October is a time of transformation as nature begins its graceful transition from the vibrant hues of summer to the subdued tones of autumn. While some might think of gardens as quiet places this time of year, they are, in fact, buzzing with life. In this blog, we’ll explore the wonderful world of wildlife that graces your garden in October, offering you a glimpse into the secret lives of its inhabitants. Its time to get out and enjoy Wild October!
One of the most captivating aspects of October in your garden is the return of many bird species. Migratory birds that spent the summer in more northern climes start to arrive in the UK, making your garden a vital rest stop on their journey. Keep an eye out for the charming robin, the colourful chaffinch, and the distinctive blackbird as they search for food and shelter in your garden. Setting up bird feeders filled with seeds and nuts can attract a wide variety of feathered friends, providing endless opportunities for birdwatching- although the best way to ensure a continual feast for wildlife is to plant native seed or fruit bearing plants.
Hedgehogs on the Move
October is also the month when hedgehogs become more active in your garden. These delightful creatures are preparing for hibernation, and they need to build up their fat reserves for the winter ahead. Leave out a shallow dish of fresh water and some cat or dog food (not fish-based) to help them on their journey. Creating a cozy, undisturbed corner with leaves and logs can provide them with a safe hibernation spot. Also, consider joining Lisa’s @Scottish Borders Hedgehog Heroes FB group for fascinating facts and photos of these adorable animals!
As the nights grow longer, you may notice an increase in bat activity in your garden. Bats come out after dusk to hunt for insects, and October is an ideal time to watch their graceful flight. Pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles and Noctules are often found in gardens and woodlands. Setting up a bat box or installing a pond in your garden can attract more insects, making it an attractive hunting ground for these beneficial creatures.
October brings with it a plethora of spiders, including the iconic garden spider. As the temperatures drop, these arachnids become more active, spinning intricate webs to catch prey. Dew-covered webs glisten in the morning light, creating a captivating spectacle. Observing these tiny architects at work can be a mesmerizing experience, and it’s a reminder of the important role spiders play in controlling insect populations in your garden – like the webs they weave, everything in Nature (including us!) is interconnected.
Autumn Butterfly and Bee Activity
While the number of butterflies and bees dwindles as the season progresses, you can still spot some late-season visitors in your garden. Look for the red admiral butterfly, which is known to make appearances in October. Late-flowering plants, and rotting fruit provide nectar sources, ensuring these insects have the sustenance they need before winter – so leave some of those windfall apples out!
October is a treasure trove of wildlife activity in your garden. From the return of migratory birds and the bustling lives of hedgehogs to the elegant flight of bats and the intricate webs spun by spiders, there is no shortage of natural wonders to discover. Embrace this opportunity to connect with the rich biodiversity that shares your garden, and consider creating a wildlife-friendly habitat to encourage even more creatures to call it home. Your garden, with its autumnal charm and bustling inhabitants, is a sanctuary for both you and the wild beings that visit, reminding us all of the magic that lies in the heart of nature, even in the quiet days of October.