Unexpected visitor…..

Every time a new species of bird or butterfly appears here I quietly congratulate myself, even if technically it has nothing to do with how I have designed and maintained this garden!  Sometimes specific things do produce desired results – for instance it is unlikely we would have so many orange tip butterflies if I didn’t plant and encourage their larval food and nectar plants, but there are times when something turns up and I really have no reason to gloat.  This time last year a wheatear appeared on the garden hedge – clearly simply on migration, although I like to think that the fact there was a nice hedge for him to sit on had something to do with all my hard work.  This spring’s amazing visitor really was just passing through, although he did have a bit of a hunt for earthworms on the short grass.  Our handsome visitor was a male ring ouzel – a stunning bird that used to breed in Shropshire but now just passes through.  So far this has been a good spring for these eye-catching thrushes but having one in the garden was a thrill and an amazing garden tick, bringing the number of bird species seen in the garden to 70.

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at www.wildlife-gardening.co.uk and her bird food company at www.JustAddBirds.co.uk
This entry was posted in British birds, Butterflies, Garden Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Wildlife Gardening and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Unexpected visitor…..

  1. will says:

    It must be very rewarding every time you see a new species in your garden as well as the familiar faces! On the subject of the orange tip butterflies, could you expand on what their larval food is and which plants they prefer? I have seen alot around my local area (North Dorset) these past few weeks.

    • Hi Will. Orange tips mainly use the plant garlic mustard (sometimes called Jack-by-the-Hedge) – Alliaria petiolata. Not the prettiest for the garden but you can tuck it away under a hedge. They lay their eggs on it, plus the adults will feed from the flowers. In the garden the best thing to grow is Honesty. They will use it as a substitute and it’s pretty! Plus greenfinches will eat the seeds in the autumn.

  2. I have never seen one in GB but did see quite a lot in Poland when I was there this time last year.

  3. Rob says:

    A mega garden tick! Congratulations.

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