If you're in mainland UK you're probably enjoying or suffering in the heatwave. If you read my post yesterday you'll see that I had a couple of unusual wildlife visitors to my garden since the heatwave: a toad and a mole.
Well, yesterday afternoon I'd just watered my pots and veg and given my Mum a quick swill (she laughed but promises to get me back) and had gone into the summer house to sit on the sofa and read my book. Mum was dozing outside. I looked down and thought I saw something by her foot. I hadn't got my glasses on so I leaned forward to get a better look and it jumped into the nearby freshly watered pots. It was a frog. Now I have seen frogs in the garden, but not for 25 to 30 years when there were some froglets for a day. My neighbours had put in a large pond and filled it with frog spawn from a friends garden. The pond is long gone and I've not seen a frog in the garden since.
What all these sightings are telling me is that wildlife in the drought is really struggling. It's coming out in the open and risking predation because it's desperate for food and water sources.
So I thought I'd share with you what I'm doing to try and help wildlife in the heatwave.
1. I'm keeping my bird bath topped up but I'm also leaving lots more shallow containers at ground level topped up with water. My garden often has old pots and containers filled with rain water as it's not the most manicured garden. If some of these containers are a little deep I'm adding rocks so that creatures like newts can climb in and out. (Yes, we've had newts in the garden before and found one doing some work about six weeks ago.)
2. I'm leaving leaves in side borders that I'd normally collect as they look messy. I figure not only will the leaf mould help with water retention in these borders but they will help create damp and areas for insects that the likes of frogs and toads feed on. I also left my bolted cut-and-come-again lettuces in place as a toad was under some of them and I wanted to leave his damp holiday home in tact for him.
3. My plum tree is dropping plums and I'm leaving them in situ and they are disappearing! Lots of animals and birds will like the sweet treats and get extra liquid from them too.
4. I've been putting out meal worms. Robins and blackbirds love them, so do other meat eaters that might be struggling to find meaty meals as insects etc die off in the heat.
So what are you doing to help wildlife in the drought and have you had any unusual visitors to your garden in this heat wave.