Despite the cold short wintery days, you can still spot some amazing wildlife at this time of year! Here are five activities to try before Spring. Lets wrap up warm and go on a creature hunt!
Find Creepy Crawlies
Creepy crawlies are everywhere! Check under rocks, logs and in the holes or cracks in walls. Despite the cold weather there are still plenty to see, including; beetles, worms, slugs, woodlice, snails, spiders, ladybirds an centipedes. How many of these can you find and identify? Can you tell which ones are hibernating?
Build a Pitfall Trap
These are easy and fun to build, and you can release the animals unharmed. An ice cream tub is perfect. Dig a hole and set the tub so the lip is at the same level as the soil. Place a couple of twigs across the opening and cover the top to prevent the tub filling with water. Remember to check it regularly and remove it once you have finished.
Visit a Nature Reserve
In these cold winter months an ideal way to see birds is at a nature reserve. Often there are hides to provide shelter from the cold, and many have visitor centres providing information or activities. Look out for reserves on estuaries and lakes in particular as this a great time of year to see ducks geese and waders. Search Nature Reserves here.
Look for Footprints and Tracks
Identify which animals live around you by learning to recognise some of their tracks and signs. These can include footprints, chewed remains of nuts, seeds or pinecones and of course….poops! Good places to look for tracks include, muddy areas around water or puddles, on wet sand at the beach and in the snow!
Feed the Birds
At this time of year hungry birds will be very pleased with food left for them in your garden. They love peanuts, seed mix and fat balls. Fat balls can be inexpensive and fun to make with lard, seeds and dried fruits. Simply create a lard ball and roll it in seeds!