Nesting is in full swing for most species but more so for the blue tit as these will be laying eggs and then feeding young towards the end of the month. You’ll know eggs have hatched as parents will be busy taking food into the nest box.
Nature’s Calendar: April
Spring has well and truly sprung. Mornings are filled with bird song and migrant birds arrive back on their territories ahead of a busy breeding season. Here are just a few things to look for.
Cuckoos are in steep decline but listen out through April as there is still a chance to hear this iconic bird. Named after its famous call although only the males shout ‘cuckoo'. Females make a bizarre bubbling sound usually when a male is nearby.
Cuckoo flower/lady’s smock
This spring flower often grows in damp meadows and is a quintessential spring species. Its name cuckoo flower derives from the time of year it flowers but, of course, cuckoo used to be much more common. An alternative name is lady’s smock.
Earlier in spring, we see species of butterfly that have overwintered but now look out for freshly emerging orange tips. Males have very distinctive orange tips to their wings but females are mostly white and could be confused with other species of white butterfly. Their foodplant is cuckoo flower so they are often seen together.
As days get warmer our reptiles get more active and one to look out for in the garden is the slow worm. It’s not a worm but a legless lizard and has devolved its legs. Look out for one warming up in a sunny spot or try popping down a small piece of felt, slate or tin near dense vegetation and they may use that as a warm refuge.
We won’t quite be expecting warm and balmy evenings but it’s certainly warm enough to tempt out bats at dusk to start feeding. Look high overhead for larger species such as serotine and noctule or in gardens for pipistrelles whizzing around catching insects.
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What's happening in the natural world? Your questions about what you might see are answered every month.