What garden wildlife is doing now
Find out what the wildlife in your garden is up to in September.
September can be sunny and dry or cold and damp. Either way, it's a mixed month for wildlife, with some hanging on to the last of summer before getting ready to hibernate, and others preparing to migrate south. Some will be flying their last time before dying, having laid eggs of the next generation.
How to help wildlife in your garden
- Four autumn wildlife gardening jobs
- Chris Packham on gardening for wildlife - podcast
- 10 ways to help garden wildlife in autumn
- Real gardens: wildlife haven
Butterflies are enjoying nectar from late blooms
The last of the year's butterflies are on the wing, feasting on nectar from late-flowering plants like Verbena bonariensis and heleniums. Look out for large and small white butterflies, along with red admiral, comma, small tortoiseshell and peacock. Some hibernate as adults, while others will die as temperatures dip. Red admiral butterflies typically migrate south for winter, but climate change is enabling some to overwinter here. On sunny days you may even see them flying in search of nectar.
Most bumblebees are already in hibernation
Most bumblebees are hibernating now, with late-flying common carder stragglers on the last of the summer flowers. Nests of these gingery bees can continue into November and, by now, workers are looking ragged and bald.
Frogs and toads are preparing for winter
Frogs and toads are heading to overwintering habitats now. Listen out for 'autumn croaking' of male frogs, typically around or near a pond. It's not known exactly why males croak in autumn but it could be to do with alerting other frogs to a potential spring breeding habitat – think of it as a party invite for the coming season!
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