This is an important month for bird breeding activity with many trying to survive against the pressures of weather and predators. You can watch many species raising their young, but please take care not to disturb them. Look out for alarmed adult birds, especially Ringed Plover and Avocet, and move away. The best places to watch are from the hides, where the birds will behave naturally.
On the islands of Ternery Pool the gulls and terns will be feeding their young and the ducklings of Shelduck, Mallard and Gadwall will be feeding themselves. Wheatears will be feeding fledged young that have emerged from their underground nests.
Despite the time of year there are some waders, like Curlew, Green Sandpiper and Lapwing will arrive from further north after breeding. Teal, Shoveler and Sand Martins may also begin to return at the end of the month. It is the time for unusual visitors, which in recent years have included Purple Heron, Roseate Tern and Golden Oriole.
Some of the Reserve’s more striking plants will not flower until this month, including Bee and Pyramidal Orchids. The first half of the month is usually the best time to see the colourful floral display across the Beach Reserve. As the mass of white Sea Kale flowers begins to fade, others are bursting open: the large blue spikes of Viper’s Bugloss, the yellow flowers of Yellow Horned-poppy, Biting Stonecrop and Bird’s-foot Trefoil, the pink flowers of Red Valerian, Sea Heath and Thrift and the purple flowers of Ivy-leaved Toadflax, Sea Pea and Bittersweet.
Castle Water is the best place to see damselflies and dragonflies, the commonest being Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies and Black-tailed Skimmers. At the end of the month some grasshoppers may start to sing including Mottled Grasshopper, whose song resembles a watch being wound up.