Explore life beneath the waves around Britain with Benny the Blenny
At the weekend I went to my local Wildlife Watch group meeting which was just brilliant. We did a mini bio-blitz. I’d never heard of one of those before but I soon found out all about it. We had to find as much wildlife as we could in two hours. The meeting took place in a park and we recorded everything we found there, from birds to minibeasts, flowers to trees, we even spotted different types of lichen. I took my binoculars with me and managed to spot ten different species of bird, then I had a go at spotting minibeasts by snuffling around in the grass.
In total we spotted almost 100 different things! It is amazing how much you can find when you look closely. From now on I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for wildlife wherever I go, I don’t want to miss another thing!
Yesterday, whilst I was busy watering my mini wildflower meadow, a couple of rabbits hopped by. They looked longingly at the lovely green shoots of the meadow plants but I told them they must take their nibbling teeth elsewhere – these plants will grow into flowers for the butterflies and bees, they’re not for the rabbits! Luckily I managed to find them an old carrot that was lingering under my bed, and they seemed happy to eat that instead. As they munched they told me that if I wanted to see some amazing flowers I should take a trip over to the other side of the wood because their Dad had seem some orchids there last year.
Orchids! I’ve never seen orchids. I just had to go!
It’s a long way to the other side of the wood so I packed up some worm-paste sandwiches, a few wild strawberries and a bottle of stream water in my rucksack. I grabbed my wildflower id book and a compass, in case I got lost, and I set off.
By the time I got there my poor legs were aching but it was worth it because sure enough, I found the orchids. There were about twenty of them in total, standing tall and upright with dark pink flowers. Looking closely I saw that the leaves had dark spots on them, so I’m certain that they were Early Purple orchids. They were amazing, I’ve never seen a sight like that before. I sat amongst them and munched on my sandwiches in the sunshine. It was a perfect day. Have you seen any orchids, or been on any wild expeditions in the woods yet this year? Let me know if you spot anything amazing.
This week I’ve been having a go at the new Wildlife Watch Wordsearches. Have you seen them? They’re in the ‘downloads’ section of the website. I’ve managed to find all the birds of prey but I’m still looking for some of the trees - I can’t find Silver Birch or Lime. I’m sure they must be in there somewhere, I’ll keep looking.
Once I’ve finished the Wordsearch I’m going to go out into the wood to see if I can find all the trees mentioned in it. The trees are looking really magnificent here at the moment with their new bright green leaves. The Horse Chestnut trees look especially good because their candle-like flower spikes are coming out into bloom. It makes these trees really easy to spot at the moment. In fact I’m trying to remember where all the Horse Chestnut trees are so that I can go back in the autumn to collect some of their beautiful shiny conkers. I love conkers! Anyway, I must get back to this Wordsearch, perhaps I’ll try looking at it upside down, that might help…..
Wow, lots of you have been out spotting frogspawn and tadpoles. Its brilliant isn’t it? I’ve been back to the pond to see if the frogspawn had hatched out, and sure enough it has. There were hundreds of tadpoles swimming about. I dipped my leg in the water to see if I could feel them swimming around me, and I could. It was cool! I think I’ll keep going back there every few weeks to see how they grow. I can’t wait for them to turn into frogs.
Hi nature spotters. This week I’ve been watching bumblebees as they buzz about in the warm spring sunshine. Have you spotted any? I’ve seen lots and I’ve noticed that they are not all the same. I’ve seen some with red bottoms and some with white bottoms. I asked my friends at Wildlife Watch about this and I’ve discovered that there are lots of different types of bumblebee. In fact there are about 24 different species in the UK, although some of these are quite rare.
Guess what else I found out? Bumblebees have smelly feet! Yes really they do! Whenever they land on a flower their feet leave a bit of a whiff behind so that other bumblebees know that flower has been pollinated and don’t waste their energy looking for pollen in it. Amazing eh?! It’s a good job they don’t wear trainers though. Phew! That would be stinky!