Learn what happens in the garden during Autumn

Autumn has arrived

In the past few days there has been some rain in Kent and Sunday was the last really warm day when I could safely go out without a jacket on.
It has now turned much cooler but brighter again with a distinct touch of autumn in the air. Other signs of autumn being some heavy dewfall on the grass some mornings, misty starts some days and the lower early morning and evening temperatures. The garden at the moment is transitioning between summer and autumn with plenty of summer bedding in flower still in the summer containers and the borders. The normal autumn flowers such as sedums and Michaelmas daisies are also in full flow, being good food sources for the insects.

The birds are coming for a good quantity of food daily and this week I have been putting out plenty of mealworms for the starling group and they are very quickly consumed. Eating is usually accompanied by squabbling and argy-bargy at the feeder. The jackdaws are putting in regular appearances now as the weather turns cooler and there were three earlier yesterday sitting at the bird table. The other usual bigger birds to put in an appearance include at least one magpie at a time, a couple of wood pigeons and a couple of collared doves. I’ve not seen the crows in the past week, so I imagine they have some food elsewhere at the moment.

At least one squirrel visits most days to have a snack from the peanut feeder and one has been digging up some nuts from the lawn so either it was feeling hungry or taking a fancy to another squirrel’s cache.

It’s hard to keep up with the consumption of suet squares and fat balls as the birds seem to have transitioned more to that type of eating rather than seed, that is apart from the feral pigeons. Starlings have now mastered the suet square hanging in the metal feeder in the cobnut tree and it does seem to have deterred the larger birds from eating it, although of course they are able to get the suet balls and square hanging in the dead tree, where I have most of my feeders.

I’ve seen the robin hopping about this week and also coming for mealworms and there have been sightings of a couple of the younger blackbirds, as well as a small group of sparrows, a blue tit and great tit. It was interesting yesterday when I had friends round and so my routine was a little bit different that the birds still appeared somewhere between midday and 1230 looking for their lunchtime top up. On Saturday they would’ve been disappointed as I was out for much of the day, but did get home late afternoon so they were able to have their late afternoon and evening scattered food top up, as of course the suet and peanuts and seed feeder are always available. The same goes of course for the bird bath saucers which are rinsed and topped up towards evening.

In the sunshine yesterday insects were making use of flowers in the garden including a bumblebee who features in my picture this week, as it was just about to enter one of the trumpets of a wildflower after hopping about from flower to flower for some time. I’ve also seen hoverflies and a cabbage white butterfly around my sweet peas which are still in flower.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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