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Wildlife To See In July

Female bats will have young at this time and roost together in maternity roosts. Look out for Pipistrelles emerging about 30 minutes after sunset.

Hopefully we will all have lots of Ladybirds in the garden munching on Aphids. BBC Breathing Places and CEH are running Ladybird Surveys, Ladybird Survey ( Identification sheet pdf ) in the Help Wildlife, Surveys section.

Dragonflies and Damselflies are flying now. There is an excellent leaflet by Natural England that you can download Dragonflies And Damselflies In Your Garden   (PDF) . It has an identification chart and lots of information on attracting them to your garden.

Swallows and Martins will be on their second broods now, possibly being helped by individuals from their first brood.

The stunning Elephant Hawk Moth and Humming bird Hawkmoths can sometimes be found feeding on Honeysuckle Flowers, at night the flowers heady scent increases attracting them to feed.

Families of weasels can sometimes be seen crossing quiet country roads ( although I have seen them playing by the side of the A59 ). Young stay with Mum for at least two months after they are born, learning their hunting skills.

The hot weather can cause some of our favourite mammals problems. A hedgehog out during the day in summer may be a female with young unable to find enough wild food. Offer them water (never milk) and cat or dog food, or if you can, hedgehog food, which is now available in some pet shops. Hot dry summers can also be really hard on badger and fox cubs,both of which tend to rely more on worms and other invertebrates for food than adults, hard baked soil makes life very hard for them. Sightings of badgers can increase as they come out to forage earlier or even during the day, as food becomes hard to come by.

Its a good time of year to see young raptors. You can often hear young Tawny Owls well before you see them , insistently keewicking to be fed. Young Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kestrels sit on fence posts and in trees waiting to be fed. Hopefully the Hen Harrier chicks will have successfully fledged too.

Sika Deer, in their white spotted summer coats, will be suckling calves born in May or June. With the short nights you also have a better chance of seeing deer in daylight but you will have to get up early.

In the hedgerows and woods most trees and shrubs will have finished flowering except for Elder and the wild roses, but along road verges and field edges wild flowers will be in abundance with a succession of different species coming into flower. We must not forget the many types of grasses flowering and seeding at this time, for me mid summer is encapsulated by their flower heads fringed by morning or evening light gently swaying in the breeze.

July is also a good time to practice being a lazy naturalist on a sunny day simply sit or lie amongst grasses and wildflowers and wait for the mini beasts to come your way, I guarantee you will be amazed at what you will see.

Other Resources

www.whentowatchwildlife.org A good national general overview of what to see and when.

BBC wildlife gardening calendar

Lancashire Wildlife


Lancashire Wildlife

www.lancashirewildlife.org.uk created and maintained by Barrie Tyrer web design www.ribblesdale.net