Curiosity and amazement. Children have these feelings in abundance but often these feeling are harder to find as we grow into adulthood.
This month at FSC Preston Montford, we have been embracing our inner child and have been rewarded with many wonderful wildlife sightings. It all began when a member of the Head Office team found five young hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) wandering around our wildlife garden in daylight. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, only exploring at night, and as such it was curious that they should be out in daylight. A large female hedgehog had been found dead nearby earlier in the week, sadly likely to be the young hoglets’ mother. The local wildlife rescue centre was contacted for advice and they asked that the young hedgehogs be brought to them, as they were unlikely to survive on their own. We are happy to say that the hoglets seem to be doing well at the wildlife rescue centre and will stay there until they are either large enough to be released for hibernation or until next spring.Hedgehogs are currently in rapid decline in the UK. If, like us, you discover a hedgehog out in daylight, something is wrong and please contact your local wildlife rescue centre for advice. In addition, if you have hedgehogs in your garden please be aware that you can give them cat food but they are lactose intolerant and cannot drink cow’s milk – they would prefer a lovely saucer of fresh water to wash down those delicious insects thank you.
|Hoglets taken by Charlie Bell|
Our next wildlife sighting was a Devil’s Coach-Horse Beetle (Staphylinus olens), noticed in the Exploratorium, our lovely wildlife garden, by a teacher from Hill House. This insect, as well as having a great name, is a predator of fly larvae, smaller insects, spiders and slugs. It loves decaying matter and hiding in the leaf litter. If disturbed, the Devil’s Coach-Horse beetle will rear up like a scorpion and can give a painful bite (1), ouch!
|Devil's Coach-Horse Beetle taken by teacher from Hill House.|
Our final amazing wildlife spot of the month was a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). This majestic bird was found sitting atop a pigeon in the back field – we like to think that it was feeling proud of its self and its achievement!
Haven’t lost you curiosity and amazement for our fantastic wildlife? FSC Preston Montford has lots of courses to help you – from Identification of Macrofungi, to Darwin's Garden Earthworm ID Weekend, to Great Crested Newts, Licensing and Mitigation and Centipedes and Millipedes – and our programme for 2018 will be available soon.