We had a lovely weekend here with sunshine and blue skies. The flowers have started to bloom due to the warmer weather. Have you seen more flowers in your Wildsquare?
The official first day of spring was not spring like at all, but had mist, fog, snow and freezing temperatures. This has meant alot of flowers and trees were late to bud and some animals have not come out of hibernation.
Hopefully you will have been able to see some signs of spring on your survey. You have till the 30th April to go out into your Wildsquare to see the wildlife on your survey sheets.
Spring is a wonderful time of year to be getting outside. All around you nature is coming back to life after slowing down for the winter. Leaves are appearing, insects are hatching or coming out of hibernation, flowers are coming up and all sorts of animals are having babies. A lot of animals have babies in the spring when there is plenty of food for them to eat.
This is the time of year when the trees and bushes produce new leaves. They start off very tiny and pale green but quickly grow into new leaves. Different trees grow leaves at different times. Some trees blossom in the spring too.
In this Wildsquare survey we will be asking you to look for the first signs of spring. It is a great time to be out doing your survey and learning about the new life all around us.
How many of these birds have you seen?
You often see more birds in the winter than the summer, there isn’t much food around and the days are shorter so they have to spend more time finding things to eat. There are also fewer leaves in the trees for them to hide behind.
Can you hear any of these birds singing?
This is a good time of year to listen to bird song, you can hear each bird singing individually rather than in the summer when all the birds are competing with each other to sing as loudly as they can.
All the birds in the list have very distinctive song, if you don’t know what it sounds like have a listen at http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/a/ before you go out to do your survey.
Are there any of these things around when you do your survey?
Getting outdoors when it’s really cold is very rewarding, especially when all the plants are covered in a layer of silvery frost.
a) Spiders webs
c) Frost crystals
e) Crunchy frozen grass
f) Piles of dead leaves
We have all had plenty of snow over the last few weeks and it has probably made alot of the wildlife you are looking for hide away.
Let us know what you have seen and how the snow has affected your survey.
Have you still been out in the snow to try to see the birds on your latest Wildsquare survey
Some people recognise birds by their songs rather than by their appearance. Many birds are small and can be hidden by the leaves on trees, this means it is very helpful to be able to know the bird from its song. Our Wildsquare survey asks you not only to look for the birds but to listen for them too.
Birds will communicate for different reasons, they may be trying to impress or attract a mate, declare territorial boundaries, identify family members, make known the presence of a predator or pass on information about the location of food.
Most birds use a variety of sounds to send these messages. Typical sounds fall into two main groups: relatively long and intricate songs, used to attract a mate or declare territorial boundaries; and shorter calls, used to identify family members or show the presence of a predator.
One of the best ways to learn about birds and their song is to go outside and stand with your eyes closed and just listen to the calls. It is amazing how your hearing becomes much more aware of the noises, when that is the only sense you are using.