July is the peak time for wildflowers and therefore it’s a great time to observe the insects, butterflies and bees that feed on them.
Dragonflies are abundant during this season, with around a dozen common British species look out for. The smaller damselfly has only eight different variations. Look out for them over any water in your garden or in the New Forest anytime between now and September. They are best spotted on warm, still days and come out when the sun is high, so after mid-morning. Try to take a good look at their wings for any markings, and the colour and shape of their abdomens of you want to tell the difference. There are many resources online to help you identify the species and do more research.
Another interesting species to examine in this hot weather is the moth. With over two and a half thousand different species in Britain, there’s plenty to learn about these night-time fliers. You will easily see them attracted to outdoor lights or windows, but it is relatively simple to make a ‘moth trap’ and investigate them a little more. If you drape a white sheet over a chair outside and simply shine a torch on it, you will attract quite a few. The best time is during the warm, humid summer nights. You can get a closer look at their wings and patterns and try and identify them.
I recommend the site https://butterfly-conservation.org/ to help with identification of butterflies and moths and you can get involved by recording any sightings online.
Another recommendation would be the fantastic Springwatch website with hundreds of tips and words of advice from the experts, including our local residents Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qgm3
It’s been a difficult time with most of us confined to our homes and enjoying wildlife has been a way of connecting ourselves to the outside world. Keep doing your bit for nature, get involved, learn and stay safe and well.