
At midsummer's weekend, I took a spur-of-the-moment decision to go on a hiking trip in the Scottish Highlands. After an all night drive to Braemar, I parked at the Linn of Dee and camped approximately 7km upstream in the vicinity of the dubiously named "Chest of Dee".
After erecting my tent by the riverside, I had a couple of hours rest to recover from a night without sleep before heading out for a 12 hour hike up Glen Dee and Glen Geusachan. As is always the case in the Highlands, wildlife was a bit sparse and apart from a hunting Short-eared Owl and an occasional Red Grouse, the only company I had on the walk were the numerous Meadow Pipits and Wheatears.
The Sunday was much less energetic, and I spent the morning recuperating beside the river before breaking camp and hiking back to the car for the long drive back south.
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