After being away for a few weeks it’s amazing to see the transformation from June to July in the valley.

Upper part of the amazing Tong Park estate: a sea of wildflowers

Instead of yellow Rattle and Birdsfoot Trefoil we’re now purple in a big way: Knapweed, Betony and Selfheal. Apart from the Ragwort…still nice.

The Knapweed especially is alive with Meadow Browns, Small Skippers, Gatekeepers and lots of Painted Ladies.

Painted Lady on Knapweed

There have been hundreds of thousands of migrant Painted Ladies on the east coast in the last few days and we must be getting some of those.

The three Mandarin ducklings all seem to have survived; as have five cygnets on Tong Park dam. Kingfishers have presumably fledged too since they can be heard up and down the beck all day.

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