Five creatures to spot from your window

From sunrise to sunset, look and listen out for these creatures out your window…

Not all of us have a garden or a yard, but that does not mean we can’t experience the joy of spotting and helping wildlife from our own home! Our windows, window boxes and balconies provide a great way to spot birds, bees, butterflies, bats and other flying friends.

Here's what to look out for during the Great Yorkshire Creature Count, and some tips for helping to attract more wild friends!

The birds...

Bird feeders are a great way to support birds and help to attract them to your window!  Look out particularly for great tits, who are happy living in both rural and urban places, particularly woodlands, parks and gardens. They are the largest of the UK’s tit species and have a very distinctive call of ‘teacher, teacher’!

Meanwhile, swifts are frequent visitors to cities and towns, particularly older parts, and mainly nest in buildings. They feast on small flying insects and you can often spot them darting high up in the sky to catch their food.

You can either make your own bird feeders to hang or buy one online!

The bees...

Anywhere that there are flowers, you can find garden bumblebees. They are large and scruffy looking, with a long tongue and face and white tail. Recent research has suggested that they are thriving in urban areas!

They are a big fan of tubular flowers such as foxgloves and honeysuckle which they can reach with their long tongues (up to 2cm!). You can help bumblebees by planting flowers – lots of them – in whatever space you have. Hanging baskets and pots are a great way to do this! 

Have a look at the bricks around your window - are there any little holes or cavities? If so, you might spot a solitary bee like a red mason bee. Solitary bees don't form beehives, but use the crumbling mortar of old walls, hollow plant stems and holes in cliffs to nest in.

Common pipistrelle bat (c) Tom Marshall

Common pipistrelle bat - Tom Marshall

...and the bats!

In among the roof spaces of buildings, holes in nearby trees and bat boxes might be lurking the tiny common pipistrelle bat. It is almost the smallest of UK bats, weighing in at only 3-8g with a wingspan of 20-23cm!

They can be seen most often hunting for insects, darting around jerkily in gardens, over wetlands, or around street lights at dusk. Listen out for squeaks and squarks!