A disappointing and unseasonable wet cold windy May was not good news for nesting birds.

Swallows (pictured) swifts house and sand martins arriving to spend the summer here rely on airborne flies and spiderlings wafting aloft, but very few were hatching last month.

The tit family normally time their breeding cycle to coincide with an abundance of newly hatched moth caterpillars in a variety of trees, mainly oaks, but most caterpillars hatched late while others were washed off the leaves in heavy downpours.

Indeed, there were reports of blue tit fledglings being found dead in nest boxes for lack of food. Tits and swifts have only one brood each spring and sadly, swifts are already very scarce this year.

Fortunately swallows can produce up to four broods in a favourable summer while house and sand martins may also fit in a couple of broods so should fare better than many other species.

On the other hand, blackbirds and hopefully thrushes may not suffer because the wet weather suited worms and snails which those species rely on.

Butterflies too were unable to fly, mate and lay eggs without warm sunshine and I saw only five whites in the whole month in brief sunny spells when there should have been dozens on the wing.

As I write, June seems to be shaping up well so birds and butterflies should benefit from some much needed warm sunny days.