June’s weather has been a mixed bag again, some lovely warm sunny days and some not so lovely days – a typical Orcadian summer! We have moved into Phase 2 this month, so a little more freedom in terms of being able to exercise further afield, and we can meet 2 different households. There are still restrictions in place though, and a trip to Hoy and other islands is not possible unless you are visiting friends or family. I don’t think the eagles count as friends or family?! It is amazing being able to explore further afield again and I am certainly more appreciative of what we have to offer in Orkney.
I have been out on some fantastic walks this month and found lots more fabulous wildlife. June is a great month for wildflowers, and they really do seem to be having a fantastic season this year. The variety of colours and different colour combinations is amazing. I have learnt to identify some newish flowers this year – Heath Speedwell, Sea Milkwort, Sea Sandwort, Early Marsh Orchids and Twayblades to name a few.
I have had the pleasure of a Hedgehog visiting my garden and I really hope it is concentrating on reducing the slug population! Other garden birds include families of Blackbirds, Starlings, House Sparrows, Greenfinches and Stonechats, and a male Siskin who stayed for a few days. I have also seen a few Ghost Moths in my garden. I hadn’t heard about Ghost Moths till recently, and saw a post on Facebook after seeing one “dancing” in my garden at night, then I read that the males do this to attract a female, and it is known as lekking. It is so fascinating, worth having a look in your garden at night, and of course, up here it is light enough to do that.
I have managed to get out to the seabird cliffs with us moving into Phase 2, so I have finally caught up with Puffins. It has been really lovely to walk the clifftops again and see the variety of seabirds – Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets, Bonxies, Kittiwakes, etc.
There are lots of chicks just now too – Guillemots, Eiders, Curlews, Lapwings, and this very cute Snipe chick which I rescued the other day.
As I work towards re-opening on the 18th July, I will keep you updated with my progress on my website and Facebook page.