As an avid reader of lifestyle magazines in which experts impart their wisdom about making our gardens wildlife friendly, I often find myself wondering how it can be so difficult. Of course I am lucky enough to live outside of a metropolis (well, Callington anyway), but seriously wildlife seems more than capable of finding a home pretty much anywhere. Of course it can bring its own hazards, like the occasional rabbit and rodent carcasses provided considerately by our elderly cat, but the pleasures outweigh the inconvenient crop growth on the terrace gifted by fickle, obviously overfed garden birds.
However even I can be alarmed when our local sparrowhawk swoops down from an overhanging branch and nearly takes my sunhat off as I read the aforementioned magazines over my morning coffee. Equally Bob and I gasped when the sparrowhawk bombed through the cherry tree on our terrace, grabbing some small defenceless bird before pulling in its wings and, flying at an angle that would make the eyes of a fighter pilot water, squeezed between the branches.
We also have very noisy crows and jackdaws circling ominously and landing en masse in our trees. Bob and I have taken to calling them the massive, as they make a sound like a train with their wings and have gathered in such intimidating numbers that they cast a vast shadow when they fly over the garden.
Remind me next time to tell you about the squirrels – that could be the entire chapter of a book, oh and the buzzard too heavy for its own good. Attracting wildlife? Surviving it might be more of a project!