Wild life in the garden, or around!

What a shame. It’s sad to see the devastation. It is at least controllable or possibly avoidable by spraying. The first time we saw it was a few years ago now and we treated the bushes religiously and checked to make sure the caterpillars were dead. Since then we have been spared, but maybe this hot weather is not helping.
Apparently there are two or three generations per year with adults on the wing from April/May to September. In the warmest parts of Europe, with cold conditions coming late in the year, there might be sometimes four generations per year. The species overwinters as a juvenile cocooned larva about 5–10 mm long, protected in an hibernarium made of two Buxus leaves solidly joined by silk. Not easy to catch sight of.

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I know one gentleman who had the most glorious miniature box hedges which swirled into all sorts of shapes.

And it took that gent plus 2 others, working every day… to keep the pests under control… handpicking every single little rotter (and every single weed).
His gardens were chemical-free and he preferred to be shattered than break his very strict rule…

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Possibly good news

If anyone is listening.

I sometimes think that people who shoot animals just use ‘wildlife control’ culling as an excuse to somehow validate the thrill they enjoy in taking a life.


I don’t think the animals are the “pests”. It’s the humans.


When you lose the dominant predator, in Europe the wolf, that affects all the lesser species.
Very often they breed so much that they outgrow their habitat and become a nuisance.
They can also become weaker and die, or spread disease.
Nowadays animals, such as deeand grey squirrels, can cause damage to newly planted trees, ruining the efforts for reforestation.

Ray Mears has always been a hero of mine, rather than that other bloke, Bare Girls is it? :rofl:
Anyway, I watched his excellent programme last night in the wilds of Canada and one of the creatures we saw was a Red Squirrel.
Now I always thought that the Grey Squirrels which are threatening the Reds in Britain were an introduced species from N. America. So if that is the case how come there are still Reds in Canada at least? :thinking:

The big cat, Odin, just brought a pine marten into the house, in his mouth, and dropped it onto the floor at the entrance to the bedroom door. Fortunately, it was a juvenile so only about 30cm long including tail. Also, fortunately a large plastic tub was to hand which the OH put over it (one is usually at hand for the various live wildlife he brings in). It looked dead at first as it wasn’t moving, but as soon as OH put the tub over it, it started jumping around like a mad thing in a padded cell. Managed to get it outside and release it. They can move really fast. It was beautiful with large bushy tail and light coloured throat patch. Unfortunately, in the excitement, I didn’t get a picture.


One good reason why I am a dog person rather than a cat person, that is exactly what Jules would do if he caught a cat (and his antipathy doesn’t stop the buggers coming to crap in the garden) and I would hate an experience such as you had. But he simply isn’t fast enough.

However, our first dog here, Lira, was a Greyhound, a retired racer from Holland and she did catch a cat in the garden and it died soon after I called her off and rescued it. Not an experience I want to repeat.

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Whatever he brings in, mostly mice of one form or another, he doesn’t kill. He brings them in alive and intact and drops them on the floor, usually by the open bedroom door in the early hours. We then rescue and release them. Can’t remember the last time he brought something in that was dead. Of course, he probably does kill stuff, as most cats do, he just probably doesn’t see the point of bringing us something that’s dead. Our other cat doesn’t catch anything beyond flies and spiders, but gets very excited when Odin does bring something in.

If it isn’t dead when dropped at the bedroom door, why doesn’t it run away? Does the cat keep ctaching it and bringing it back? That’s even worse than killing it outright.

I love all animals that don’t actually threaten me or mine (and even most of those that do are expelled not killed) and that includes cats. But I could never give a home to one for that reason.

We do have more than one mouse within his range :grin:. He’s not doing this continuously. It probably happens about once every two weeks on average I’d say depending on season. This is his first marten and he doesn’t do birds, so it’s almost always mice. Also, the mice do run away, usually under the furniture and it can be a pain catching them. As for the marten, he was obviously playing dead and when the OH put the cover over him, he changed his mind. She deposited him in the middle of the back garden, with the cats locked in, and he scarpered at high speed.

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That’s classic mustelid behaviour, I had a cat who brought young stoats home, these played dead to the extent that I actually took a wounded one to the vet’s where it erupted out of the cat basket and zoomed around the room at head height using every surface and scattering everything, before going to ground behind the fridge. Poor little creature.

Poor vet also who looked v glum and muttered I hate this as she put on her gauntlets.


With all this heat, it’s good to remember that snails need to drink too…

this one lowered himself very gently down to the water level and started slurping…

with his “tail” sticking him securely on the outside of the saucer.


Fascinating creatures, including the ‘homeless’ ones.
The other day as I did my first length in the pond, as usual my hand went out to grab the strap that serves as my ‘poolbar’. As I did so I spotted a large orange slug slowly descending the vertical liner. He was very lucky not to have been knocked into the water as I grab by instinct to turn, not by sight.

After I got out I saw him slowly turning to head back upwards again and his pace did not allow me to hang around and see him safely back up. I’m sure he did though, not sure if Hissing Sid, whose nest is in the undergrowth above the nearby corner, has a taste for slugs. :thinking:

Those orange slugs are really oddball things… we do get them sometimes, not often… mostly the black/grey large/small and everything in between.

thinking about it, we’ve not seen any slugs at all this year… :anguished:

That is interesting. We have had lots of fat and big orange slugs in our back garden. The what was jungle part. Maybe they liked the wilderness?

I dug one out of the cellar last visit - the trouble is that once they get in, they are relatively unlikely to find their way out again.


then you need a “toad road” whereby they may come and go … swiftly and with style… :wink: :wink:


Oh yes, at least 3 or 4, and all very tiny, peep-peeping when it is warm and humid.

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A bit boring but think it’s a Convolvulus Hawk Moth(not the thing that looks suspiciously like OHs finger)