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Talkback: Wet weather and wildlife

Hi Kate, I saw a Sparrow hawk on my way home from the train ,It was trying to catch a Swallow but the Swallow was to quick,It look's like th...

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Hi Kate, I saw a Sparrow hawk on my way home from the train ,It was trying to catch a Swallow but the Swallow was to quick,It look's like the Swift's have finally gone,I have seen two Swallow's today not very usual round here,What I took for meadow brown butterflies are Gate keeper's,Quite a lot in the park in the long grass,Still haven't seen any Hedgehog's can't remember the last live one I saw.I have only seen one bat all year so far.Lots of bees in the garden.
Old chippy.

Interesting to consider whether this Sparrowhawk might have been a Hobby.


I have had a bat fly in my garden at dusk fir the last two summers hoever this year there are at least two maybe more, so here in Berkshire they are doing ok.
I have also had a lot of gatekeepers and a few tortoiseshell butterflies here along with whites.
I did the count and also did another one when volunteering with the RSPB in Yorkshire.
where i live,i have a lot of trees along my road and i have seen a lot of honey bees hanging around them but i havent seen many butterflies about.



We have a hedgehog visit most nights - we put down a little dried food for him but try not to overfeed him so that he gets our slugs and snails (and hopefully the vineweevils as well ) .  We're getting quite a few bumble bees on the runner bean flowers and we're getting a really good crop, but although the outdoor toms are flowering like mad, not a lot of pollination happening - I'm going out there with a squirrel-hair paintbrush to help things along a bit later this morning when it's really sunny.  We've had few butterflies this year, mainly whites large and small, but yesterday we had Meadow Browns and a Gatekeeper and a small Blue, and today we've got honey bees on the echinacea.

I've seen a few hoverflies on the verbena bon. and on the fennel flowers - as this is the first time in probably 20 years that this garden has had summer flowers and veg  growing in it, I feel quite encouraged really - given the awful weather we've had I was expecting more pollination problems than this. 

On the up side, we've got several happy frogs hopping about in our garden, and as we're not too troubled by slug and snail damage (so far - fingers crossed) I presume they're responsible for helping us out with these.

We get lots of birds in the garden - goldfinches, greenfinches, dunnocks, various tits, robins, chaffinches, blackbirds, blackcaps, willow warbler (I think), house sparrows and starlings, along with collared doves, tame pigeons and wood pigeons - and a few weeks ago a wood pigeon  sitting on our roof ridge early one morning was swiftly picked and plucked and taken off to feed some baby sparrowhawks in the belt of conifers over by the golf course. 

We also get bats regularly passing through our garden in the evening on their way from their roost in some old chalk workings nearby to the marshes over the other side of the hill from here.

So nice to hear someone's still getting hedgehogs in their garden.Haven't had any for two years but then other neighbours putting down slug bait(non-organic) probably hasn't helped,even though have given them the names of organic and effective products.Some organic products are a waste of time and money.Growing Success works for me and also the "   water in" organisms that attack the slugs under the soil are good.

I normally see at least one Peacock butterfly in the garden but none this year other than a Red Admiral, small blue buterflies - I don't know their name - and the usual Cabbage White. There's a white and a deep purple Buddlea, wild Geraniums, Lavender and Globe thistles for them. Thought of planting nettles in a tub to attract more. Anyone else done this?
Pennine Petal
I've only seen cabbage whites this year. Lots of bees on the pink sedum today though.

 looking out the train window I see lot's of buddlea on the track side but no butterflie's this has been a poor year for them alright.


I was in the garden last weekend and noticed a right racket coming from the bird feeder. Turned around and saw a pair of sparrows with at least four newly fledged chicks. And this week have noticed the starlings appear to have had a second brood as several starlings look like theyve just left the nest. I know birds can have second broods but first year I've actually ever noticed fledgings in August. My hedgehog comes around for his (or her) nightly feed, but fills up on mealworm and "Spike" hog food that he takes no interest in the slugs! Bees have seemed a bit more active with the warmer weather. Have seen a few butterflies flitting around the garden - quite a few whites, and a handful of red ones (admirals?)
Pennine Petal
Spiders currently working overtime in my garden building webs from one plant to another. It's surprising how strong some of the threads are and how long. Walked out of the back door straight into a web this morning.

I've had more butterflies in the last week than I have had previously all year.  Let's hope they're just late this year...

Hi! there, talking wild life, I had put garden weeds in bags to take to the local Council recycling plant, how ever thinking it might rain in the night I loaded it into the car for the morning trip, whilst unloading the bags I suddenly caught sight of my frog sitting in the back of the car,luckily he had jumped out of the bag before they were emptied into the skip, the man said would I like him to release it into the wild, I was a bit put out by the thought of my frog being set free on his own and maybe getting run over trying to find his way home, I tucked him up safely and transported him back to where he belonged, He is very special, name Jacko, love him.
Hi Kate, I do agree about the blackbirds, ours had at least three broods, the garden seemed to be full of them! The sparrows and starlings also did well, each having two broods. At one point I counted 21 baby starlings splashing about bathing in the little pool at the top of our small waterfall, with lots more waiting their turn and squabbling in the nearby tree!But it hasnt been such a happy year for butterflies. Despite having butterfly friendly plants like Buddleia, I have only spotted one Peacock and a couple of cabbage whites all year. Bees were also scarce until recently, when the warm spell in August brought them back. The comfrey and lavender were popular with them, also our large Chinese Bee tree, which has just flowered, and attracts all kinds of insects. Worried about the absence of bats this year too, maybe through the lack of flying insects earlier in the year? Wish vine weevil were affected by the rotten weather, but sadly not! Back to the Nematodes!


Hi Mad Marigold, I planted some nettles into a tub about 2 weeks ago, they have not really got going yet so cant really tell you if they make a difference or not. I figure anything is worth a shot to help the wildlife along? Give it a go, it doesnt cost anything!  Good luck!

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