Welcome to the monthly round-up from the Tadorna Wildlife Hub. We’re looking forward to Spring and already seeing signs of activity around the Hub including buzzing bees and nesting birds!
You can keep regularly up to date with any sightings from the Garden and NNR, as well as seasonal highlights by popping into our Wildlife Hub (11 on your map).
First Willow Warbler was heard singing at the bottom of Fairy Woods on the 2nd April. The first weekend also provided several other Spring migrants returning to spend their summer months with us; Blackcaps, Barn Swallows and Chiffchaffs were all noted. Later in the month more returning migrants such as House martin and Garden warbler arrived.
We have also been following a pair of Mistle thrush that are nesting near the playground. The Female incubated her eggs for the first 2 weeks of April and they hatched near the end of the month. They are currently feeding 3 hungry chicks!
A Stoat was seen near the Gatehouse entrance on the first weekend of the month, whilst mammals are generally waking up at this time, we are still seeing activity from some species.
Butterflies, Bees & Moths:
Warm, sunny weather during the Easter period has allowed many spring insects to emerge. We have seen good numbers of Clarke’s mining bee along with their cleptoparasite, Early nomad bee. Nomad bees, which resemble a small wasp, lay their eggs in the nests of solitary bees and the larvae steal the food supply intended for their host.
Bumblebees have emerged too, with 4 different species seen during the month. The commonest of these is the Buff tailed bumblebee, which can be seen visiting spring flowers and searching for nesting sites in banks and old trees. The doubled walled garden and Wallace garden are both great places to find emerging bees.
During the warmer nights our moth trap has attracted some fantastic spring moths. Most of the species are designed to blend in with the dull colours of early spring but some species have beautiful markings, such as the Brindled beauty and Early thorn.
On the 16th we had very special visitor to the trap, a female Emperor moth! The males fly around in spring sunshine but the females are rarely seen and are one of the largest moths in Britain. Be sure to visit the hub to check out our catches!
Butterflies have remained elusive but we have seen recently emerged individuals of Holly blue, Speckled wood and Brimstone. Later in the month the first Orange-tip was seen on the 22nd.
Some wild and wonderful creatures have been encountered on our minibeast hunt during the month. We have found lots of Centipedes, Millipedes, Woodlice, Spiders, Beetles and one lucky group even found a Common toad!
Our pond dipping sessions have also been a great success. The ponds are home to good numbers of both juvenile and adult Palmate newt along with Dragonfly and Damselfly larvae, Mayfly larvae, Pond snails and hundreds of Tadpoles. If your lucky you might even find a Great diving beetle which we have found on a few of our sessions.
At this time of the year the woodlands are alive with plants making the most of the sunlight, before the canopy begins to shade them out. Fairy woods has been carpeted with the white flowers of Wood anemone along with the yellow of Lesser celandine. Looking closer you may see less showy but equally important woodland plants such as Dog’s mercury, Common dog violet and Lords and ladies. The thin green leaves of Bluebell are also numerous ready for then bloom of purple flowers in weeks to come.
Written By: Education Assistant Tate