Birds bats and beasts

Thirsty hedgehog. Mike Powles

Once your pond is established, it will be a magnet for other animals. Many garden birds such as blackbirds and starlings will bathe at the edges, and others will come down to drink. You may see house martins and swallows dipping for drinking water as they fly or landing to collect mud for their nests. Garden ponds are often staked out by herons on the look out for prey. If you are very lucky, you may see the whirring blue flight of a kingfisher, although they rarely find the small fish they want in garden ponds. Grass snakes may visit or even take up residence for the summer if there are plenty of frogs to eat.

If you watch a pond at dusk you are likely to see bats, probably pipistrelles, flying over the water, attracted by emerging insects. Hedgehogs and even badgers may stop for a drink, although you will be fortunate to see them.

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