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Nature Detectives

Nature Detectives
Here we will share all our wildlife sightings 
  

Don’t forget to tell us what you see!

Springtime

Spring is a fantastic time of year with all the trees coming into leaf, the birds singing and building nests, and bees and butterflies emerging.  The first Swallows have now arrived back in the skies over school - they will have spent our winter in Southern Africa and have migrated all the way back to Dawlish to build their nests!  Isn’t wildlife amazing?

 

Lots of you have been spotting wildlife around your home and sending photos to your teachers on Seesaw.  We love to hear about what you have seen.  If you look carefully, you will be amazed what you can find!

 

Here are some of the sightings you have been sharing:

Butterflies
How many of these butterflies can you spot?
April and May are great months to spot the first butterflies as they emerge to enjoy the sunshine, feed on nectar and lay their eggs. Here are some to look out for:
Picture 1 Speckled Wood
Picture 2 Orange Tip
Picture 3 Holly Blue
Picture 4 Comma
Picture 5 Peacock
Picture 6 Red Admiral
Picture 7 Brimstone
Picture 8 Small Tortoiseshell
Picture 9 Small White
Look in the woods for Speckled Woods!
A number of you have shared photos of Speckled Wood butterflies.  As the name suggests, this butterfly likes to live in sunny spots in the woods, but they often also visit gardens too. Their wings are speckled with light brown.  We even have one that has a favourite sunny spot right next to the the mushroom seat in our Forest School area.  How many of you can spot one too?
Picture 1 Photo by Olly
Picture 2 Photo by Maisie
Picture 3 Photo by Alyssa
Theo’s added a Comma!
Theo took this super picture of a Comma Butterfly. The Comma has a curvy edge to the wing. It gets its name from the white comma-shaped marking on the underside of the wing (although you can not see this in Theo’s photo). The caterpillar of the Comma eats Stinging Nettles - Ouch!
Picture 1 Photo by Theo
Caterpillar Diaries
Ava and Charlotte in Dahl Class and Seb in Pankhurst Class have been keeping caterpillars of Painted Lady butterflies. They are writing diaries to record how they develop. Excitingly, on Friday 1st May, the first of Ava’s caterpillars started to turn into a chrysalis.  The beautiful adult butterflies should emerge in a few weeks.  They usually choose a sunny day to hatch out. ☀️
Picture 1 The hungry caterpillars
Picture 2 Hanging upside down before changing
Picture 3 The chrysalis stage
                                                                                                           (Photos by Ava)

*** BREAKING NEWS ***

 

Sunday 10th May  -  Ava and Seb’s butterflies have emerged from around ten days in the chrysalis.  Look how beautiful the adult Painted Lady butterflies are!

Picture 1
Picture 2
Butterfly spotting links:
Bees
Pollinating the flowers

Jayden has been watching bees collecting nectar from the flowers of a Red Currant plant in his garden. Bees are attracted to the flowers by the sweet nectar. As they visit different flowers, pollen rubs off onto them. Pollen has to be transferred between flowers in order for the seeds to develop - It looks like you will be having a good crop of Red Currants in the Summer, Jayden!

 

If you look closely, you can sometimes see the pollen on the back and legs of the bee. It often looks like a fine yellow powder. 

 

Here are some photos of bees taken by children in Year 3:

Picture 1 Photo by Jayden
Picture 2 Photo by Theo
Picture 3 Photo by Zak
Picture 4 Photo by Maisie
Finding out about bees
Lexi has been finding out about bees.  She also made this fantastic model.
Picture 1
Bee spotting links:
Mini-beasts
Going on a mini-beast hunt

Try searching for mini-beasts around your garden or when you are out on your exercise walk.  If you look carefully, you will be amazed what you can find.  
 

If you have one, you could use a magnifying glass to take a closer look.  Try looking under leaves and logs.  Take some photos or draw a picture of what you find.

 

Here is a photo of some of the mini-beasts Theo found recently:

Picture 1
Mini-beast links:
Birds
Treading on egg shells

Lots of you have been finding empty egg shells. At this time of year, the parent birds carry egg shells away from their nests after the babies hatch out. They then drop the shell, which is why you can often find them in the middle of your garden! 

Picture 1 Starling egg found by Olly
Picture 2 Song Thrush egg found by Theo
Picture 3 Wood Pigeon egg found by Harry
Feeding the birds
Try putting out some bird food to attract the birds closer to your home.  Olly in Year 3 has been making his own bird feeders by spreading peanut butter onto toilet rolls and then rolling these in seed. He then hangs them in his garden.  
Picture 1 Making the feeder
Picture 2 Hanging them in the garden
Picture 3 The first visitor- a Wood Pigeon
Baby birds

Harry took these super photos of the baby Black Swans down on the Lawn.  Did you know that the chick of a swan is called a cygnet?

Picture 1 Trying to get some rest.
Picture 2 Time for a swimming lesson
Madison from Pankhurst Class has been enjoying watching the Black Swan family too.  Here is her photo:
Picture 1
Bird Spotting links:
On the Beach

See what you can find when you are walking on the beach.

 

Harry in Dahl Class found:

Picture 1 A Crab
Picture 2 A Starfish
Picture 3 A Cuttlefish
Finlay found:
Picture 1 A Spider Crab
Picture 2 An Auger Shell
Trees
Can you identify different trees from their leaves? What trees can you find when you are out for a walk?  You might want to print one of these to help.
Tree identification links:
Exploring the outside
Picture 1
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