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The TAPS bloggers are back with an autumn wildlife update

Hello everyone, the TAPS wildlife team here again.

Hope you are all keeping warm now the weather is turning colder. The animals and birds should hopefully have moulted into their winter coats/feathers for the colder months ahead. Some birds will be getting ready to fly to warmer climates (they have the right idea) and we should start seeing some new species as they arrive here for the winter.

Due to the popularity of the wildlife session here at the Hub more customers have asked to jump on board, which is great. It means we're now doing an extra session and have three new members, Craig, Stephen and Jasmine, who are all wildlife and bird lovers. Welcome onboard!

Can't believe we're in October already, so Halloween is just around the corner. Don't forget to put out your used pumpkins or unused cut up bits for the wildlife. Birds, foxes, squirrels and badgers all enjoy a tasty treat. There are some great ideas on what to do with pumpkins on the Woodland Trust website also rescue centres often request these especially those with wildlife hospitals like PACT animal sanctuary

Talking of squirrels our little visitor has been back on our feeders and up to mischief. He doesn't seem to mind an audience, well it is the TAPS bubble - he must be auditioning! We have seen a few squirrels on our wildlife camera too, as well as rabbits and hedgehogs.

The very cheeky Mr Squirrel

The very cheeky Mr Squirrel 

The land next door to the Hub is being developed, so we are seeing some different birds. We caught a jay on the camera and there's a green woodpecker flying around too, we've not managed to get a photo of either but have shared some from the internet. Jays are from the crow family but a lot more colourful, they are famous for their acorn feeding habits and, like squirrels, bury them to find in the winter. Both jays and squirrels play a big part in creating oak trees from the acorns they drop or leave, which is great for everyone. 

Green woodpecker (left) and jay (right)

Green woodpecker (left) and jay (right)

We are also pleased to say we spotted a greater spotted woodpecker in the tree outside with binoculars, he was a gorgeous dark colour. We couldn't get a picture as he was so far into the tree but Claire took a photo of a young one at Sculthorpe Fenn a few months ago, so you can see what he looked like.

Greater spotted woodpecker taken by Claire

Greater spotted woodpecker taken by Claire

There are three types of woodpecker in the UK and we have now got two on the site. The other is the lesser spotted woodpecker, who looks similar to the greater spotted but is smaller; a lesser spotted is the size of a sparrow and the greater is the size of a blackbird. The lesser spotted doesn't have the red underbelly of the greater and is much rarer. The green woodpecker is very different in colour, they are green with a bright red crown on the top of their heads and are a lot larger than the others, about the size of a jackdaw. Now the leaves are falling from the trees, birds are easier to spot, so keep your eyes peeled.

Lesser spotted woodpecker

Lesser spotted woodpecker

The TAPS wildlife team would like to thank Adam for making us another feeding station. The birds love it as much as we do (and so does Mr Squirrel).

Adam with the new feeding station

Adam with the new feeding station

As avid wildlife watchers we are always excited to spot animals and birds when out and about, Claire spotted a roe deer in a field whilst walking her dog and did manage a photo from her phone. Jasmine has badgers in her garden and also spotted a hawk and three stags while out and about, she was annoyed she didn't manage to get a picture. We will also report on any sightings we see while in our local communities.

Roe deer

Roe deer

Until next time keep watching wildlife and help where you can, we’ll be back next time with hopefully more photos and wildlife news.

Bye for now, Claire, Helen, Justin, Tim, Jasmine, Mark, Lucie, Craig and Stephen

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