House Sparrow - (Passer domesticus) these garden favourites are on the red-list in the UK due to recent breeding population decline.
The male has a grey crown and nape, edges with chocolate-brown on the sides of the head, black bib and dirty white cheeks. The upper parts are a mixture of browns, buffs and greys, with white wing bars. The female is much duller, with tawny under parts edged with black and subtler shades of brown and grey.
Alcathoe bat - The latest addition to the UK bat family, only being confirmed as a resident species in 2010 due to its similarity to the whiskered and Brandt's bat species.
Barbastelle bat - A rare and distinctive bat with a pug-like face and large, wide ears.
Bechstein's bat - One of our rarest bats, found in parts of southern England and south east Wales.
Brandt's bat - Very similar to the whiskered bat, only being separated as distinct species in 1970.
Brown long-eared bat - This bat's huge ears provide exceptionally sensitive hearing - it can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf!
Daubenton's bat - Known as the 'water bat', Daubenton's bats fish insects from the water's surface with their large feet or tail.
Greater horseshoe bat - Horseshoe bats possess a distinctive horseshoe-shaped noseleaf.
Grey long-eared bat - This bat is generally a little larger than the brown long-eared bat and has a dark face.
Leisler's bat - Also known as the 'hairy-armed bat', it's similar to the noctule but smaller with longer fur.
Lesser horseshoe bat - Able to wrap its wings completely around its body while at rest, differing from the greater horseshoe bat whose face can usually be seen.
Nathusius' pipistrelle - A previous migrant species, it has only been classed as a resident species since 1997.
Natterer's bat - Its broad wings enable it to fly slowly and prey on a wide variety of insects, even snatching spiders from their webs!
Noctule bat - This bat has long narrow wings and flies in a straight line, very high and fast. It's our biggest bat, but it's still smaller than the palm of your hand!
Serotine bat - The Serotine has broad wings and a leisurely flapping flight.
Soprano pipistrelle - Similar to common pipistrelle but distinguished by its higher frequency echolocation call.
Whiskered bat - Slightly smaller than Brandt's bat but sharing the same shaggy fur.
Ladybirds (Coccinelid) - one of the allotments favourite insects can travel as fast as racehorse and fly at height of 3,600ft - height of Ben Nevis!!
Did you know:
New research carried out at Rothamsted Research, an agricultural research institution, by the University of Hull, reveals ladybirds can fly incredibly fast, reaching speeds of 37mph. They can also stay in the air for up to two hours, making long distance flights of up to 74 miles in a single flight. That so makes it worth considering putting up a bug house! Go little bugs!!!
Welcome to our new wildlife page. We'll be adding all sorts of snippets here about the creatures you might find on your plot throughout the year.
If you'd like us to add anything do send through to us via email and we'll add.
Habitat: Urban, suburban and agricultural areas.
Nesting: Untidy, domed, grass with feather lining. In small colonies, beneath roof tile and in enclosed nest boxes (32mm hole).
Eggs: 3-6, greyish white, speckled brown and grey.
Food: Hi-Energy No Mess, Hi-Energy Ground Blend, Table Seed, and insects (such as mealworms).
Call: Twittering and a variety of cheep's and chirrup's.
What to look out for in first few months of the year
We just have to get through January and February for spring to be within our grasp, but these two months are usually the coldest of the year so we do need to be prepared for a sudden cold snap. Although the days are getting longer much of our wildlife is still facing the challenge of long cold nights.
For birds too this is a busy time, trying to take on lots of calories at the beginning and end of the day and, particularly on mild days, starting to establish and defend a territory and attract a future mate. Having feeders filled with calorie rich food is a great way to help the birds to survive the winter and get into breeding condition, and fat products such as peanut cakes and peanut butter for birds gives them a welcome added source of energy. If you don’t normally offer fat products it’s a good idea to have a few peanut cakes on standby to put out in freezing conditions or if it snows.
Do take some photos of any interesting creatures that appear on your plot and send them so we can add to our picture gallery [email protected]
Don't forget check your bonfire pile for hidden creatures before lighting!
Do you know your Bats?
Did you know there are 18 resident bat species in the UK!?? Here are some brief details but you can find out more by visiting the
Small Tortoiseshells Red Admirals Peacocks
Painted Ladies Commas Speckled Woods
Large Whites Green-veined Whites Small Whites
These are just the butterflies you may have visiting your allotment this summer. Visit other habitats and you will discover some of our rarer butterflies too.
Many of the UK’s rare spring butterflies have emerged three weeks earlier than last year and a week earlier than average as a result of the recent mild weather.
Did you know:
Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. Many species have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupal or egg stages and thereby survive winters
The North East has a very diverse range of habitats including extensive areas of upland moorland, coastal dunes, farmland, broad-leafed and coniferous woodland as well as many interesting brown-field sites that reflect the industrial history of the area. These different habitats support a wide range of fauna and flora and about thirty species of butterfly and many species of moth may be seen within the region.
Squirrels – although not always everyone’s favourite - are very noticeable at the moment as their breeding season is underway, resulting in lots of chasing and calling as males pursue females at speed up and down tree trunks or through the canopy, occasionally stopping to engage in noisy squabbles with rival males.