Hi this is Simon from the Wild Bunch with our latest column.
Writing about wildlife is not made easier when most of your subjects are fast asleep.
The hedgehogs are tucked up in their box and occasionally venture out for a snack. Apparently, the beavers near Asda do not hibernate but continue their crepuscular (dawn and dusk) work. If you are dredging your pond, take care, Wild Bunch taught me that frogs hibernate in the mud on the bottom.
Every day the sparrows and goldfinches call by for something to eat. The teasels are very popular, and I am glad we left so many. There are a few that need staking upright – a job for today. I do still refill the birdfeeder while giving it a regular scrub, given all the worry about bird flu. I have discovered that millet, largely ignored when food is more plentiful, is very popular now. All you need do is tie two stems end to end and drape them over a branch. If you don’t have a branch, bring one back from your next walk and dig it in. Millet is much cheaper than other bird food and can be bought from Moore and Toop, Christchurch Street West, while still open. Frome just won’t be the same when this charismatic seed merchant has gone.
Wild Bunch is all about inviting nature into your garden and we took advantage of a passing builder and his ladder to attach the swift box to an East (can be North) facing wall. We are now looking for a second-hand sound system to call the birds down when they arrive in late April.
Winter is a time to pause and ponder. I often go for a chat with ‘Savernake,’ eight-foot offspring of a sapling oak ‘lifted’ by my mother from the forest of that name some 70 years ago.
Sleep well, wild Froomies.