The Wildlife Garden in November

November was very much a month for garden birdwatching as several species I hadn’t seen for while appeared in the garden, and as the month started with overcast and cool weather, including heavy rain and wind at times here in South Shropshire, I was happy to spend time birdwatching from the warmth of the house!  The usual garden birds were feeding here with blue and great tits in abundance and a single coal tit daily, plus there was a small flock of goldfinches around the garden and our regular marsh tits. A great spotted woodpecker was seen here at the beginning of the month – the first I have recorded since August.  On the 2nd there was a grey squirrel in the garden – again the first for ages!  On the 6th of the month a small flock of mixed tits was seen feeding in the garden at the back of the house and I was able to get good view of the species. As well as the usual tits that we see here there was a treecreeper and a goldcrest amongst the them.  Also that day the soft hoot of a bullfinch was heard in the garden – again not seen or heard for some time here.  The end of the week was cold and drizzly and a sparrowhawk – also not recorded for a while – was seen briefly in the garden.

Marsh Tit

The second week of the month continued to be very autumnal and overcast with some rain and wind. There were very few redwings or fieldfares around and not many birds were using the bird feeders outside my office window. Around the local area though, there was an enormous flock of woodpigeons – well over fifty birds – but they didn’t visit the garden. No mammals were seen this week at all but along with the usual bird species were a couple of pheasants and, rather more welcome, a pair of red legged partridges – the latter a bird I am very fond of!   On the 11th a snipe visited the garden.  We have had this wonderful bird here before, albeit only ever briefly in the garden near the big pond. This bird few off fairly quickly into the field next door but it was still great to see it!  On the 14th of the month there was a sudden change in the weather- the milder weather we were experiencing changed to cold and damp as temperatures dropped a little.  This change heralded the arrival of the fieldfares! A large flock appeared in the garden and very quickly finished off all the hawthorn berries in our little patch of woodland.  A few redwings also put in a brief appearance and it wasn’t long before all the berries around the garden had disappeared. The weather at this point was quite mild for November but was also damp and overcast and there was still no sign of any mammals around us. The winter thrushes didn’t hang about – they seemed to arrive en masse and then all move off together, when all the berries had been eaten.


The third week of the month was surprisingly mild and at times quite bright!  The large numbers of winter thrushes around us had clearly eaten all the local berries and moved on. Two marsh tits were seen in the garden every day which was some compensation as this is one of my favourite birds.  A huge rabbit appeared in the big meadow at the start of the week and the unusually mild temperatures saw a small tortoiseshell butterfly around the house on the 16th.  A couple of days later the temperature dropped again and a very cold wind meant that autumn was turning into winter!  A house mouse made a nest in my office cupboard – it was heard but not seen and I left it to it’s own devices and it disappeared a couple of days later!  On the 18th we had a beautiful kestrel around the garden – a species not seen here for a while and a few winter thrushes returned to polish off any remaining berries but they had mostly all now gone. There was one remaining fieldfare in the back garden on the 18th – this happens every year here and I often wonder if it is the same bird that returns and hangs around – with so many apple trees in the garden here and other shrubs with berries too, his winter supply of food is pretty much guaranteed! On the 21st of the month the weather became overcast and dull with some heavy rain in the morning. The single fieldfare was still around the garden and seemed happy to polish off any apples remaining.

The start of the last week of the month was bright sunny and not too cold!  There were good numbers of tits and finches feeding around the garden but no sign of bramblings which was very disappointing.  A single redwing and a few fieldfares were still eating apples but largely the winter thrushes seemed to have moved on.  The first grey squirrel for months appeared on the 23rd and as November came to an end we experienced a change in the weather with some rain – the first for some time. However it was still mostly mild and bright, and we still had a few fieldfares in the garden and large numbers of tits – blue, great, marsh and coal!  The month ended bright, sunny and mild until the 29th which was very atmospheric with mist and weak sunshine breaking through.  We moved into December with two regular marsh tits in the garden every day but still no sign of any bramblings!


About Dinchope Diary

I am a plant ecologist, specialising in wildlife gardening for more than 30 years, writing books and teaching. My blog is about the two acre wildlife garden I have created in South Shropshire.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s