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Garden Diary - What's Going On In Yours?

SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
28 Oct 2011 3:51PM
I thought it might be nice to keep a diary of the activities of the birds and wildlife in my garden. If anyone would like to do the same perhaps we could post our news on this thread. I know there are lots of nature lovers out there so it'd be interesting to read about our local goings on. I have to say my patch isn't that busy or interesting, but it's quite nice to observe the changes and comings and goings during the year. Perhaps post the occasional picture.

I only thought of this because I've just seen two bumble bees, or they might have been white or buff tails, but they were huge. So they're still humming around even this late in the year. My gang of starlings is still nattering away and emptying all the feeders, and the blue and great tits have come back again. Quite a large group of sparrows visit every day too which is nice. They seem to like feeding in the evenings so I have to make sure I refill any empty containers before it gets dark. My pair of collared doves have now become a family of five - the most I've ever had - but still only two wood pigeons. Unfortunately I still have about 20 feral pigeons who love my roof and garden and refuse to move. Well I can't blame them, it's just one giant bird tuck shop! MInd you, the sparrowhawk's had at least two of them for lunch and it was fab watching it eat a whole pigeon in one go a few months back. I haven't seen my resident blackbirds for about a month now. The odd robin drops by, but the chaffinches are eating me out of house and nyger seeds. And the magpies just love stealing the cat food I put out for the poor old feral cat that pops by daily.

I don't get much mammalian wildlife, except for a fox now and again and a few pesky squirrels. The squirrels actually live in the bloke's roof a few doors down as he's got a hole under his eaves. I don't know whether he knows this or not. We cleared a lot of ivy and trimmed the shrubs and bushes back last week, so I hope the spiders and insects I've made homeless soon find another suitable abode. I don't know why I don't get hedgehogs. There's a nice little wild and scruffy patch at the bottom of the garden where I've placed a recycling box on its side and filled it loosely with logs and leaves. A bush grows over that and there are lots of pots and stuff for things to hide or live in. I know we regularly get mice living there because we sometimes see the odd cat batting them around. That's when International Rescue gets deployed, i.e. me with a cardboard box.

I saw a weird looking spider the other day. It ran out from under my dustbin next to the house wall. I looked it up and apparently it's a Woodlouse Spider. It's got a horrible red body that looks like raw flesh and it eats, you've guessed it, woodlice! It doesn't spin a web and just lives in cracks in walls etc. Gave me the shivers I can tell you. Some spiders I don't mind, but others are just creepy.

I can't believe the leaves are still green and hanging on to my cherry tree. What a weird year we've had.

Well that's me for today. If anyone wants to carry on that'd be great. If not, well I might just pop in now and again.

Cheers, Chris
KarenFB Avatar
KarenFB Plus
17 6.0k 185 England
28 Oct 2011 3:56PM
I've just got back from a walk around the farm! Smile

Loads of different flies out there and spiders. But I also saw a Small Copper and a Small Tortoiseshell butterflies! It's really warm in the sunshine! Oh and there are swarms of Ladybirds, not quite as bad as last year, but bad enough!

I'm just going to 'google' your Woodlouse Spider! Wink
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
28 Oct 2011 4:02PM

Quote:I'm just going to 'google' your Woodlouse Spider!
It looks worse in the flesh Karen, flesh being the operative word. Yuk! Grin
KarenFB Avatar
KarenFB Plus
17 6.0k 185 England
28 Oct 2011 4:21PM
It really is quite a chunky critter - huge jaws!
NaturesHaven Avatar
NaturesHaven 12 283 6 England
28 Oct 2011 9:31PM
Nice thread to get involved (28th) our garden has had Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, the blackbirds have been away for a while (moulting) but they are back with a vengeance, I've missed their raucous cackling.

We've also had tree & house sparrows, chaffinches, great tits, blue tits, robins, dunnocks, the wren, lots of starlings, rooks, jackdaws, magpies, collared doves, wood pigeons, secret squirrel, the neighbours cat tuppence (at least a dozen times)....Tongue

The surprise of the day was seeing a grey wagtail around the pond.........quite rare for this bird to visit gardens. I make our garden sound like a nature reserve......but the birds are encouraged to pay us a call. We cater for the local squirrels, they have their own food so they keep away from the feeders.........most of the time anyway........LOL. Last week we had fresh apple blossom appear.........we were amazed.

Whoops almost forgot the coal tit.......tonight the hedgehog has been wandering around.....and of course I've been out with the camera shooting the birds all day...............the light has been wonderful today here in Lincolnshire.

The chickens are locked in for the night, the birds have gone to roost, the cats have gone to bed, we've got our feet up ready for the next fine day............we might start digging the new pond out................then again......we might not.


I hope this thread will grow and grow, I've enjoyed reading how other people are actively enjoying the wildlife they see and reading about some aspects of their day.........Grin

Thanks for starting this thread the saying goes............I'll Be Back.Tongue
StrayCat Avatar
StrayCat 19 19.1k 3 Canada
28 Oct 2011 11:36PM
This is an interesting thread, great idea Chris.Smile

I haven't been mobile much of today, but my wife tells me the partridge haven't been around yet.(It's still only 1622 here in Calgary.) I didn't sleep last night, what with stomach cramps, and my wife's coughing with the flu, so I was catching up today.

Lots of Magpies and sparrows, and the odd bluejay around to feed on the seeds we put out. We got a new brand the other day with peanuts in it, and the jays and magpies love them. The last few days the water in the birdbath has been frpzen, and there's still ice in it now. We're getting as low as -9C these nights, we're at about 4000 ft asl. We live in a condo, and have a small back yard, but outside the wire fence is a field and a ravine that attracts all kinds of wildlife, some of it travelling the ravine all the way from the Rockies. There's been a big old male coyote resting during the afternoons outside the fence,where it's all tall grass; probably explains why we haven't seen any cats around hunting field mice for the past week or so.

I have a new camera, and I've ordered a new lens that should be excellent for photographing the wildlife out there, should have it in about 10 days, can't wait. In the meantime I'm making do with what's at hand. Here's a shot from a couple days ago;


A rare sociable moment.Grin
Paul Morgan Avatar
Paul Morgan 22 19.9k 6 England
29 Oct 2011 12:01AM
Thanks to our pesky cats and there free offering I`ve just spent the forth evening trying to catch a wood mouse.

Last night after giving up I sat in front of the TV with a cup of tea only to find it staring at me across the room, I`d run out of energy Smile
StrayCat Avatar
StrayCat 19 19.1k 3 Canada
29 Oct 2011 12:07AM

Taken from my studio window.
KarenFB Avatar
KarenFB Plus
17 6.0k 185 England
29 Oct 2011 8:34AM
It's wonderful to see wildlife from other countries apart from UK! Smile

We do have hedgehogs on the farm, but I only get to see their little footprints in the mud (their front footprints look like tiny little hands!) - unfortunately there are usually badger prints in the same patch of mud! Sad
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
29 Oct 2011 8:39AM

Quote:It's wonderful to see wildlife from other countries apart from UK!
I agree Karen. Quite exotic in some cases. Smile

How lovely to log on and see all your interesting posts, and your lovely pics StrayCat. Thank you.
I've got to dash out now but I'll catch up and have a proper read later. SmileSmileSmile
SlowSong Avatar
SlowSong Plus
15 11.1k 30 England
29 Oct 2011 5:08PM
Well that was a lovely read NaturesHaven (Julia), what a huge variety of life you have in your garden. It's interesting to note the difference in temperatures in our parts of the world. Sounds like StrayCat (Denny) is in the middle of winter already. We've been walking around in T shirts in London today again! Good luck with the new camera. Smile And I hope that poor mouse finds its way home OK Paul. Sad

Been out most of the day but I did find a flattened and dried out frog under our back door mat. No idea how that got there, unless it crawled there itself and just got trapped. Poor thing.
NaturesHaven Avatar
NaturesHaven 12 283 6 England
30 Oct 2011 10:38AM
I've been out in the garden this morning filling up the feeders for the birds and other dark for me to get my camera out but the temperature as I write is 15 C..........nice and warm, but the cloud is low and grey..........not perfect for taking pictures.

So for now I'll leave the birds in peace............clean out the chickens time and collect some yummy freshly laid eggs.

I hope you all have a great day in whatever you choose to day maybe a bit smelly, those chicks do poo a lot GrinGrin
cattyal Avatar
cattyal Plus
18 9.2k 6 England
30 Oct 2011 11:04AM
I've just come in from my tiny garden and not a lot going out there. I've annoyed a lot of woodlice having been clearing some debris (there's plenty more places for them to go). I've fished four dead snails out of my little pond and was watched by a frog in the process - my frogs have no fear Smile

Buzzed by buzzy things whilst trimming back a bit of ivy (I'm leaving the berries on for the birds over the winter and will prune it properly come the spring).

The perennial flower bed is looking a bit scruffy but gives lots of cover for the frogs and newts and the Goldenrod is hopefully providing some goodies for the birds.

Next job is to chuck a load of crocus bulbs in a big bit of bed that will be planted up properly in the spring.
brian1208 Avatar
brian1208 20 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2011 12:15PM
The Pennesetum and other grasses are looking a bit drab with all the wet but we still have some large Clematis blooming (4th bloom this year - hope they aren't knacked for next year). The Blackcurrant Salvia is still in full bloom and needs cutting back to keep it under control in the wind, winter jasmine is coming out and the Camellia is covered in new buds, so I hope the frost doesn't kill them off like it did last year.

Purple sprouting broccoli is planted out in two of our raised beds and spring bulbs + wall flowers in one of the other two.

Saw our first squirrel in the garden for a couple of years (one of this year's by the look of it), sparrows are back on the feeders, the starlings have gone to annoy someone else and the various tits are just returning. No sign of our winter visitors yet (wren, black-cap pair, chiffchaff etc) but hopefully they will come back soon

Much pruning needed on all our fences, which are permanently hidden under clematis, jasmines, passion flowers and other such rampant growers (when you only have a 40ft square every surface has to be covered in growing things! Grin )
cattyal Avatar
cattyal Plus
18 9.2k 6 England
30 Oct 2011 12:23PM
All chilly now having come back in from the garden - worked up a bit of a sweat as it's rather nice out there Smile I didn't bother planting the bed up - instead the crocus, narcissi and fritillary went into big pots and some old pots of muscari joined them. Hopefully they'll provide a reasonable amount of photo ops in the spring.

I presume it's the squirrels that keep digging pots up - not much I can do about that and I like them anyway - I'll just keep pushing the bulbs back in until they're established.

The big bed can wait until spring for planting - I'll put aside a big chunk of money and then go crazy at the nursery buying goodies - it's a stretch about 3x9 foot and I plan to have it stuffed with flowers next year - perennials of course!

I don't get to see many birds in the garden althogh I'm 99% sure that wrens nest in the thick ivy at the bottom. Blackbirds regularly kindly clear the moss from between the slabs on the patio bit - hopefully they find plenty of food there and I just sweep up afterwards. The local wood pigeons seem to have disappeared, not too sorry about that, starlings are rarely to be seen.

Of course there's nothing to be seen when I'm working out there - just a very noisy frog in the undergrowth somewhere Smile


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