Get ready for winter...

It's looking like it's going to be another bad winter.  The indications are there already:  many wild garden birds are on their second or third clutches and the berries are looking bigger and brighter.  I guess there's another sign that I'll be watching for - the colouring of the autumn leaves.  If you get really lovely colours in autumn leaves, it's another sign of a harsh winter to come.

Here are some things that we can do:

Put wood chipping over your plants - especially if all your plants are in pots like mine.
Put the more vulnerable species of plants against the walls of your house and bubble wrap the pots.
Leave piles of logs and some clay pots covered with fallen leaves for frogs, toads and newts to hide in.
Put up a bat box if you've seen bats flying in your area at night.
Make a hedgehog shelter if you've seen them frequent your garden.
Leave places for insects to hide - more log piles etc.
Leave plenty of water out for garden birds (thirst during winter is one of the biggest killers of garden birds).
Put up your bird feeding stations and think about what they need to get through winter.

As for the foods they like, this is my list just through observing the different species in my garden:

General bird seed: sparrows
Nyjer seed: greenfinch, goldfinch
Black sunflower seeds: sparrows, bullfinch, great tit, coal tit, blue tit
Fat balls: sparrows, blue tits, long tailed tits
Suet pellets: robins, sparrows
Mealworm: robins, sparrows, starlings
Peanuts: great tit, coal tit, blue tit, great spotted woodpecker, grey squirrel
Bread: black birds, thrush, crows, wood pigeon, collared doves, magpies
Baby slugs: frogs and toads
Wood chippings will allow insect to survive as well which will feed some of the above.

As for me, autumn's the time I contemplate the last year and ponder the lessons learned, as well as the changes that I want to make ... that I can make.  Winter's the time when I plant the seeds of those changes for the year to come ... while withdrawing more into the den of the wolf.

Feel free to add your own observations re animal info and what they eat etc.

All the best


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