July is a great month to explore the British countryside and coastline, from the New Forest and Exmoor National Parks, through the sandy beaches of Norfolk and Northumberland, to the mountains of Scotland and the Northern Isles, so this month we focus on the wildlife, plants and landscapes of our popular holiday regions. Visitors to Shetland may see skuas pursuing Arctic terns, as well as black guillemots, puffins and many nesting waders. On the high tops of the Cairngorms ptarmigan and mountain hare are well camouflaged amongst granite boulders, and in Highland lochs and rivers young ospreys and red-throated divers are learning to fish. Migratory butterflies arrive from southern Europe - painted ladies feed on thistles and knapweed and in some years the exotic clouded yellow is quite widespread. Purple emperors and swallowtails are also on the wing, our two most spectacular native butterflies. On Dorset heathlands the rare sand lizard is active and Dartford warblers call from gorse bushes, while glow-worms advertise for mates in areas away from artificial light and nightjars churr on warm evenings. Kestrels, little owls and barn owls are busy feeding on small rodents which abound in cornfields and pastures. In Scottish forests pine martens are on the lookout for young red squirrels, and around the coasts the sharp-eyed may glimpse fishing otters and sea eagles.
Danny Green / 2020VISION / Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) cub in late evening light, Leicestershire, England, UK, July
Ben Hall / 2020VISION / Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata) perched on Heather twig, Arne RSPB reserve, Dorset, UK, July. 2020VISION Book Plate.
Laurie Campbell / Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) buck / male in summer coat, Strathspey, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, July
Alex Mustard / 2020VISION / Portrait of a young Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, North Sea, July
Andy Rouse / RF- European Badger (Meles meles) portrait. Wales, July. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty free.)
Fergus Gill / 2020VISION / Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) sub-adult leveret, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, UK, July. 2020VISION Book Plate. Did you know? Mountain hares have been in the UK for over 100,000 years - much lon...
Terry Whittaker / 2020VISION / Pine marten (Martes martes) two 4-5 month kits running along branch of tree in caledonian forest, The Black Isle, Highlands, Scotland, UK, July. Photographer quote: 'Watching a family of young pine ma...
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Osprey (Pandion haliaeetus) in flight, fishing at dawn, Rothiemurchus forest, Cairngorms NP, Scotland, UK, July. 2020VISION Book Plate.
Gary K. Smith / Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) on headland of field of Barley. Norfolk, UK, July.
Guy Edwardes / 2020VISION / Fence bordering field of Wheat and track with Halnaker Windmill in the background, Chichester, South Downs National Park, Sussex, England, UK, July 2011, 01367059 is a monochrome copy of this image
Fergus Gill / 2020VISION / European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) collecting pollen and nectar from Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum). Perthshire, Scotland, July.
Laurie Campbell / Puffin (Fratercula arctica) calling, Lunga Island, Treshnish Isles off Mull, Inner Hebrides, Scotland, July