Five Wildlife Spectacles To Be Enjoyed in Late Summer

One of the best things about having a lovely garden is being able to get up close to some of the wildlife that shares our space. Here are a few of the spectacles to be enjoyed in the late summer in the UK:

Swallows

Swallows


Swallows are one of the quintessential sights of the summer and at this time of year you will often see these aerial acrobats swooping and wheeling and congregating on wires. These birds are coming together in preparation because soon they will be leaving for sunnier, warmer climes. Some swallows will go as far south as South Africa, staying there until next spring, when they will make the long journey north their breeding areas once more.

Common Frog

Frogs


Look out this month for frogs leaving your garden pond. Most of the tadpoles will have become juvenile frogs by the beginning of August and yo

ay find them catching insects in the grass. Be careful not to mow them! You may also see juvenile toads in the vicinity of your wildlife pond. u m

Take care to provide habitat suitable for the frog's entire life cycle and encourage them to live near your vegetable patch if you have one – frogs, and toads, are great helpers when it comes to pest control.



BatBats


As the sun goes down, you may well see plenty of beautiful bats swooping and darting over your garden. Take the time to go out in the twilight to enjoy their aerial antics. Pipistrelles are the most common of the smaller bats, while if you see something larger it may be a brown long-eared bat, which is the most widely distributed of the large bats in the UK. There is no way of telling for sure which sort of bat you are seeing, however, without a specialist bat detector which can tell species apart by the sounds they make. Bats are at their most active on warm summer evenings just after sunset, so head outside to see if there are any over your garden.


Swan and cygnetsSwans With Their Cygnets


Of course you are likely to see many fledglings and young birds over the course of the summer but perhaps one of the most charming sites at this time of year are the parent swans leading their cygnets along a river or another waterway. If you are lucky enough to have a stream or river running at the bottom of your garden then you may well be treated to such a sight, as well as to the sight of many other families of water birds.


Red Admiral on BuddleiaButterflies


Red admirals, small tortoiseshells, peacocks, painted ladies, commas, speckles woods and whites are just some of the butterflies that you can look for in your garden over the summer months. Encourage butterflies into your garden with butterfly friendly planting, rocks where butterflies can bask in the sun and a pond or small damp depression in the soil where they can 'mud-puddle', which is a behaviour displayed by some (usually male) butterflies. It is thought that they do drink water from these puddles but that the main reason that they come to these patches is for salts which aid the butterflies in a number of ways.

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