As life continued under the shadow of lockdown, the months have ticked along and nature carried on as normal. The June weather was wet and cold. Interestingly, Flaming June is a painting by Sir Frederick Leighton, painted in 1895. There was no flaming June in remote Scotland especially in the remote areas like Corrievarkie.

Abundance of nature in remote Scotland

The remote countryside was a busy place as June is one of the most productive months for animals rearing their young. The herds of red deer stags spent most their time on the high tops but smaller groups of hinds became more obvious in the stag territories. Single hinds branched off, and reappeared a week or so later with a calf at foot. The deer herds are blended communities with stags, hinds, new calves, last year’s followers, and older hinds. It’s one of the many rewards of remote living, being able to see the lifecycle of wildlife.

Red deer hinds with calves at foot crossing the burn

Summer changes in Red Stags

Red deer stag with velvet covered new antlers

The stags have changed, most noticeably is the antler growth, and the finer summer coats. More detailed observations are the light-coloured eyelids of the stags and the lack of the thick furry neck. At dusk some stags grazed close to the house, engaging in boxing with others, and a few have been seen running about and bucking like a horse. One young stag startled by another, ‘pronked’ away from the perceived danger. This is the first time I’d seen a red deer pronk. Despite the lack of flaming June in remote Scotland, the extended evening light was welcome.

Garden and Bird activity in Flaming June

The garden has been a hive of bird and rabbit activity as they both continue to rear their young. Most days there are young rabbits, Siskins, Blue tits, Great tits, Chaffinches, a single Bullfinch, Wagtails, Thrushes, and Sandpipers. On Saturday evening a Sparrow Hawk made a brief appearance. The female Sandpiper sat in the grass with her wings spread and her two chicks underneath, sheltering from the rain. Rain has been a prominent feature of June. Sadly, the Oyster Catchers have no young as Seagulls predated on their loch side nest.

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