Put your birding skills to the test this month as you trace out the several winged constellations that are currently gracing our evening skies. This celestial aviary includes Corvus (the crow) low on the western horizon and Grus (the crane) hovering just above the constellation Phoenix towards the south-east. Aquila (the eagle) soars upwards through the Milky Way Galaxy, pursued closely by Cygnus (the swan) near to the northern horizon.
Following the Milky Way, past Aquila, you will find the winter constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius directly overhead this month.
Continue along the Galactic path, past the Southern Cross with its two bright pointer stars Alpha and Beta Centauri, and you may spot the Great Carina Nebula (NGC 3372). This large bright emission nebula is a rich star-forming region, well-worth exploring with your binoculars.
Jupiter, in Ophiuchus (north of Scorpius) and Saturn, in Sagittarius, are both well-placed for observation throughout the night.
Mercury, in Cancer, is observable just before sunrise while Mars and Venus, both in Leo, are too close to the Sun to be observed.
The First Quarter Moon can be observed on 7th August, and the Last Quarter Moon on 23rd August. Full Moon takes place on 15th August, with a 'Black Moon' (the second New Moon of the month) on 30 August.