Over a year ago I began posting on how to create a wildlife garden in the city ,as its now been over a year I thought an update would be useful.I will add three more updates over the year.
I have spent around a £100 to £150 to create the front garden over an 18 month period .
It began as this
And currently looks a bit bleak as its winter but I now have flower beds and a few shrubs
Though this seems quite a lot most of the expenditure was spread over the weeks ,eg I spent £1 on my last shop on some bulbs ,I usually buy a bag of seeds or bulbs or a cheap plants on each shop or a grow bag spending between £1 and £2.50 a week during my food shopping trips.The back garden I have spent around £500 on including an arbour £50 from ebay I also bought an arch which I use for some bird feeders.
and a metal table and 2 chairs.
I also moved a bench from inside which now doubles as a hedgehog feeding station and nest.
Theres currently a hedgehog hibernating in it.Only £200 of the spend was on wildlife features,trees ,shrubs and plants.
Overall there has been a significant increase in both the numbers and species birds visiting the garden.I have planted a lot of winter flowering plants and shrubs as I wanted to make sure the garden had berries for birds in spring and food for early bees and butterflies.This post records the comings and goings at various times in the day in my garden near the centre of Leeds.Once nightfalls I have had to rely on last summers photos and for the owl a creative commons image as my camera is not up to the task of taking photos after dusk.
I top up the bird feeders and water and put out food for the ground feeding birds which I throw into the hedge to avoid having the pigeons eat it all .I also put a dish of food on a chiminea for the robin I leave both chopped and whole apples and pears out and they are often snacking on these when I come down .The squirrels are usually stealing from either mine or the neighbours feeders.
and pigeons are eating up the fallen seed from them .Alongside Blackbirds which are almost always the first birds I see if I am up early
There are usually blue tits,coal tits and slightly later great tits
.At the front there will be house sparrows and a pair of black birds ,these appear on and off all through the day at the front either at the feeders or in the tree and hedge.The gold finches also appear at the front so I have added a Nyger feeder there.
During winter the blackbird numbers increase radically there are at least six and I think closer to 8 or even ten spread between the front and back gardens.
Later once they have spotted me the magpies and crows come for their dog or cat food. The starlings appear and sometimes the woodpigeons.
,the thrush usually appears for the first time around now
and the robins
Towards mid morning the finches appear ,the gold finches are a success story ,when we first came there were none visiting ,we started to see the odd one or two last summer and now theres at least half a dozen
and probably a lot more as they are often spread around different feeders.
The bullfinches have just started to visit regularly
and recently the male acquired a mate
We also recently had siskins appear first one and now there’s three
One morning I sat down to coffee to see the peregrine that normally sits in the trees actually perched in the garden .
Later at lunch time or early afternoon the grey wagtail appears
More visits from the blue tits,coal,tits and great tits and later in the day the long tailed tits appear.
and the woodpecker
If theres going to be an unusual visitor its around now ,occasionally I see a jay or a parakeet which is another recent visitor ,I have never spotted him in the garden as yet hes sits in the tree at the foot of the garden and flys over ,hes landed in a neighbor’s garden and I hear him when I walk the dogs .
At night the odd fox might sneak in if the fence has come loose,these are last summers photos ,its too dark to catch the foxes and hedgehogs on camera at the moment
We rescued 6 autumn juvenile hedgehogs this winter one was much less than 300 gms most were around the 350 mark and as the weather had been so mild we released them in twos as they reached the needed 650 grams one is still active as its been far too warm since its release for it to feel the need to hibernate.This is the last rescue hog just before release .
At night there will be owls ,we definitely have a Barn owl and one other owl though I dont know what species it is
Since last winter we have lost the nuthatch who was a regular visitor and there were no overwintering black caps this year but overall theres been a huge increase in the numbers and species of birds .I hope that once spring and summer arrvies there will be a similare increase in butterflies ,.bees ,bats and maybe frogs may appear .