Saturday, April 29, 2017

17 Apr

What Wildlife to Expect this April!

We’ve had a stark contrast of weather this month, many of you will have experienced fantastic sunshine over the past few days while others are still feeling the harsh winter chill.

We hope you’ve had time to head out into the garden and look out for Toads, Butterflies, Beetles, Dragonflies and Birds. Have a look in your pond this month, you might be lucky enough to find ribbons of toad spawn floating below the surface. Toads migrate back to their birth place and lay their spawn this time of year. Soon you’ll find black tadpoles swimming around your pond, many will be eaten when they are small by goldfish (if you have them) but most should survive.

Kids love looking at a tadpole’s life journey and fishing some out using a glass won’t harm them at this stage (as long as you put them back!). Keep checking back and you’ll see them transform into tiny toads! Toads will eat any bugs smaller than their mouths, while tadpoles eat algae. There isn’t much you can do to provide food apart from leave your garden to provide it naturally. Also look out for Orange-tipped Butterflies. These beautiful Butterflies are, you’ve guessed it- orange tipped but they also have green leaf-like markings. All Orange-tipped Butterflies are male, the more discreet black-tipped females will appear later. Beetles may send your skin crawling but if you look closely they are actually quite beautiful creatures.

Look out for oval ground beetles which glint bronze in the sun. There are 40 well known species of Dragonfly in the UK, but a third of those are endangered. Dragonflies need your help this time of year- many breed in gardens so create a perfect pond environment full of floating, submerged and emergent plants. Different species enjoy different plants for laying their eggs and their larvae can use the plants as protection from any predators. It’s lovely waking up to the sound of birds in spring, so try to encourage them into your garden this time of year. Supply shelter, a place to breed and some energising food!


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