Wild flowers encourage wildlife in the garden

Amusing to watch

My blog this week starts on a light-hearted note.
In the past few weeks the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been taking place in Tokyo and I think the birds and other wildlife have been engaging in their own sporting activities. The squirrels have been demonstrating their paw over paw upside down branch running, while searching for cobnuts in the tree. They have also been trying out the beam by running along the top of the fence and engaging in some acrobatics. The starlings have been trying out the hundred metres sprint from the bird feeder across the lawn to the bird bath facilities and the pigeons have been engaging in synchronised bathing.

Back to a more serious note now and you can tell from my post that bird activity has continued in the garden and the squirrels are still putting away their winter nut store. They seem to be eating quite a few of the nuts as well, as there are plenty of empty shells on my path which are crunchy underfoot, but sometimes all I see is nut shells and peelings dropping down from the cobnut tree and no sign of a squirrel.

I have not seen the two greater spotted woodpeckers at all in the past seven days so I assume they are into their Autumn routine now, the weather certainly is, and I imagine they will no longer be feeding youngsters. I hope that is the only problem and not that something has happened to the pair as they have been frequent visitors for several months now. The blackbirds continue to be busy in the garden taking bird food and I’m now making sure that some suet pellets and mealworms are put in a place where they can take them from the ground, especially towards dusk when they are still about but most other birds have left for the day. The starlings have been making good use of the mealworms that I’ve put in the feeder tray. They are certainly hungry and soon appear, all 26 of them a day or so ago that were on my neighbour’s roof, my roof and television aerial, to have the food as soon as they see me go out into the garden. They seem at the moment to be favouring the mealworms, suet pellets and suet square while the suet logs have not been going down as quickly, but that also could be because I’ve not been seen the woodpeckers. There have been blue tits, coal tits and great tits coming to the suet log though and the usual mix of sparrows and dunnocks. I have also seen one of the robins in my cobnut who tries to beat the starlings to the mealworms.

A couple of collared doves seem to be regular visitors again and at more times of the day and not just first thing and towards evening, but then it has been on the cool side here for the last 10 days with a north-east wind and little or no sunshine. The feral pigeons are still coming in number although having said that the number has certainly been less over the last couple of weeks, but I’m pleased to say that the regulars are still there. They certainly disappear much earlier in the evening now and it’s unusual to see any of them past 6:30 to 7 pm. Other larger bird visitors have included a couple of jackdaws and one was in my chimney pot yesterday, a couple of wood pigeons and as early evening visitors, two crows.

Honey bees are still busy in the garden and there were several on my neighbours lavender bush the other day, mine being earlier flowering varieties. My picture this week is my attempt at growing some wild flowers for the bees and other insects to enjoy and these were given to me as seeds by a friend earlier in the year. They were little late going in but have done quite well and I will certainly try to grow some more next year. They are in a small border by a wall which is beside my patio so if I’m sitting out in the garden reading a book or having a cup of tea, I can watch the insects coming and going. Having said that it’s not been sitting in the garden weather for the last few days.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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