Over the past few weeks, mock exam revision has got me down a bit so one thing I’ve resorted to has been my garden. A place which is literally right outside the window and buzzing with all sorts!
The hedgehogs have now gone into hibernation and the fox hasn’t been back yet (not giving up though!) but the gardens birds have been as active as ever. Watching them for 10 minutes in the morning may make me slightly late for sixth form but it always kicks starts my day. In fact, we had a redpoll in the garden this morning which was obviously a pleasant surprise!
As I said, it always starts my day off on the right foot as well as being a place I can simply go and retreat to when everything’s getting a bit tough. I think sometimes we do take the wildlife in our gardens for granted, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty for that but when I simply pause and watch, it’s just brilliant, and I’ve blogged about it many times!
A few weeks back I had Alys Fowler come and visit my garden here in Lichfield to record part of a podcast for the Guardian’s Sow Grow Repeat. We also had a trip up to my local church yard which is another fantastic, but quirky, place to enjoy the wildlife, whatever time of the year!
You can have a listen here – http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/audio/2015/nov/28/birds-gardening-podcast
Last Wednesday I went to visit my Uncle who lives in Eridge, near Tunbridge Wells for four days with my Brother, another Uncle and my Nan. Where he lives it is surrounded by nothing but the lovely countryside. He has a massive garden which includes a orchard and a large pond. I’ve heard many stories from family members about how brilliant the wildlife is in his garden and that you can see anything from grass snakes and slow worms to foxes and badgers.
When I got there, before unpacking, I went for a look around the garden. To my surprise the first thing I saw was a common lizard which was incredible! After having some lunch I went exploring round the garden again, but this time with my camera. The weather was extremely hot and I decided to have a sit down when a grasshopper jumped onto my wellie, the wildlife was everywhere! I managed to get a photo and I took some photos of the garden too. One of the reasons why we were having a long stay at my Uncles was so my brother and my other Uncle could start clearing out the pond as over the last many years it has become extremely overgrown. Before the pond became overgrown it was a common sight to see grass snakes, newts, moorhens and much more. Here are some of the photos I took on the first day.
The very overgrown pond.
After the first day this what what the pond looked like. One of the first stages of clearing the pond.
The next morning I was up nice and early to check my trail camera (a blog post about the footage I managed to get is coming next!) and to spend another day exploring the vast habitats in the garden. Most of the day I helped with clearing the pond but I did go around with my camera. I even managed to see a slow worm but unfortunately I didn’t photograph it! Here are a few photos from day two.
Here’s an old reed warbler nest we found when clearing the pond.
Once again I was up nice and early to check my trail camera and get started with another lovely day in the garden. Today I went on the hunt for a slow worm again so I could photograph one and luckily I did find the same one again and it was in the same spot. Here are some photos that I took from day three which include my photo of a slow worm!
My brother on a swing we made going over the pond.
This is my brother, Sam, helping me photograph some dragonflies. I sat in the boat and as one landed he would slowly push me out to photograph it.
Today was the last day of our four day break and once again I was up early to check my trail camera. After having my breakfast I went for one last look around the garden before going home. I even spotted the same slow worm at the same place I’d spotted him at the few days before. Here are some photos I took before setting off home.
On all three nights I managed to record some footage on my trail camera too which my next blog post will be all about!
Over the past few weeks I have had the chance to have my trail camera set up in my garden most nights. At first I had a hedgehog visiting every few days but over the past week he has been coming every night. Unfortunately though he hasn’t been around to the last two nights but hopefully he will visit again some time in the next week. I’ve been able to get some footage of the hedgehog on my trail camera, at the moment there is only one visiting but in the past I’ve had up to three.
I attract hedgehogs to my garden with dog food and meal worms which seem to be there favorite. I’m looking forward to filming he or she again over the next few weeks again, here’s some of my most recent best footage.