LAST OF THE SUMMER VINE

An article by Mike Stentiford, MBE

IF there’s one thing that can be said about October it’s the fact that it’s sure to be a ‘berry’ fine month.

 

 

Although fruit such as blackberries have now become over-ripe and, to us, far less tasty, wildlife with a penchant for healthy living are now making short shrift of anything that’s left over from summer’s rich bounty.

Despite a few slim and ever diminishing pickings still being available in the fields and hedgerows, bird-tables and hoppers filled on a daily basis with peanuts, sunflower seeds and other calorie-rich goodies are likely to start attracting more birds as the month progresses.

In other words, as October begins to settle into a cooler routine, garden bird-feeders will become the focus of far more activity.

Top celebrities at the feeders will be Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Great tits and Blue tits together with ground-feedings species such as Robins, Blackbirds and Dunnocks.

Over the past decade or so, Woodpigeons too appear to have overcome any previous shyness and are putting in far more regular attendances in and around the garden feeding station. Along with its smaller cousin the Collared dove, they seem to have a really healthy appetite rarely leaving any seeds left scattered around.

With autumn now visibly showing its presence in the colorful woodland canopies, some lucky people will also have the added opportunity of watching the antics of the neighbourhood Red squirrels.

With such fragmented colonies throughout the British Isles, Jersey is indeed still fortunate to enjoy the pleasure of their company, an association that goes back to the mid 1800s when they were first introduced into the Island. Red squirrels are not found in any of the other Channel Islands and the steady increase in their local population is largely due to supplementary feeding by supportive wildlife gardeners,

Because of this all-year-round bounty of seeds and nuts, the bushy tailed animals have no need or desire to hibernate but remain active throughout the winter months.

Not unlike us humans, though, they have a strong dislike of wet and windy days.

So, although there’s undoubtedly darker, shorter days ahead, there’s still plenty of wildlife activity to keep us enthralled – do enjoy!


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