Now that the weather is improving and the days are getting longer, it won’t just be you that is enjoying your garden during the summer. You will start to notice a wider range of wildlife making an appearance in the garden. Here’s which types you can look out for and what to do to encourage them.
Wildlife to look out for
Butterflies- Butterflies will be in abundance in your garden now that summer is slowly appearing. Small tortoiseshells, red admirals, peacocks, painted ladies, small whites and speckled woods are just a few of the different types of butterflies you could expect to see in your garden this summer.
Fledglings- Summer is the time at which young birds start to leave their parents, so you will start to notice more of these in your garden. Remember that young birds have a different appearance to their adult counterparts. For example, young robins are brown with a speckled chest instead of brown with a red chest.
Bats-These are guaranteed to make an appearance in your garden this summer, wherever you live as it is the time at which they are most active. You will see them most just after the sun has set but will find it difficult to determine between different species unless you have a detector that can differentiate between the different noises.
Hedgehogs- As the weather warms up, you might see more hedgehogs around your garden once the sun has set. You probably won’t see any of these cute creatures if your garden is busy, however. In general, hedgehogs prefer more quiet areas.
How to encourage these animals
Butterflies- In general, you will attract butterflies and other insects into your garden with a variety of colourful plants. It is the bright colour of the petals that is so attractive to the insects. You should plant as many different flower varieties as possible and group the same species together, as different butterflies and insects will be attracted to different species of plants.
Fledglings- If you want to increase the number of young birds in your garden, you should try to provide them with everything they could need. This way they will see no reason to go elsewhere. A bird bath to provide them with water and a feeder for food is a good place to start, but a bird box so that they have shelter would also be a great idea.
Bats- The number of bats in your garden will increase if you create linear features, such as hedgerows or treelines as they are naturally attracted to these. Likewise, night scented flowers will create an element of interest for them and a bat box will give them somewhere to rest in your garden.
Hedgehogs- It is only possible for hedgehogs to get into your garden if they have access to do so, which means that a garden with hedges rather than fences is likely to have more hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are also attracted to gardens that aren’t overly maintained, longer grass and leaves are what they like best. Water and food, such as jellied pet food, boiled eggs and sultanas, will also keep hedgehogs visiting your garden.
What are your favourite garden animals in the summer? Do you have any tips on encouraging them into the garden? Share your ideas in the comment section below.
[Photo Credit: Dendroica cerulea]