Although we haven’t had any particularly chilly nights at the back end of summer and then into the start of metrological autumn, the trees are certainly starting to turn colour in Kent and some are losing their leaves
I think this might partly be a result of a lack of rain over the past month, not that it’s been completely dry. Some mornings have brought a heavy dewfall too, probably helped by early morning fog, another sign of autumn.
I think wildlife is definitely turning more into it’s autumn mode and the squirrels have now completely stripped my cobnut of any nuts and buried them wherever they wanted to put their stores. A few more birds are certainly starting to appear as well and the other day they were four magpies sitting in my wild cherry and most days at least two appear at some point. A few jackdaws have definitely returned as regulars, usually two or three birds and they seem to be popping Into my disused chimney pot again.
Pigeon numbers have been variable from day to day but I thought as I have talked about feral pigeons in several blogs, my picture is of a small group on my roof. On cue, one of the mainly white birds was in this particular group. On the sunny days a communal feral pigeon bathing session might be in order and the starlings certainly enjoy the drinks as well. There is still no sign of the greater spotted woodpeckers, so I imagine they have now moved onto autumn quarters.
I’m seeing two or three blackbirds in the garden, male and female, and the group of starlings has certainly been putting on a good show on the feeders this week. Within just perhaps a minute of putting out mealworms there will be a good group sitting in the feeder tray having a tasty snack. I’ve also seen at least one robin, although it may be different birds at different times and I make sure some of the mealworms are put out once the have left for the day, for the robin to enjoy.
A couple of collared doves are now regular visitors and they’re often there first thing in the morning and also in the evening, when the feral pigeons have left for the day. Again I make sure that they do at least have some food to have as a snack. Other larger birds have included the crows and one or two have come by on many days and taken a few scraps of meat or pellets from the ground. There have also been a couple of wood pigeons. At the end of last week I saw a sparrowhawk again but rather than it diving down into the garden to try and catch it’s meal, it was sitting on the corner of the house roof and was there for several minutes and seemed to be completely unphased either by my presence in the garden or a handyman, who was working away as well. It eventually flew off but of course at the time none of the other birds were visible in the garden but they soon returned.
The bees and hoverflies have been busy on my wild flowers and elsewhere so that has been a success for them this year.
Written by Margaret Emerson