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Wildlife moving in!


I like to think that the garden will be a haven for some wildlife in the sea of mono-crops in the farmland surrounding us, but the fox that has visited and taken another couple of the chickens is not welcome! With one odd free-range chicken (during the day) taken from the middle of the meadow we did wonder if it was a buzzard, but the real culprit was spotted a few days later running up the side of the meadow, to find that he had dragged one of unfortunate (but stupid) chickens through the sheep-netting fence, leaving a trail of feathers.
On a happier note we have several small birds nesting in the garden, as well as the usual abundance of pigeons which are in too abundant a supply.
Gardening in the shade yesterday, really unpleasantly hot here to work, I was tackling the area beside the lawns which is over-run with self-seeded elder (courtesy of the pigeons), Lamium (courtesy of me!), brambles, nettles and thistles and had to keep moving further up as there are birds nesting in the hedge.
We appear to have a Green Woodpecker nesting in the back of the Poplar tree. Having seen it land on the tree trunk and disappear round the back, inspection revealed heaps of wood shavings all over the ground and hedge as if a carpenter had been! The box was put up just prior to this as it was left over when our pet Parrakeet Holly flew through three rooms and escaped over my head through the gap in the door and frame. Gone! Never to be seen again, now unfortunately probably a very expensive meal for the Sparrowhawk. The Poplar tree is just to the right of the box and the trunk splits at this point.

My neighbour built both of us some boxes for the Little Owls which are about here and having moved a bit further up the hedge area to avoid disturbing the Woodpecker, I was under the box. Noises and twitterings inside necessitated another move further along!
The box is built from the plan given on the RSPB or similar site and contains a tunnel arrangement inside to dissuade other birds. Hopefully inside are some Little Owls.

The bird table which we inherited when we moved here has for some strange reason a nestbox incorporated in the roof, too much disturbance you would think. But every year we have a pair of Great-Tits which raise a brood or two in there.

Even with the young Magpie blundering about on the roof, jumping from there towards the fat holder but not managing to work out how to get to it. The Greengage tree which the table is under is being decimated by the pigeons who have already stripped the cherry tree where they can reach, the ones on the ends of the branches usually get stripped by the Blackbirds before they get fully ripe!

Moving further up the hedge I was chattered at by a mob of wrens, not for a nest I think, but for the young they had in the hedge and branches. The old stump on the other side of the garden, which I left to grow an Actinidia over, has had to be left unweeded as a Wren has built a nest in the cleft at the base about 12" off the ground, only discovered when I tried to weed out some of the white dead-nettle in the garden.

We have other nest-boxes dotted about the garden, some occupied by Blue-Tits and have also had a Blackbird in the wood-shed, Wren in Boris’s shed, Robin in the tool-shed (sadly didn’t raise them) and the Moorhens have had two broods, neither of which seem to be about, they seem to make unlucky or negligent mothers!
The baby rabbit is creating havoc on the newly emerging plants and will of course grow bigger and hungrier!

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i have never seen a green woodpecker although we have 2 pair of the spotted one

19 May, 2014


sounds a lot like my I was picking up a pile of raking that I've neglected and when I got to almost the bottom of the pile I found three little gray field mice in a nice warm nest. I just put the top back on the pile and left it. I hope Rufus doesn't find the nest before mama mouse can move them.
When it comes right down to it...isn't attracting nature and having a natural setting the best reason for gardening? I have a farm neighbour whose pigs have eaten most of the roots of the trilliums that brighten our woods in spring. I'm livid, because it takes the trilliums 8 years to produce blossom. alas! Also, deer who will eat almost anything because they are hungry after a long hard winter.
enjoyed this blog very much, honeysucklegold.

19 May, 2014


What a delightful blog Honeysuckle, its wonderful that you have so many birds nesting in your garden.

19 May, 2014


Thank you so much for your kind comments.
For Lori, I know the 'move a pile, put it back' as we did the same and found a nest of the tiny bumblebee variety! And.. years ago I notified a Council Authority that the land they were going to allow to be built on was full of wild orchids, did it make any difference, of course not! If I had tried to dig one up, that would have been different, but they could plough them in - makes you livid!
Thank you Stroller, we don't have any cats or dogs, so every thing is quite tame, tonight one of the blackbirds came and snatched a piece of cake from under the peacocks beak and they are getting used to the evening whistle and call to the peacocks and guinea-fowl that it is cake time, so they appear too when the others come running.
For Snoopdog, we see the Pied Woodpeckers here too as visitors, but the Green has always been about more often. They dig for the 'leather-jackets' and wait for them to hatch later in the year when we get Peacocks and the Woodpecker patrolling the grass waiting for the Craneflys to emerge. The Green Woodpecker also loves the huge amount of ant's nests we get in the grass and path edges so can often be seen turning them over and even with the wings outspread over the ants nest getting the spray treatment for pests!
Gardening today along the same stretch got me thinking about the noise in the 'owl' box and not having seen Poppet (our free-flying lovebird) for a couple of days, had this ghastly thought he might have got stuck in the box.
As you all know once you get an idea in your head, it won't shift! So out came the big ladder and stealthily I climbed to the owl box and gingerly opened the little door in the front.
What did I find? A large fledgling, definitely not of the Little Owl variety! I thought it was a Starling, but apparently information from a 'birding' aquaintance suggests it is a Jackdaw as they are the ones which will negotiate the tunnel piece inside! At least it is in use, even if it wasn't by the intended lodger!

19 May, 2014


A thoroughly enjoyable read. What a wonderful array of garden residents and visitors. Heaven!

19 May, 2014

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