Nice weather for ducks!

3rd May 2021

Day 4 of City Nature Challenge and for many in the UK the weather is against us!

This is our last day to gather observations for the international challenge but we might need to get a bit creative to keep those wildlife sightings rolling in.

A lot of species will change behaviour in wet weather, many will seek shelter in hedges or undergrowth whilst some may become more active. Earthworms for example will rise to the surface when wet weather softens the ground, which attracts ground feeding birds like blackbirds and starlings.

Here’s a few ways to keep recording through the wet weather:

Minibeast missions

Slugs and snails, worms and woodlice, if you can rummage around the garden under rocks and plant pots, you’ll find lots of these moisture loving minibeasts scuttling around in the dark corners

Window bird watching

A lot of species will seek shelter in hedges but some may become more active. Earthworms will rise to the surface when wet weather softens the ground, which attracts ground feeding birds like blackbirds and starlings to lawns.

The wild inside

Plenty of wildlife makes use of the indoor spaces we provide. Explore inside your house, sheds, under awnings and in garages for spiders, ants and other minibeasts that share your space.

Nature photo bombing

Check back through your old photos for other species hiding in the background. Recorded a bug on a leaf – what species of plant is it sitting on? Crop the photo and repost on iNaturalist for a second record! Buy One Get One Free!

Carrying on Regardless

If you do decide to brave the weather you won’t want to be sat uploading in the rain. Here are our FIVE TOP TIPS for racking up your personal score of iNaturalist uploads quickly and easily!

1. Snap whilst you are out – upload once you’re home. This saves your battery and data as well as time spent uploading ‘in the field’

2. Make sure your camera app has permission to use your mobile GPS tagging. Go to your settings app and switch on location tagging. This means each photo will hold onto its location data and save you time manually mapping the location on upload

3. Prefer a bigger camera? - If you are a keen photographer and would rather use a DSLR you can use your phone to snap a photo of your DSLR display screen to pin the location

4. Same species, different place – you can record the same species in a different location as this is a totally fresh record and helps show the distribution of each species.

5. Plant power – plants are a great place to start because they tend not to run away and don’t mind a bit of rain! Check out patches of flowers and even weeds to find a host of minibeasts to snap whilst you are there.

Good luck spotting and see you out there! Follow the action on social media @festofnature, and see how we are getting on in the rankings here: https://uk.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021

Stay safe and happy nature spotting!