Wildlife from Home

Andy and Julia in the garden - Andy Karran

With many of us having to stay at home, it can be more difficult to maintain a connection with nature. So thanks to a great idea from our friends in BCN Wildlife Trust, we're launching #WildlifefromHome to support people in Gwent to spot, record and share the wildlife they can see from home.

What will you spot?

With many having to work from home and only essential travel allowed it can be trickier to maintain our connection with nature. Keeping this connection can raise the spirits, stave off boredom and add to our knowledge... thus helping wildlife conservation.

Thankfully our gardens can be a real haven for wildlife and for us to explore, and even if you don’t have a garden much can be seen out of the window.

So today we are launching a brand new “Gwent Wildlife Spotting” group on Facebook, so everyone can share our 'isolation' wildlife wonders with the hashtag #wildlifefromhome. The group a friendly community that can help you to identify that mystery bug or plant – and Trust staff will be on hand to help out, so we can all improve our ID skills.

Find #wildlifefromhome on Facebook

This week, my daughter and I having been watching a Robin build its nest in the Ivy outside the back door. There is frogspawn in the pond, Dunnocks have been displaying in the hedge and an immaculate Comma butterfly was sunning itself yesterday. What have you seen? Please let us and everybody else know by joining the Facebook group.

Supporting Conservation with your Sightings

We are always keen to promote biological recording, which adds to the body of scientific knowledge and evidence about wildlife in the area. The Local Records Centre for wildlife in Gwent is the South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC). They would be more than happy to receive your records also. There are two ways to submit your sightings to Sewbrec:

Submit records on SEWBREC webpage

Download the SEWBREC app

 

Surveys from Home

Here's a list of surveys you can do from your garden, or maybe even window! We'll keep adding more...

Lots of survey ideas and ID guides from OPAL - https://www.opalexplorenature.org/

INSECTS (and other invertebrates..)

🌸 Starting from April you can take part in the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme (PoMS) ‘FIT count’ survey – this stands for Flower-Insect Timed Count. It takes just 10 minutes to sit and record the total number of insects visiting a particular flower. Details here: https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/pollinator-monitoring

🐟 Freshwater Habitats ‘Big Pond Dip’ – Instructions, forms and ID guides here: https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/get-involved-2/big-pond-dip/ The best time is May-Aug – so plenty of time to build a pond if you don’t have one!

🦋 Butterfly Conservation would like you to record all the butterflies you can spot in your garden with their Garden Butterfly Survey for 2020. Find out more here: http://www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org/

🦋 Butterfly Conservation are also tracking the arrival of Painted Lady and Humming-bird Hawk-moth. Report your sightings here: https://butterfly-conservation.org/our-work/recording-and-monitoring/migrant-watch

🐞 Spotted a Stag Beetle in your garden? Tell PTES about it, here: https://ptes.org/get-involved/surveys/garden/great-stag-hunt/stag-hunt-survey/

🐝 Keep an eye out for the distinctive Tree Bumblebee - the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (BWARS) are tracking the spread of this recent coloniser - https://www.bwars.com/content/bombus-hypnorum-mapping-project

🐛 The import of pot plants might be spreading invasive flatworms in the UK. Help Buglife learn more with PotWatch - https://www.buglife.org.uk/get-involved/surveys/potwatch/

 

BIRDS

🐦Spend just 20 minutes per week (or more!) recording common birds in your back garden, with the BTO’s Garden Birdwatch - https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw

🐤 The BTO would also like your help to learn more about beak deformities in birds with their ‘Big Garden Beak Watch’ survey - https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw/about/background/projects/bgbw

🐣 If you're lucky enough to have birds nesting in a box or bush in your garden, you could help the BTO by monitoring them for their Nesting Neighbours project -https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/nesting-neighbours