Our top 10 wildlife sightings for April

Blackbird by David Tipling/2020VISION

Spring is in full swing, insects are emerging from winter hibernation, flowers are blooming, and birds are singing. How many of our 10 species will you see or hear this April?

As we’re all now at home for the time being, we thought this month we’d focus on wildlife that you might see in your garden or local park in spring.

Blackbird

Blackbird by David Tipling/2020VISION

Dawn chorus

Set your alarm extra early once a year to listen to nature’s symphony, the dawn chorus. The dawn chorus doesn’t just happen out in the countryside, our garden birds start to sing too as they're looking for a mate and claiming their territories.

Reserves ecology officer, Colin Williams thinks the dawn chorus is “vibrant and uplifting; it’s powerful and melodic; it’s soothing, yet it’s stimulating”.

Don’t worry about trying to work out which bird is which, just absorb the lovely natural music and start your day off with this beautiful sound.

Blackcap

Blackcap by David Tipling/2020VISION

Blackcaps

Joining regular garden visitors, you might hear the lovely melody of a blackcap. These are greyish birds about the size of a robin. The males have a black cap and the females a brown one.

Have a listen to their song:

In spring you never know which other birds might visit your garden. Here are some of the most common birds you might see, but as spring migrants are returning from winters in warmer countries keep an eye out for more unusual visitors, and don’t forget to look up and see what’s flying overhead.

Peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly by Les Binns

Early butterflies

Sunny days are bringing out butterflies. Some butterflies have spent the winter as adults and are now flying around looking for a mate. You might see peacocks, commas, small tortoiseshell and red admirals flying in your garden.

Did you know that their caterpillars feed on nettles, so keep a patch of wild garden including some nettles to help these butterflies.

How to grow a wild patch

Beefly

Beefly by Mick Jones

Bee-flies

Our largest and most common bee-fly, the dark-edged bee-fly looks just like a bumblebee, and buzzes like one too! It feeds on flowers like primroses and violets in gardens, parks and woodlands.

Buff tailed bumblebee

Buff tailed bumblebee by Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

Queen bumblebees

The queen bees are now emerging from their winter hibernations and looking for somewhere to make their nest. Look out for them as they feed on nectar and search for somewhere to good nest site. You could help them by making a simple nest for your garden.

Common pipistrelle

Common pipistrelle by Tom Marshall

Bats

On warm evenings bats will be out flying around over gardens and parks looking for insects to eat. One of most common bats you'll see is the common pipistrelle. Even though these are tiny they can eat around 3,000 insects every night!

Find out more about bats

Tadpole

Tadpole by Richard Burkmar

Tadpoles

Have you got a garden pond? Did you have frogspawn and toadspawn – look out for the tadpoles and toadpoles swimming around, slowly developing into adult frogs and toads.

If you don’t have a pond, but would like to make one, here’s our how to guide for creating a pond. It’s one of the best additions to a garden for wildlife.

Hedgehog on mossy log

Hedgehog on mossy log by Coatesy for Shutterstock

Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs will be waking from their winter hibernation and looking for food to eat in gardens. To help them move around your neighbourhood you could make a hedgehog hole in your fence – don't forget to speak to your neighbour first! Why not see if you can get the whole street do the same so your gardens can all be linked for hedgehogs, helping them to roam around and find food.  

How to create a hedgehog hole

Ladybird

Seven spot ladybird by Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Ladybirds

Ladybirds are a gardeners friend, feasting on aphids. The seven-spot ladybird is the most familiar, with red wing cases and seven black spots. Did you know there are actually more than 40 species of ladybird in the UK! Here are some to look out for. 

Large red damselflies

Large red damselflies by Andy Fairbairn

Large red damselflies

These are the earliest damselflies to emerge in the UK, appearing in March or April and flying until late summer, and one of our most common species.

If you've got a pond in your garden, you may see them flying around looking for a pond to breed in. Even if you have a tiny outdoor space you can still have a pond.

How to make a mini pond

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Share your stories, sightings and ideas with us too. Tag us with @BBOWT and #EverydayWildlife.

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You can join our friendly Facebook group to share photos of wildlife that you’ve seen in your garden, get help identifying any you’re not sure about, and share ideas for getting your daily dose of nature.

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Get our newsletter. We’re sending out a regular email full of things to inspire and uplift you. Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing lots of lovely things, including:

•    Activities for children at home
•    Tips on how to enjoy nature during self-isolation
•    Gardening tips (including indoors if you don’t have a garden)
•    Things to read and listen to

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