This spring while I am around the garden so much more, I am recording all the wildlife I see in it. We have spent years planting trees and plants to encourage wildlife, making a little wildlife pond, putting up nest boxes and never using pesticides and it has paid off. We see much more wildlife now than when we first moved into our house. For my birthday a couple of years ago, my family kindly bought me a trailcam. I have used it quite a lot but this spring I have purchased some packs of rechargable batteries and I am going to try and keep it in place in the garden all the time. No matter how interesting the wildlife in our garden is, all I seem to manage to capture is hours of footage of our cat, our neighbours cat, and all the overfed wood pigeons and squirrels in the area. I have seen a few glimpses at night of one of the two foxes that live at the end of the garden but even though I often see them strolling around during the day they have managed to avoid getting caught on camera. I’m starting to feel like the paparazzi hanging around, waiting for that elusive shot of a celebrity.
I do love the collared doves in our garden. I love the noise they make when they come into land and the delicate way they walk about. Apparently they are one of the great colonisers of the bird world, having spread west from Asia, they first bred here in the 1950s and has even reached America.
I like this photo of a wood pigeon coming in to land on one of the bird tables as they look so much more elegant in flight than when they have landed! I love to watch them fly over in the evening to roost in the trees. They look so different in flight.
They can happily spend half the morning eating and if they are not eating they seem to be arguing about which one gets the food. They do make me smile. The RSPB website says that there are approximately 5,400,000 pairs in the UK which is an incredibly large number but then populations of house sparrows across the UK have fallen from about 12 million pairs in the 1970s to between 6 and 7 million pairs today so I suppose we shouldn’t take them for granted.
The other very frequent visitors to our garden are grey squirrels. Seen as vermin by some people I think they are very entertaining and try to always give them their own food supply so they are not always hanging off the bird feeders.
Classified as an invasive non-native species grey squirrels were introduced into the UK in the 1890s. Now with an estimated population of 2,500,000 across the UK they greatly outnumber the British red squirrel of which, only around 10,000 -15,000 are thought to exist. Although unpopular with many I love watching them and they can become very tame if fed.
These are the three most common wildlife visitors to our garden, there are many more less frequent visitors that I am hoping to be able to catch with my trailcam in the next few months.