All creatures great and small

All creatures great and small

In some of my blogs I have mentioned other wildlife as well as birds coming into my garden and so my photograph this time shows the fox standing down at the bottom of the garden on its way back through one morning.
As you can see, the feeders and bird table were empty at that time, as all the birds flew off as soon as the fox appeared under my fence. The fox sat for several minutes down the garden watching something, possibly even me at the window, and so I was able to grab this picture. Although I have not seen a hedgehog in the garden, a couple of piles of droppings look to me as if they are from a hedgehog.

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I found one lot near my bird feeders and another on my front drive. I’m probably not in the garden at the right time to see them, whereas a couple of years ago when I was still working and used to get home at around seven in the evening, I might have been in the garden filling the feeders ready for the next day or putting some rubbish out and would’ve been more likely to see one.

I have a hole under my fence between my garden and the neighbour’s, another hole in the front going out of my garden and a hole has also been dug out coming from another neighbour’s into mine, where they have recently had some decking removed. I hope there are still some hedgehogs in the area but also hope that they don’t then wander onto the main road at the front.

The squirrel or squirrels are still busy collecting the last of the cobnuts from the tree. One the other day was scampering to the end of various branches checking that there were no nuts left, but I think it is safe to say that the tree has probably now been stripped of all the storable nuts. It is fascinating watching them when they become alarmed by something and make a noise and furiously flick their tails about. It seemed to amuse a collared dove the other afternoon.

I think there are more birds again in the garden now things have started to cool down and timings are changing slightly for peak demand for food, as the days are becoming shorter. There is often a posse of sparrows and probably dunnocks on my large seed feeder, hopping between the cobnut tree, which it hangs in, the feeder tray and the feeding ports. The same feeder is also used by the collared doves and the wood pigeons who sit in the tray and can just reach the upper ports. They land on a branch, which is now largely stripped of leaves and shoots, then sidestep their way down to then flutter on to the feeder tray.

The starlings are also coming in groups to my bird table and feeders and I see them around and about in my neighbour’s garden and the trees. Yesterday was a lovely sunny morning and the feral pigeons were enjoying themselves having ablutions in their birdbath tray. It’s in a slightly different place now as I’ve had a new greenhouse base installed, but they seem to have accepted the fact that it’s not exactly where it was last week and are making good use of it. Some of the pigeons will sit on the rim of the tray and duck down to have a drink while others climb in and must find it easier to quench their thirst that way. The robins are coming quite close to the house, pecking around between the containers on my patio, presumably for grubs and bugs, as on the wetter days the area under the pots tends to stay damp longest. I’ve not seen anything at all of the blackbirds this past week, surprising as I have windfall apples about, and I haven’t had any of my occasional visitors. The jackdaws are coming at times and I’m sure the demand on the food supply is going to grow over the next few weeks as the weather turns more autumnal.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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