Drought conditions continued well into August, after a July that brought a measly six millimetres of rain to my Royston garden. Grasses turned pale brown as temperatures soared again to 29C by the end of the first week. Both birds and insects were hard to find, the latter having to search hard for nectar in the few remaining flowers. My search for 200 invertebrate species on my 'local patch' became progressively harder, although I was able to add common darter, migrant hawker, brown hawker and (male and female) banded demoiselle dragonflies to the list. Common darters were also seen and photographed when I visited RSPB Sandy on the 3rd. As usual, small red-eyed damselflies were seen in the large, old pond in the gardens at Sandy.
I saw the first of the second generation Adonis blues (a male) on Church Hill on the 5th. At least two males were also on the wing when I visited the Old Rifle Range on the 8th. Common blue and brown argus butterflies were seen in decent numbers, both on The Heath and at known sites to the south of Royston, understandably preferring to stay in the few remaining greener, shadier areas. Leaving the bathroom light on after dark served as a decent 'moth trap', attracting a variety of species (of course the moths were free to leave once the light was turned off). At the beginning of the month there was a surge in numbers of a rather attractive fly (if flies can ever be considered attractive), ereothrix rufomaculata, which could often be seen crawling around on top of ragwort flowers (image below).