July 2019: Weather and wildlife

The River Tern in flood at Attingham Park

Sunshine and showers. We’re used to a bit of varied weather living in the UK, but what effect does it have on nature around us?

These past few months have seen some rather spectacular displays of changing weather, particularly here at Attingham. Heavy rains have meant that we’ve occasionally had flooding across the park, with one occasion forcing us to close the Deer Park as water had covered the footpath to get there.

The fluctuations in weather has also brought in a variety of bird species. Oystercatchers and lapwings have been seen using different areas of our farmland as nesting sites. A testament also to how management practices are helping to support these animals.

Oystercatchers have been seen nesting in areas across the estate.
An Oystercatcher
Oystercatchers have been seen nesting in areas across the estate.

Another, more usual area, for birds to nest we discovered was in the cab of our JCB! When going to use it one morning we noticed a robin emerging and, upon closer inspection, discovered a nest had been made and several chicks inside it.

A surprising discovery of a robin nest in the cab of the Rangers' JCB.
A robin's nest inside the cab of a JCB
A surprising discovery of a robin nest in the cab of the Rangers' JCB.

Once the weather started to pick up the bees were out in force across the estate, gathering nectar. Any particularly dense patch of flowers would be alive with a humming that could be heard from a distance.

As the sunny weather continues, we’re starting to see more and more butterflies and day-flying moths (yes they come out in the day too!). Some particular favourites are the red admiral and the scarlet tiger moth.

A Red Admiral butterfly spotted on the estate at Attingham.
A Red Admiral butterfly
A Red Admiral butterfly spotted on the estate at Attingham.

So the next time you’re out and about, either with brolly at the ready for the dark clouds in the distance, or sunglasses on for the blue sky overhead; take a stop every now and then to have a look around you. Whatever the weather, you’ll be sure to find something else out along with you.