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02/10/2008 at 00:06
We are facing really big problems with Raccoons and Skunks in our garden. Not to forget about the rattle snakes. Our 4 cats are very active but.... tuff chance against these trouble makers. Guess you wonder where in England Raccoons, Skunks and Rattle snakes causing this kind of autumnal garden entertainment? No worries! We are living in California.
02/10/2008 at 18:36
I hang a bird feeder and a small fat ball in my 'standard shaped' eucalyptus tree (the pruned stumps make idea bird perches.) This is situated just outside my bungalow bedroom window (in the north east of England.) It attracts mainly blue tits, great tits and coal tits. They seem to love the black and beige sort of sunflower seeds. I tried the nigeria black seed, to see if the gold finches would come - but no luck at all - in fact, these seeds started to sprout,as none of the birdlife took any interest!

Flurries of house sparrows also visit regularly, squabbling, pecking and jumping on each other each other for posession of the fat ball. Earlier in the year there were lots of blackbirds and mistle thrushs - but I haven't seen them for about a month or two now.

Occasionally, I see a cat prowling down the nearby path, but with plenty of ivy and shrub cover nearby its been out of luck, thank goodness.

02/10/2008 at 19:11
We still have lots of wildlife about. In fact we have lost a pair of slippers and a walking boot to the foxes, a squirrel that can't keep his hand off our nuts! and a heron that visits from time to time and the usual birds
03/10/2008 at 13:01
I suppose also this is the time of year when we get a slight wind and end up with 3 ton of leaves, also we have several chestnut trees at the end of the garden (not in the garden but in the woods) its like fighting a losing battle, does anybody know a way of deterring badgers from my garden they have decimated my lawn??
03/10/2008 at 13:19
We are still seeing woodpeckers, jays, robins and several other garden birds, but that could be because we are very close to a woods and nature reserve. Also the lawn has scrapings on it most mornings. Not sure if it's squirrels or if the badger is finding a way in again. We have had an unusual visitor this year, which i have found out is an elephant hawk moth caterpillar. I first thought it was a slug. They were last seen demolishing a fuchsia bush, which they apparently love.I've read they will pupate from now until May, when it turns into a very pretty moth.
03/10/2008 at 13:25
I imagine that the recent cyclonic weather has an effect on local wildlife. Butterflies and dragonflies will avoid flight while we have gusty wind and showers. Who can blame them?

The sparrowhawks don't seem put off though. Sparrows are very much on the menu. I recently discovered a very busy hornets nest in a nearby tree. I was very pleased to see that these magnificent animals seemed to be thriving despite generations of persecution. I live in North Kent.

04/10/2008 at 12:04
We still get flocks of goldfinches, greenfinches, the bluetits whizz in and out fast, the collared doves all hang around waiting for the rest to throw the seed around, but they all love the sunflower Kernels the sparrows and the greenfinches push each other of the feeder, but the blackbirds are few and far between at the moment we had quite a few at the beginning of the year but their just seems to be the one at the moment, and i have only seen one of the robins just lately we did have a grey squirrel a few weeks ago hanging upside down on a bird feeder that said on the label squirrel proof, ha ha I did take a photo but it is still in the camera waiting to finish the reel and be developed, but I did take it through the window so I will not hold my breath. we live in the depths of South Yorkshire.
04/10/2008 at 14:02
Last winter I had a problem with rats in my compost bin. They were tunnelling underneath to get in, so a few weeks ago I emptied the bin & put down wire mesh in the hope that it will keep them out. Has anyone any other ideas?
04/10/2008 at 20:25
At this time of year it's entertaining to watch rooks flying into a nearby plum tree, then flying away, each with a plum in its beak. One decided to 'caw’, and dropped his plum. Anyone passing underneath would have been surprised!(His mum didn't teach him not to caw with his beak full!
05/10/2008 at 23:27
I had a big problem with rats, actually had three running on the outside of my conservatory windowsill! I called the pest control officer who got rid of them but they were nesting in my compost heap. He told me to let the hose run into it occasionally as rats will only go into the heap for the dry warmth.
06/10/2008 at 14:24
We have a couple of squirrels who enjoy the peanuts from our squirrel box - made by my husband to keep them off the birdfeeders. They often bury nuts in the pots on the patio and I've had numerous sproutings! However we've been watching one this weekend who appears to be short-sighted - it's digging up pebbles from my herb bed, cleaning them off and then burying them in the lawn. I know their teeth are strong but this is ridiculous! One of them has also developed a wet weather strategy - when it's raining it gets inside the box (front and top are perspex) and props the lid on its head to keep dry while munching away.

A huge roost of sparrows in the pyrancantha hedge have been very noisy this week - the sparrowhawk knows exactly where they are, but usually takes something larger. Very few wood pigeons about at the moment - I'm not sorry as they were becoming a real pest. Collared doves, blue tits and great tits are still regular visitors, and of course the quarrelsome starlings who love the windfall apples, but not many other types recently.

06/10/2008 at 15:11
Wow, loved your wet weather squirrel story, Shirley - I can just picture him - so cute! :-) Sounds like your wood pigeons have migrated to my garden - it seems there never fails to be at least one and sometimes several in my tiny suburban patch! I don't really mind them (although they do eat a huge amount!) as long as the other birds also get a look-in which they seem to! In the past couple of weeks I've seen loads of starlings, collared doves, at least a couple of robins, dunnocks, blue tits, one coal tit once and a huge flock of long tailed tits passing over, some of whom stopped by on their way through while I was standing not three feet away from the feeder - wonderful! I didn't dare move until they'd gone though! :-)
07/10/2008 at 17:58
We put our compost bin on a concrete surface as this is the only way to ensure that rats won't burrow into it. Wire mesh is another good idea, plus it allows drainage and access for invertebrates.

I love watching the squirrels in the garden, even though they can be cheeky rascals, especially when they chase each other round and round the oak tree trunk. It is amazing they don't get dizzy and fall off! I, too, have pictures a squirrel inside an allegedly squirrel proof feeder. ;)

Now the weather is getting colder the birds are coming back to the feeders in numbers.

08/10/2008 at 10:54
Whilst doing my autumn tidy up and putting the garden to 'bed,' I looked up to see the jackdaws perching on top of my neighbours chimney pots. They love to skip around the top edges of the chimney pots, stopping every so often to peer inside them - sometimes all you can see is their tails bobbing about as they dip into the pots. Are they searching for insects?
10/10/2008 at 14:41
7.00am yesterday morning from my window were six cock pheasants and seven moorhens enjoying their early morning breakfast on the lawn. The sun was rising and the cock pheasants looked so colourful. A couple of pigeons flew in to join the feast. My husband called me to the other window where we saw a greater spotted woodpecker on the bird feeder. Haven't seen the green woodpecker for a few weeks. He came everday and enjoyed the insects beneath our lawn. Later, while walking in adjoining fields watched two buzzards circling overhead. They have been around all summer - hope they managed to breed some young.
11/10/2008 at 08:42
I moved to Scotland from Yorkshire just over a year ago. This must be the best place on earth for seeing wildlife in the garden. There are too numerous to list, red squirrels, rabbits, red and roe deer, buzzards, pheasants, slow worms, stoats, toads, and many different types of bird life, and the views are amazing. I feel privileged to live here, even though the roe deer ate all 45 of my spring cabbage last year! As for global warming one day last January the warmest part of the day was -11. brrrr!
11/10/2008 at 09:25
I have had the pleasure of coming across my first rat in the compost bin - whilst trying to empty my dalek compost bin using a garden fork to prong the contents from the top, I disturbed a very well fed rat who scuttled off at great speed! My mulch was great - full of worms but quite damp - perhaps I should put more paper in?
11/10/2008 at 17:29
I have a regular visitor to my garden. A beautiful deer. I know they can cause damage but I think it is so rewarding to see these amazing animals up lose and personal!
12/10/2008 at 16:23
Still plenty of birds around at present. The blackbirds especially are enjoying the variety of berries that surround the garden - in particular my grapes which are small and not so sweet! rather gave up 'thinning out' as would have spent all my time dodging the summer deluge! Robins still vocal and numerous blue and great tits visit the bird table. Have been unable to encourage the goldfinch into my garden - my mum had 19 in one sitting this week! Happy Autumn all gardeners.
23/10/2008 at 20:49
Hello! Although I'm a bit far away from you all, we still live in the same planet... My house is a very old and isolated vicarage settled in the top of a hill, at 60 km north of Barcelona city. I'm happy to say I still share my days with: - a whole family of bats(squatters in my basement; apparently they love my cave!!...although they don't drink the wine, I thank God for it) -happy snakes (found a hugue one in the kitchen a couple of days ago) - some dangerous vipers, mostly in the grass (uf!) - lots of bees (I have had pannels in lots of windows) - astonishingly beautiful ladybirds in both swimming pool and pool - all sizes frogs outside - all sizes spiders inside (I simply adore them, great architects!) -mice and rats have definetly left the home after I bought a home cinema with sensoround sound a couple of years ago...(not a joke, there were plenty of them and they suddenly vanished; I presume the vibrations of the cinema sound scares them) -we still have plenty of birds coming, bathing in the pool and eating most of our fruits. Warm regars from sunny Spain!! Dolores
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