Daffodils and helebores in the Botanic Garden

Wildlife Diaries from the Botanic Garden: March 6-12

Welcome back to Wildlife Diaries. This is a collaboration between the Museum of Zoology and Cambridge University Botanic Garden, sharing the wildlife of the Garden as spring arrives. Catch up with last week’s post, with its flowers and fragrances, hibernating ladybirds and singing robins, and join us for a special livestream at 5pm on April 1, when you can ask your questions to our panel of wildlife experts.

9 March 2021

Sunny spells in the garden saw white butterflies flitting in the bee borders, and bumblebees buzzing as they collect nectar. The long-tailed tits are active, feeding and building a nest. The air is filled with the sound of robins, blackbirds probe the softer ground for worms to eat, and blue tits and great tits glean food from tree branches. More buds are getting ready to burst with leaves and blossom, and green shoots from the ground and getting stronger. The water in the garden is coming to life, with small water boatmen darting beneath the surface.

12 March 2021

After an extremely windy few days which resulted in the Garden being closed to visitors yesterday, wildlife has hunkered down again, waiting for some more settled weather. Despite the breezy conditions the badgers have been active at clearing out their setts. You can see from the video taken by one of our wildlife cameras last week that they are really busy digging out used bedding. We also had a bat detector out overnight recording the high frequency sounds that bats make. Bats hibernate in winter but will come out to feed when temperatures get above 8 degrees Celsius. Below is a sonogram of a Soprano Pipistrelle flying over the lake last night. Each bat has a unique call signature and we can use these sound recordings to work out which species are using a site. This bat must have been hungry! Some lovely male hairy footed flower bees were also spotted today by one of our visitors, females emerge a few weeks later. These are our favourite bees at this time of year, they are so cute. Just look at those hairy legs! We’ll be looking out for their nests now. A pine ladybird, with its red comma like spots on a black body, was also spotted in the leaf litter still hibernating.

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