Sunday, 11 May 2014

Garden Wildlife

So after reading Sue's recent post I thought I would introduce you to some of my more recently seen wildlife in the garden.

I found this creep inside one of my propagator lids a few weeks ago.  I tried to pull it off but he was having none of it!  Eventually they crawled to the corner and I managed to slide them off.  I'm glad to have found the pest here though, because as it was trapped I was able to catch it and take it out of the garden completely.

I'm always surprised by how fast these little creatures are, considering how they are often associated with being so slow.  If I'd asked this particular snail to deliver my mail it probably would have been a strong rival to Royal Mail!  Let's just hope he doesn't use his speed to return to my garden any time soon.

Okay, so the squirrel isn't really in my garden.  This is Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, where squirrels hang out like inquisitive children or akin to the pigeons in pretty much every town square.  They're bold and fearless and will happily come up and sit on a bench or the grass with you, waiting for you to share your lunch.  I seem to have this affinity with nearly all animals, who think I will be happy to share my lunch with them and they also enjoy coming up for a lick/nibble on my vegetarian flesh (I've decided I must just smell of vegetables or gardens or something).  I'm not as much of a fan of them as they are of me (up close anyway), and prefer to admire from at least a slight distance!!

Apologies for the terrible photo, but this was literally snapped in the middle of the night in the pitch dark, using only the phone camera light.  And the wee thing was on the move.  I discovered it when I went round in the dark to pull the bin around, having remembered moments before heading up to bed that the bins get collected the next morning.  

So in a frantic moment I raced around the back, from the front (the idea being I would come back into the front of the house from the street).  Just as well, as if I'd gone straight out the back I may have mowed this poor thing down with a wheelie bin!  I got to the corner and heard an animal sniffing in retort with great alarm, and as it was on the stones it made quite a noise retracting from my foot which landed directly next to it.  

At first I thought it might be a cat judging by the noises it made, plus there is a local cat who likes to hang around in our garden/on our doorstep waiting for us to come out/come home and on occasion has even sneaked into the house!   But as I passed the corner and looked back, the tiniest illumination from next door's security light showed that whatever was there was entirely too small to be a cat.

Turning on my phone light I was very pleasantly surprised to see a hedgehog!  I've not seen a wild one for a large number of years, in fact only once before have I encountered one so closely.  Hoping not to repeat the first experience of being bitten on the toes by one (I was about 8 and had orange flowery boots on) I slowly approached it, and tried to take a photo without frightening it.  Of course like all wild creatures, it moved the second I took the photo and proceeded to crawl across the path and into the hedge.  

I'm thrilled to have seen one, and hope to see it again in my garden.  It is welcome to eat all the slugs that plaque my garden and continue making its adorable unimpressed snuffling noises!


  1. Maybe you'd like to pop round to my place some time to get some photos of foxes? My brother, who lives about 200 metres from me, has recently taken some photos of a family of foxes with four cubs, who seem to have taken up residence in his garden. I suspect they are the very same ones who nip round here in the middle of the night in their search for worms!
    I think I also get badgers visiting me, though I have never seen one. The huge holes that appear in my borders and raised beds are probably made by them.

    1. If the foxes ate slugs too they'd be very welcome! I haven't seen any foxes in the area, though I have heard them in the night a few times out at the church area behind my house. My husband said he's seen one in the street a couple of times on the other side of the house, so there must be a family somewhere nearby. I would love to get photos of an entire fox family, I assume its quite rare to be able to get close enough to them. They always seem very nervous whenever I've seen them in the wild.

      Thankfully not encountered any badgers in the garden yet - they're pretty vicious! I have seen them on holiday in the Lake District before out on woodland walks and they certainly didn't like people. I do think though that cats are also bad for digging holes everywhere/sitting on the bird table in my case...

  2. Hedgehogs really are noisy aren't they especially if two meet up. In the past they have behaved like a pair of sumo wrestlers outside of our window.

    As for snails - ours fly - well they do when I wang them as far as I can!

    1. They're odd little creatures. The first once I encountered as a child barely made a noise so I didn't realise how noisy they were until my more recent encounter.

      What do you know, I seem to have the same snail variety (flying) - I use much the same method you do!