April Wildlife

The year starts to wake up! Spring flowers, summer visiting birds and the end of hibernation for insects and mammals.

Flora

Mistletoe in flower.

Spring flowers include: Bluebell, Cowslip, Wood-sorrel, Cow Parsley, Lords-and-Ladies, Early-purple Orchid, Creeping Buttercup and Meadow Buttercup, Garlic Mustard, Greater Stitchwort, Moschatel, Wood Forget-me-not, Early Dog Violet, Woodruff, Herb Robert, Black Medick.

Silver Birch and Horse Chestnut flower & Oak catkins.

Hazel in leaf.

Birds

Sparrowhawk and Kestrel start to breed.

Canada Geese breeding.

Arrival of summer visitors including: Redstart, Nightingale, Garden Warbler, Cuckoo, Hobby, Swift, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat, Turtle Dove and Blackcap.

Most passerines are nesting now.

Other nesting birds include: Green Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Jay, Jackdaw, Kingfisher, Pheasant and Partridge.

Fieldfare and Redwing depart.

Watch out for spring migrants passing through – Osprey sometimes stop off at Chew Valley Lake.

Insects

Ladybirds are active.

Burnet moths come out of hibernation.

Queen wasps start to form new colonies.

Honeybees become active.

Bee-flies emerge and seek out hosts for their larvae to parasitise – watch out for the Dotted bee-fly and its host, Andrena cineraria, the Ashy mining bee.

Cuckoo spit is produced on plants by Froghoppers.

Brimstone butterflies, which over-winter as a butterfly, can be seen flying early in the month.

First generation of Holly Blue, Small Copper, and

Green-veined White appear.

You may see Grizzled Skipper around this time.

Speckled Wood and Small White caterpillars hatch.

Large Red Damselfly, an early one, appears late April.

Mammals

Hedgehogs come out of hibernation.

Bats are feeding actively now on warmer evenings. Very hungry after hibernation! Females seeking summer maternity roost.

Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish

Sticklebacks start to spawn.

Adders, Grass Snakes, Lizards and Slow Worms come out of hibernation and start mating.

 Header: Dotted Bee-fly (Bombylius discolor), Radstock