Autumn Wildlife Visitors

This article was originally written for the RPS Supporter Program so autumn is slowly giving way to winter and the frogs are nowhere to be seen right now.

Here’s a little autumnal update from my garden. It’s all puffed-up sparrows darting from tree to roof to tree again, little blue tits and long-tailed tits investigating the apple tree, a few stray dragonflies looking for a late egg-laying spot, industrious spiders and browning vegetation. I’m only putting a few pictures here so not everything I’ve mentioned appears (I try to archive my pictures on this Tumblr if you wanted more) but they sum up the past few days:

The blue tits are so lovely and they turn up in a little gang every now and again to munch on the apples.

The sparrows are more partial to the blackberries. It’s not the best picture of them but I love it when they cluster up and socialise.

I rescued this tiny frog from the front lawn when I was doing a mow this weekend. I hate mowing because I hate thinking about what I might be harming, although I try to clear as I go and give creatures a chance to get to hidey holes. as they get out of the way. This one I brought round to the pond and set it down so it could explore in relative safety!


  1. caff says:

    That’s all very well, but how many squirrels out of foxes would you give this so called “game”?

  2. Ben King says:

    My dad feels the same way about mowing watching all the little thumbnail sized frogs scatter early in the summer. Kinda sucks. I would kill for an apple tree. I’ve rented to same apt for YEARS and I realized far to late that if I’d just bought a tree when I first moved in I’d have a spectacular lot of apples each Autumn by now. I frankly keep thinking that we’ll be moving eventually but it hasn’t happened yet. My grand dad loved birding but I’ve never quite gotten into it. As a side note Pip, I read your old article on the wedding expo WEEKS ago and I’m STILL getting ads for wedding shindigs… yet not a one ad for a walking sim or a Leg Implant Teasmade. Hopefully I will get ads for birds frogs and apples in my backyard now but I’m doubtful.

  3. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Lovely! Those blue tits look like a chickadee dressed up to go clubbing. I just had three weeks off so I spent some time in the backyard reading comics and enjoying the birds. The blue-jays are back! I also went up to Prince Albert National Park for a couple of days where I followed a red fox on the road for probably half a kilometer while it looked for movement in the bushes and during one of my hikes a marten checked me out for a few seconds before running up a tree.

    Pip, I saw this video the other day and thought it might be something you’d find interesting.

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    particlese says:

    I can’t figure out if you have a complete beast of a phone, or if you’re just super sneaky. Regardless, thanks for sharing! :)

    Black-capped chickadees (same family as tits, I just found out) always seemed to be the least skittish of the birds I grew up around, and I got to liking them the most, probably largely because they were the easiest to watch closely around the feeder. It always makes me smile when I hear them (or their relatives with similar songs) in a videogame, ESO being the most recent example I can think of.

  5. w0bbl3r says:

    As much as I want to criticise this “gaming” journalism right here, I just can’t say anything negative.
    That frog is too cute.

    And I am absolutely in love with our wonderful british wildlife. The things we see but don’t notice any more because they are just there all the time.
    Down at my mums, where I go almost every day, there is a big toad under the pathing slabs on the back yard. There was a family of small mice there, don’t know what happened to those. But that is one big fat toad, so maybe he ate them :)

    On the back of my house is a butchers factory, where they chop meat, make pies and pastries full of high quality meat. Next to that is a park, nice and big with a very old cemetery next to it that is no longer in use. Foxes have been living there for about 50 years now according to the older folk who have lived here longer than me.

    So I take the dog out nice and late for her last walk at about 11-12 at night, with a few dog biscuits. The gravy bones that all dogs seem to love.
    I drop a few in the back of hedges where I know the foxes hang out (I use a torch to shine light around, and even if they are hiding their eyes shine back at me, bright orange so I know it’s them and no a cat), and soon enough I carry on then have a look behind and see one or two foxes following me at a safe enough distance so as not to provoke a chasing from my dog.

    I adore british wildlife, it’s beautiful.

    • Ghostwise says:

      As much as I want to criticise this “gaming” journalism right here, I just can’t say anything negative.

      Video game news and facts and reviews, I can get by the truckload by just blindly pointing in a random direction.

      But chroniclers who are smart, funny, invested, open-minded and not vulgar little boys angrily striking loud series of dominance poses ? Much less so.

      Therefore, yay for nature photography.

  6. Jerppa says:

    “tits are so lovely”

    No truer words were ever spoken.

  7. Sin Vega says:

    Sparrows are great. We used to have a little flock when I was a sandwich maker, aeons ago. They’d swing by to clean up everyone’s crumbs when it was quiet, until a couple of wood pigeons muscled them out. We chased them off, but the sparrows didn’t come back. It was a below average day.

  8. sagredo1632 says:

    If you’re curious, it’s generally possible to train chickadees and titmice to eat from your hand. I imagine the same could be done with the blue tits as well. You will need:

    1. live mealworms (or peanuts, but slightly less effective),
    2. (several) cold day(s), the colder the better, and
    3. patience.

    They’re much more willing to land in the hand of the monstrously sized food-giving animal if it’s near freezing, and can be gradually acclimated to the presence of said food-beast by having a feeder for worms and, over a period of a few weeks, placing yourself closer and closer to it (until you hold the food yourself). They will generally do test “safety flybys” to make sure you don’t do anything scary, like scratch an itch, or cough, or be otherwise horrifically menacing.

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      Philippa Warr says:

      I have a cold at the moment so I can’t guarantee not to sneeze in a sparrow’s face BUT maybe this is a project for next week!