- The UK has 18 native bat species; 17 of which breed here. UK bats are one of the most endangered wildlife species. The loss of roosting sites, along with a crash in the insect population and night-time light pollution have all made it harder for these night-flyers to survive.
- The most common bat found in the UK, is the Pipistrelle, which weighs the same as a 20-pence piece. The Common Pipistrelle bat can eat as many as 3,000 insects, including mosquitoes and moths a night!
- Bats are nocturnal and come out to hunt for insects as the sun goes down. Bats spend the day hung upside down conserving energy.
- Bats hibernate throughout the winter re-emerging in spring with the fresh supply of new insects.
- Bats use echolocation to navigate and catch their prey. They do this by sending out a high-pitched call which bounces back from tall hedges or trees. If the call is interrupted, they are able to tell that an insect is in front of them.
- Bats also have superb hearing which enables them to hear the high-pitched on the whine of a mosquito.
- Bats roost in hollow trees or caves, disused railway tunnels and even the tops of houses, bat-roosting sites are now commonly protected.
We love to scatter the Seedball Bat Mix on Halloween, as a treat for future bats.
- The UK has 23 species of cricket and 11 grasshoppers, ranging from the tree-living Oak Bush Cricket (Meconema thallasiniuim) which thrums at dusk; to the Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) whose daytime chirping evokes the sound of Summer.
- The beautiful and rare Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris) almost became extinct in the 1980’s, with intense habitat loss from agriculture and hedge removal. Reintroduction and breeding have been in place since 2010, with the wonderful Buglife ‘Back From The Brink’ and RSPB carrying out monitored habitat management and annual nymph releases. The hope is to establish at least 100 singing adult male Field Crickets at two British sites.
By Jiminny we hope so! Find out more about the Field Cricket here
- Early autumn is a great time to see fat garden spiders, (Araneus diadematus) spinning webs across pathways and hedge tops. Called ‘cross spiders’ because they have a cross like marking on their back, they are a type of ‘orb weaver’.
- Orb Weavers spiders usually make a web in the shape of a wheel or orb.
- Orb weavers can vary in colour from grey to brown, yellow and even orange like a pumpkin!
- Around Autumn the females are fat with eggs.
- The eggs can survive winter, whereas a frost will kill off the adults, plus there’s not usually much insect food about.
- New baby spiderlings hatch out in spring, huddling together for safety, although most of them will get picked off by hungry birds! Those that do survive will go on to weave their marvellous webs.
Grab a Halloween treat to feed the pollinators!
Because it is the pollinators we have to thank for providing ripe orange pumpkins, the fruit from a pollinated flower.
Seedball Wildlife Collection seed boxes include flowers for bats. Is that spooky? No!