August nature notes
PUBLISHED: 12:20 18 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:20 18 August 2014
A guide to the wildlife you can spot out in the garden, countryside and woods this month
• On a sunny day, visit sandy heaths and commons to look out for snakes and lizards, which emerge at this time of year. Pick a warm, sheltered spot, and wait and see what turns up.
• If you have a garden pond, you may receive a visit from a large dragonfly such as the azure-blue emperor or the bright green southern hawker, both of which are active during fine days in August. Amwell Nature Reserve, near Ware (hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/amwell), is the best dragonfly site in the county, with 19 species recorded.
• Warm, muggy evenings are ideal for flying insects, and that means bats are also on the wing. If you haven’t already done so, go on a nocturnal walk with your local bat group. Maple Lodge (maplelodge.org), near Rickmansworth, has recorded seven of the nine bat species found in Hertfordshire.
• Look out for ladybirds: not just the common two-spot and seven-spot, but a whole host of other colours and patterns, including the yellow and black 14-spot and 22-spot varieties.
• August is a great month for roadside flowers, including Field Scabious (pictured) and Meadow Cranesbill, which attract plenty of small insects such as hoverflies and bumblebees.