Friday, 24 November 2017

Not Black, not Grey... it's Red Friday :-)

After the first ever Red squirrel garden visits spotted earlier last November, expecting them to return in 2017 was a very faint thought indeed. That really would be greedy to be so very privileged again… but one very alert and no nonsense one has!

For the past three, very different weather wise, lunchtimes I have been so very, very lucky to be at home, sipping homemade soup by my gardenwatch window to see a red squirrel feeding at our garden peanut feeder! What a delightful lunch companion it has been too :-)

NOV 22: Wednesday, a dark dreich day – the red squirrel brightened up.

NOV 23: Thursday, chilly with sunshine – the red squirrel is so comical to watch.

NOV 23: Thursday, the red squirrel stops feeding only very briefly to look around.
Little did it known that it had a queue of watchers, me, 2x magpies one on post very close by, Woodpigeons on fav garden perches plus other regular birds too.

NOV 24: Friday, heavy snow for a bit, how brilliant to get the chance to see and photograph this wonderful charismatic animal with snow – fantastic…

NOV 24: Friday, magpies didn’t come close to the red squirrel but smaller birds did.
Capture of today has to be the little wren standing its ground… just brilliant :-)

This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in November 2017.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Answer: The building of a wildlife pond

Question: What would you say blogging has inspired you to do in your garden that you didn’t expect? Please leave your answers in a comment :-)

It’s fair to say that garden blogging changes the way we look at our gardens. In our pursuit of supporting photos we discover small details often overlooked. We become inspired by further research, posts by other garden bloggers and drawn to aspects of gardening never remotely considered when we published that first blog post.

AUG 30: Common Darter resting on pondside bergenia leaves.

Happy 11th Birthday, shirls gardenwatch!!! I seriously never expected to be publishing this birthday post today. Wow… eleven years. Thanks to blogging with you I’ve turned my garden into a space that so much wildlife visits, that I never imagined, but at the same time I’ve kept my plant lover’s garden too. I found a fun creative outlet in taking photos, videos and writing in a variety of styles. I’ve ‘met’ some great people along the way too :-)

THANK-YOU to everyone who has continued to pop by during a more sparse year of blog posts and blog browsing. I have seriously appreciated seeing your comments come through. Our interactions with our gardens is one of the great aspects of garden blogging. You all continue to inspire me drawing me back to post when I can.

Wishing you all a great week ahead! Below are some links that might inspire you or someone you know to build a garden wildlife pond :-)

Creating Garden Ponds for Wildlife - Freshwater Habitats Trust
Pond construction and repair - The Royal Horticultural Society
Wildlife Pond Pack - The Wildlife Trusts

This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in November 2017.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Loving Autumn watching

Right now in this October 2017 Perthshire garden, bird species and numbers are increasing at the feeders almost daily. I'm on the lookout for Redpolls now. It's a great season to be gardenwatching! As a garden blogger there is much to chat about at this time of year. Red Admiral butterflies are still visiting, 4 counted the other day, but soon they will move on so each sighting is precious.

Yes, is the answer to the question: “Are hedgehogs still visiting the garden in mid-October?” should you be wondering. I can confirm that from a sighting last night via a new IR camera in the garden. It's been great fun to browse footage from a replacement, reasonably priced, trail camera bought especially to find this out. No current sightings in the hedgehog feeding station though.

Tonight, is the answer to the question: “When is BBC Autumnwatch 2017 on?" should you be wondering that. As always, I’m very much looking forward to it! I will keep this blog brief so you have more time to browse links to Autumn wildlife from around the UK. Check out BBC Autumnwatch on facebook , follow the latest wildlife happenings at BBC Autumnwatch Live and browse the chat and fantastic Autumn photo captures shared on the BBC Autumnwatch website.

Enjoy browsing these links above, they definitely inspire appreciation of our flora and fauna at this time of year. There’s the basic info about this year's Autumnwatch at the bottom of this post - times, presenters and location. For now, here are a few current Autumn captures from my little corner of the UK…

OCT 20: Red Admiral butterfly with other insects feeding on Acer leaves – aphids?

OCT 20: Red Admiral butterflies feeding on pergola roof ivy flowers – how many?

OCT 20: Blue tit rooster agitated just after 5:45pm by another trying to come in!

OCT 20: Blogger setting up trail camera at first day test position, colours ok
Could this be the year the red cotoneaster berries attract Waxwings?

OCT 20-22: IR night captures of a mouse, hedgehog, garden blogger and a cat!

Clicking on the last image above will enlarge it to see, from top left, the hedgehog feeding station entrance between the two plant pots and a mouse running away from it with food. Camera moved to another position later that night caught a hedgehog just after midnight! To encourage the hedgehog to forage a bit more in the direction of the covered feeding station, the next evening the blogger sprinkles a food trail but only a cat is seen walking over it at dusk.

Trail cameras are fun but not essential when it comes to watching wildlife in the garden - having house window views to the garden work just as well. I absolutely love my gardenwatch window and especially when I’ve time for breakfast bird counts from it. It’s a great way to start the day :-)

What Autumn wildlife are you enjoying watching from your house windows just now? What are the season’s highlights from your part of the world? We’d all love to hear about them. For those that would like to hear more about the 2017 Autumnwatch series here’s the info promised above…

"When is it on TV?
Autumnwatch starts at 8pm on Monday 23rd October. There will be four episodes, all on BBC Two.

Who are the presenters?
Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games will be based at Sherborne, and will explore how our British wildlife is coping with the onset of autumn across the UK. Meanwhile Gillian Burke will be live from England's south coast, getting to know a unique family of foxes in intimate detail.

Where will the team be based?
Autumnwatch returns to its year-long home in the heart of the Cotswold countryside, at the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate. The Estate was chosen as ‘the Watches’ first ever year-round location for the fantastic variety of habitats and wildlife to be found there, and because the mix of woodland, farmland and parkland (and the species that live in it), is an microcosm of the kind of British countryside that is accessible to most people in the UK."
BBC Website: Everything you need to know about Autumnwatch 2017

Enjoy Autumn watching everyone :-)

This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in October 2017.