August >>

<< June

Mouse over species links for pictures;
click links for detail page


sees the emergence of all sorts of insects, fuelled by midsummer flowers such as black knapweed and thistles. Go to wetland nature reserves like Woodham Fen, Sawbridgeworth Marsh, Rushy Mead or Roman River Valley to see dragonflies. Visit Hitchcocks Meadows or Stow Maries Halt nature reserves to see glow-worms.

You can make your garden more attractive to insects by planting nectar-rich flowers such as candytuft, echium or verbena. If you put in some night-scented plants, go out after dark with a torch to see which moths are visiting the flowers. Some moths fly by day: look out for cinnabar moths and for their orange-and-black caterpillars on ragwort plants.

Songbirds are much quieter now that the main business of raising a family is over. Tits and finches search for food in small flocks known as feeding parties, and this is a time when goldfinches often visit gardens looking for seeds.

On rivers and water bodies young ducks, grebes and goosanders are about with their parents – Hanningfield and Abberton Reservoirs are good places to see them.

Sea lavender comes into flower on the saltmarsh, and yellow horned-poppy and sea kale on the shingle: visit Bradwell Shell Bank, Cudmore Grove or The Naze.

Photo © Tony Gunton

Wetland areas are usually at their best for flowers and insects in midsummer: try Chigborough Lakes, Waterhall Meadows or Cranham Marsh. You may still have time to see the wildflower meadows at Bedfords Park, Hunsdon Mead or Roding Valley Meadows before the hay is cut.