The back garden might not be the first place some people think of when asked where they asked about great wildlife viewing hotspots but with a little patience you can be amazed by the sights and sounds of the wildlife so close to home.
On a typical day our garden can be visited by numerous species of which mostly commonly seen include chaffinches, blackbirds, robins, magpies, woodpigeons, green finches, house sparrows, blue tits, great tits, starlings, rooks and jackdaws. Less common visitors include bullfinches, blackcaps, pheasents, long tailed tits, goldcrests, redwings and jays. These all over time have learnt there are generous helpings of free hand outs to be had unaware that in return for visiting the garden they give a huge amount of enjoyment to anyone watching them. The tranquillity is sometimes broken however in the chaos, which ensues only, when an approaching sparrowhawk is approaching as birds erupt in panic and desperately search for cover, a split second difference in reaction time could well be the difference between life and death.
Further across the garden our small pond provides a home for a whole range of different species, which can be seen particularly in the warmer weather including pond skaters, toads, frogs and newts. One of the highlights of watching the local wildlife is witnessing the development of tadpoles into fully grown adults always fascinating. On warm summer evenings, bats can be seen flying low over the water to catch midges and other small flying insects always providing spectacular acrobatic displays. In the woods very close to the back of the house, tawny owls can be heard calling while often foxes barking like vocalisations call also be heard in the nearby fields. Plants provide a home and food for a whole miniature world as bees busily pollinate and spiders spin their webs waiting for an unfortunate victim. Butterflies of several varieties also like to call a quiet back garden home.
So often taking the time to just sit, watch and listen can often be just as rewarding as going on long trips searching for wildlife, which sometimes is right under our noses.
Until next time, all the best George.