Wildlife Watch with Kate Humble - SEPTEMBER

Blue tit Parus caeruleus, perched on branch in autumn
Blue tit Parus caeruleus, perched on branch in autumn

September is red month – we can look forward to fantastic sunsets, red admiral butterflies, common darter dragonflies and of course lots of red berries in our gardens too.

Make the most of the last of the warm days and those late-ish sunsets – it’s been a mixed summer and the nights are starting to draw in but hopefully you’ve had plenty of opportunity to sit in your garden and admire your handiwork.

But what wildlife did you share your patch with? The results of the RSPB’s summer wildlife survey, ‘Make Your Nature Count,’ showed that some of our favourite garden bird chicks had a good summer. Half of the gardens surveyed had baby blackbirds, almost a quarter had robin chicks and young song thrushes were seen in five per cent. This is likely because the weather conditions were just right with a dry April for when they were in the nest and slightly wetter weather a bit later, when they would have fledged, making ideal foraging conditions for these ground feeding birds.

To look at the results in full visit www.rspb.org.uk/naturecount

There are two windows in the gardening calendar to sow a lawn or flower meadow and autumn is the best option because the soil is still warm and the days aren’t so hot. The moisture and humidity in the air will help the seeds germinate and grow. If you do create a meadow, try and ensure the seed comes from native UK stock.

Now is also a great time to plan ahead. Think about which vegetables you might want to grow next year and divide up summer flowering perennials to help control their spread and create fresh vigour. Look for bulbs too – early flowering ones such as snowdrop and crocus are great for lifting your spirits after a long winter.