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Nature Connections 6 - Bug ID and Hunting, Bird feeders

Today is all about looking closely at nature. Although I am no tech whiz, I was delighted when I discovered a new nature App called ‘Seek’ by iNaturalist. It is free and allows you to scan what you are looking at – plant, fungi, insect, bird, reptile or mammal and it will identify what it is and give you some facts about it too. Very useful! Here is a seven spotted ladybird I found when I was trying it out.

Out and about – Identifying nature.

Using the Seek app or a camera, go out and see what you can find. Try using the app to identify the plant or insect or take a photo and have a look in your nature ID book or online when you get home. Try to discover as many different species as possible. 

In the garden – Follow the Mini Beast

Shrink yourself down to the size of a mini beast. Lay or crouch near the ground and take your time today to look carefully and wait. Very soon you will see an ant, ladybird, earthworm or fly come into view. Select just one mini beast at a time and follow it with your eyes. Where is it going? What is it doing? How long can you stay with it for? Try looking at different areas of the garden – shady spots, sunny spots, paths, muddy areas, grassy spots. Do you see the same mini beasts in each area? Which mini beast is most common in your garden? You could keep a list and tally of mini beasts spotted for each area.

Inside at home – Make a bird feeder

There are two types of easy to make bird feeders. You may have to wait a few days for the birds to realise your bird feeder is there but if you keep feeding the birds, they will familiarise themselves and know where to come for the free food.

  1. A cheerio necklace – take a length of string or wool and thread a necklace of cheerios/multigrain hoops onto it. Hang it outside your window or in the garden.

  2. A pine cone bird feeder – you will need a pine cone (these can often be found in large supermarket car parks as pine trees are commonly planted for their quick growing nature), string or wool, peanut butter or lard and wild bird seed. Tie some string onto the top of the pine cone for the hanging string. Spread the pine cone with the peanut butter or lard. Roll it in wild bird seed.

You could also take the time to research and ID those plants and mini beasts you spotted outside using the internet or Insect ID books. 

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