August nature notes

Butterfly feeding on scabious flower

Butterfly feeding on scabious flower - Credit: Archant

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 (, 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 (, near Rickmansworth, has recorded seven of the nine bat species found in Hertfordshire.


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• 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.