Even for those animals and creatures who don’t hibernate over the winter months autumn time is very much a time to stock up on supplies. You’ll see more birds gorging on autumn berries in your garden and, although many bird species will, by now, have departed for warmer climes, the autumn is also the time to welcome new bird visitors with flocks of fieldfare and redwing heading to our shores from Scandinavia and certain birds coming from even further afield to your wildlife garden. Late butterflies will be tempted by fruit which has fallen from the trees in the garden and you may get more of an opportunity to see hedgehogs as they look for food to stock up on their reserves in preparation for hibernation.
Autumn in the garden can present us with a huge transformation of colour as the leaves go through their change before they fall off with the leaves exhibiting their colourful displays of reds, oranges and yellows before they die. It’s quite a reflective period to spend time in the wildlife garden in autumn, remembering the sights and sounds of summer with fondness and looking forward towards next spring.
September In The Garden
Swallows and warblers should have left our shores by now and the resident bird population will have quietened down considerably now that they no longer have a need to fight over their roosting territories and they’ll be much happier being still and calm in their warm garden roosts at night. And, although the onset of autumn is often the time when gardeners tend to start clearing up, wildlife gardeners should hold their fire as there are still seeds to be found on the likes of sunflowers and thistles, so by allowing this kind of vegetation to die off naturally in the garden it provides more food and shelter, for birds in particular as well as other wildlife.
Your Wildlife Garden In October
If you’ve kept a good wildlife garden, in the autumn your lawn should be covered with berries, nuts and seeds. Jays will be on the lookout for places to bury hazelnuts and acorns and finches will still be attracted by the seeds in the garden. Starlings will start gathering together in large numbers in the roofs of trees and will be looking to head off to woodland to join up with other large flocks of birds. They’ll still want to come back to your garden, however, to look for insects as will blackbirds and thrushes. Certain late blooming flowers produce nectar and pollen so it’s useful to plant things like Michaelmas Daisies and asters for the insects who winter here which, in turn, will provide welcoming food for the birds the following spring. Plants such as holly, hawthorn, crab apple, birch and elder are also going to provide vital food sources over the winter months.
The Garden In November
Berries are the key food source this month and you’ll often see an increase in thrushes and blackbirds , among other birds, in your garden at this time of year searching for fallen fruit and probing for worms. Greenfinches, chaffinches and sparrows will all be gathered around the bird feeders too. Hedges, too, come into their own when looking for food with blackberries, elderberries and rose hips all providing good sources of nourishment for birds and wildlife.
Other wildlife creatures you might see in autumn in your garden include: badger, fox, grey squirrel, mole, hedgehog, house mouse, bat, rabbit, frog, newt, toad, worm, slug…