A ROLLING wake breaks the water surface here on the Devon estuary by Cambus, followed by a puffing noise as this grey seal expels air from its nostrils before diving under again.

The seal will be on the hunt for flounders and migrating salmon, but as I watch it, I wonder how it can see any fish in the muddy water; perhaps it uses its large whiskers to ‘feel’ for fish.

I suspect it will also know the best channels where fish tend to lurk and will be using this experience when hunting.

Along the path edge, yellow flowering tansy was still in full bloom. However, most other flowers are on the wilt and past their best, with berries and fungi now taking over with a new wave of colour.

A peacock butterfly lands on the path ahead of me, soaking up some late summer sun, before quickly taking to the air again and disappearing into the nearby Scottish Wildlife Trust Cambus Pools reserve.

Encroaching reeds that were choking the pools here have recently been cut back so that it is easier for wading birds and wildfowl to find food and shelter.

New cattle handling facilities have also been installed so the adjacent grassland can be grazed, helping both flowers and pollinating insects.

It’s a great piece of work and is really benefiting the wildlife. I watch moorhens out on the water, and I get talking to a passing local, who tells me that water rails have been seen here too.

On my way back, a painted lady butterfly catches the eye. They are long distance migrants from the continent and in some years are abundant, and in others less so. Over the last week or two, they have suddenly become quite numerous and it’s great to see them prospering.

There are other interesting butterflies about in the Wee County too at the moment, and near Blairlogie earlier this week I was delighted to find a pair of small coppers.

They are such exquisite and active little creatures, with a real zest for life and displaying wonderfully patterned orange wings.