Folksy Ltd

Wildlife in the garden

(Christina Green) #1

I’ve just spotted a snake in my garden!!!

I’m astonished! I live in a village very close to Cambridge and I’ve never seen one around here before. I only saw the last third of it as it glided away through the ivy, but I think it was a grass snake. I’m feeling very lucky, amazing! I have seen newts in my garden and occasional frogs but never a reptile. Looks like all that horticultural neglect has paid off!

Anyone else ever spotted anything unusual in their garden?

(Christine Shephard) #2

Hope it’s not an escaped pet! Where I used to live, one of my neighbours lost a snake and we spent hours looking for it (me hoping not to find it!). It eventually turned up coiled up in an old sofa that someone had in their garage - a bit thinner, but still alive.

(Christina Green) #3

No, I’m sure it’s a native snake :smile:

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #4

We’re really lucky that we back onto heathland - apart from the squirrels, squillions of birds (including woodepeckers, nuthatches and the herons, swans and geese that fly overhead etc) we also get snakes that come for a dip in the pond, plus the frogs and newts.

We also get a mole - he’s not such a welcome visitor as when he’s in full swing there are mole holes everywhere!

We don;t mind the grass snakes, but as there have been adders sighted over on the heath we do worry about it when we see anything bigger in the garden,

Oh, and we hear the owls a lot, though I’ve not spotted one yet, but it’s fun to out and watch the bats flitting around the trees at dusk :slight_smile:

(Margaret Jackson) #5

I haven’t seen too much wildlife in the garden itself, and certainly no snakes! There are bats around though, I love going out at dusk to watch them, and plenty of owls to be heard.

(Helen Smith) #6

Our garden is rather full of feathers at the moment after the local buzzard decided to eat his breakfast - a pigeon - on the lawn. He left quite a lot of it behind for me to dispose of, messy eater!

(Christina Green) #7

Wow! What a wonderful wealth of wildlife you have!! We are within a short walk of the city of Cambridge and have a field behind our house. The field is sort of part of someone’s garden, not farmed but not very wild either. Hence my astonishment over the snake. We see most of the wildlife you see, apart from the mole and the nuthatch. You probably get more of a diversity of birds but we do OK here. I saw an owl one night when walking the ferrets after dark and hear them regularly. Bats too visit often. My daughter once saw a stoat dancing on the lawn, maybe it had dropped by to visit the relatives! :smiley:

(Christina Green) #8

Eww! Nature red in tooth and claw, eh? Before we moved to the village and lived over the border in the city (just) I once saw a sparrowhawk eating a collared dove on the lawn, much tidier, nothing left but feathers! And what a beautiful bird! Bright yellow eyes and grey barred breast. Stunning! We still have sparrowhawks locally, plus kestrels and buzzards now, but I’ve only seen buzzards distantly. They are impressive, aren’t they? Not pretty like the sparrowhawk but big!

(Sharonj19) #9

We have lots of rabbits - it keeps the dogs amused but thankfully they have never caught one! Oh - and hedgehogs make an appearance too. :slight_smile:

(Sharonj19) #10

We have a buzzard visitor but the rooks go bananas so he isn’t around for long.

(Helen Smith) #11

Our buzzard is supremely unbothered by the other birds mobbing him(her?). We have a great photo where he is sitting on our neighbours chimney stack and the crows are divebombing him, launching themselves off the tv aerial above.

(Brenda Cumming) #12

we have foxes and badgers in our garden every day. We save all our scraps for them and put them out as soon as it gets dark. We also have a squirrel that comes inside to get monkey nuts and if the window is closed he stands on his haunches and looks longingly at us. Apart from that we have woodpeckers, nuthatches, various finches and buzzards circling overhead and one very quick sparrowhawk that we have called Harry.

(Amanda Robins) #13

I had a hedeghog trundle only a yard away from me a few evenings ago, noshing its way through the plentiful snails that are around already. I’ve got one dollop of frog spawn in my small pond and a couple of foxes use my garden as a toilet! I’ve also got quite a few different birds nesting in my hedges. Not bad for the Manchester 'burbs.

(Margaret Jackson) #14

I’m feeling left out as I don’t see any of these exciting creatures in my garden. I do have the occasional frog that frightens the life out of me by leaping out of the shrubbery when I’m weeding, and the very occasional buzzard flying overhead. Foxes and badgers sound very exciting!

(Christina Green) #15

Frogs have a wicked sense of humour! :wink:

Yes, foxes do sound very exciting - so exciting in fact that I had to restrain my husband from calling the police one night, he thought someone was being murdered!!! It was a vixen, they scream. Never seen the foxes though… they’re probably too busy trying to raid next door’s chicken house to spend much time in our garden!

(Marg) #16

I’ve only got birds in my garden. I put out some bird seed and fat balls in the winter, but they didn’t eat many. I have an old chair in my garden which I have put seeds on and grated up a fat ball and added that to it. The sparrows now visit my garden and I have a pair of blackbirds also, so I am very pleased as I can stand at my sink and the birds are just a few feet away. I also have pied wagtails flitting about my front law and of course magpies. Marg. x

(Emma Higgins - Printmaker) #17

Keep going with feeding the birds Margaret, you might find that the longer the food is there, the more that different varieties of bird start to visit. We only had sparrows and blackbirds for a long long time. Because we kept putting the food out consistently, it was like the word got out… now we regularly have coal tits, great tits, blue tits, and blackcaps.
The goldfinches seem to visit for only one day a year, it’s a standing joke that I see them, rush out to buy niger seed (that they love) then don’t see them again for a whole year- I’m sure they do it on purpose!
We get magpies like you do but I’m not keen as I’ve found some broken little eggs beneath a tree in our garden and I’m sure its the magpies, having a snack from other little bird’s nests.
I thought we had a fox once but it turned out to be a massive ginger cat… my husband thinks it’s hilarious and won’t let me forget about it!
Emma x

(Gerda Austin) #18

I have only got birds in my garden … I moved house about 4 months ago and in my old house I had a hedgehog family ! They use to come out looking for food late at night !

Gerda x

(Brenda Cumming) #19

our little fox is outside now, enjoying the left over chips from dinner.

(Christina Green) #20

Lovely! :smiley: