The Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are solitary and nocturnal animals. They are Britain's only spiny mammal with poor sight but great hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

Once a common sight in many gardens across the UK but now the Hedgehog is rapidly declining in numbers. They are a welcome visitor to gardens and can devour great numbers of slugs in a single night.



The Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrels were deliberately introduced from North America into Great Britain during the Victorian reign of the 19th Century and have thrived ever since. They have become so widespread and dominant that they are now Britain's most frequently seen mammal. Unfortunately their success has come at the expense of other British wildlife which has suffered. The once widespread native Red Squirrel has vanished across most of England and the main reason behind this is the larger more dominant Grey Squirrel. Grey Squirrels have also taken over prime nesting sites of some of our native woodland birds and they are direct competition for the nuts and seeds that these birds feed upon.


The diet of the Grey Squirrel is quite varied. They feed on nuts, berries, seeds, fungi and tree bark. If food is scarce they will also eat small birds and their eggs, small mammals, frogs and insects.  The Grey Squirrel is as its name suggests primarily grey with a white chest and underside. They are often seen with a reddish tint to their fur and occasionally both melanistic (black) and albino (white) variations have been found. Autumn is a busy time for the squirrel is it rushes around gathering food not only to eat but also to bury and store for supplies during the winter.


Grey Squirrels can produce up to two litters each year. These can be as large as seven young squirrels although 2-4 is more common. Because of the possible impact on other native wildlife Grey Squirrels are regularly culled in many places to reduce their numbers. This is often done in areas that still have Red Squirrel populations.


Grey Squirrels are diurnal and are most active at dusk and dawn. They can become very sociable animals around Humans and are often found in public parks and open spaces. Some are even brave enough to take food directly from your hand to get a free meal.  The Grey Squirrel is both fast and agile and capable of spectacular leaps taking it from one tree to another. The young are often seen chasing each other in playful games whilst the adults can also be observed playing similar chasing games as the males pursue the females during the breeding season.






Harvest Mouse

This tiny mammal has a body length of just 5-7cm. They feed on seeds, insects, nectar and fruit. They build nests woven into long grass high above the ground.

Fallow Deer    (Dama dama)

The Fallow Deer is a medium-sized deer reintroduced to Britain by the Normans in the 11th century from Asia. They are capable of running at speeds in excess of 30mph. They can be found at many enclosed parks and woodlands across Britain, but there are also many colonies of free-roaming Fallow Deer across the UK too. Their preferred habitat is broadleaved woodland, where they graze primarily on grasses, but will feed on low tree branches and shrubs in the winter if necessary. The typical coat of the Fallow Deer is light orange with pale spots but this species is highly variable with dark brown, almost black specimens often occurring as well as very pale specimens that can be completely white as they age. These are not melanistic or albino morphs but are natural variations of the Fallow Deer's colour. Male Fallow Deer are known as bucks and not stags. Females are known as does and the young are fawns.

Fallow Deer can grow to around 179cm in height, with a shoulder height of up to 120cm. Males can weigh up to 63kg, whilst the smaller females can reach around 44kg. The maximum lifespan in captivity is 21 years, but wild Fallow Deer usually live for 8-10 years for males and 12-16 years for females. Fallow Deer can often be found in herds of up to 10-50 deer.

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Fallow Deer does grazing on grass through the snow.

A white Fallow Deer buck.


Fallow Deer buck.


Against a beautiful sunset the Fallow Deer buck keeps a watchful eye as the female does graze on the hill top.


Red Deer stags, photographed at Richmond Park, London, 19th October 2020
Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
The Red Deer is native to Britain and is Britain's largest land mammal. Fully grown stags can weigh as much as 200kg, and occasionally even 225kg. Adult Stags stand at a height of up to 137cm tall at the shoulder. Adult females, known as hinds, can weigh up to 120kg and have a shoulder height of up to 122cm. The young deer are spotted and can be confused with Fallow Deer. The Red Deer was once widespread across the UK but the introduction of agriculture by Neolithic Man lead to the loss of many ancient forests and the Deer became confined to the Scottish Highlands and the south-west of England with a few small scattered populations found elsewhere. Thankfully due to sympathetic land management the Red Deer is now once again expanding its range across the UK and wild colonies can be found in the Lake District, Exmoor, the New Forest and Thetford Forest. Male Red Deer are known as stags, the females are known as hinds and the young are calves.

Red Deer stags, photographed at Richmond Park, London, 19th October 2020

The rutting and breeding season runs from late September until the end of November. Dominant stags compete for exclusive mating rights of the heard of hinds. Usually displays of strength and dominance, including roaring, grunting and marching, are enough to settle mating rights but in cases where two similarly sized males are evenly matched then fierce rutting is used to settle the dispute. These ruts can lead to serious injury or death for those males competing. In a protected environment the lifespan of a Red Deer can reach 18 years.

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Red Deer stag, photographed at Richmond Park, London, 19th October 2020

It is a fairly common sight to find Jackdaws perched upon Red Deer. This mutually beneficial relationship allows the Jackdaw to feed upon parasitic ticks embedded in the Deer's fur. The Jackdaw also performs a grooming service for the Deer removing dirt, debris and stray hairs whilst it searches for ticks and other bugs. Sometimes the Deer become aggravated by the constant harassment of the Jackdaw and they can be seen shooing the bird away with their antlers. The Jackdaw are quick to return to their grooming duties again soon after though.

Young Sika Deer, photographed at Brownsea Island, Dorset, 13th September 2021
Sika Deer   (Cervus nippon)
The Sika Deer is a medium-sized deer introduced to Britain around 1860 from Japan. They can be found at many enclosed parks and woodlands across Britain, but there are also many colonies of free-roaming Sika Deer across the UK too. Their preferred habitat is coniferous woodland and heathland with acidic soil. In the summer months Sika Deer can easily be mistaken for the similar Fallow Deer, with orange coats and white spots. However in the winter the coats become thicker and are more often a dark grey / brown colour. The head of the Sika Deer is quite small in proportion to the rest of its body and often have a furrowed brow appearance. The tails are far shorter than those of the Fallow Deer. Mature males, known as stags, have thin pointed antlers, unlike the flatter antlers of the male Fallow Deer. Sika Deer are not overly social animals and can usually be found in small groups of 1-3 deer or up to 6-7 deer in large open habitat. The biggest concern regarding this species is its hybridisation with our larger, native Red Deer.

Sika Deer can grow to around 179cm in height, with a shoulder height of up to 120cm. Males can weigh up to 63kg, whilst the slight smaller females can reach around 44kg. The maximum lifespan in captivity is 26 years, but wild Sika Deer usually live for 16-18 years.

Young Sika Deer, photographed at Brownsea Island, Dorset, 13th September 2021

Red Fox basking on a railway embankment, Dartford, Kent, 5th October 2007.

The Red Fox 

The Red Fox is the most widespread canine in the world and can be found right across the northern hemisphere. Feeding on almost anything including small rodents, fruit, carrion and even the contents of dustbins. This fox was photographed sunning itself on a railway bank using the Canon 400D camera and Tamron 70-300mm lens in 2007. This image is the oldest photograph to still feature on my website.

Because of the Red Fox's ability to adapt to changing surroundings it has thrived in many of  the countries that it can be found in worldwide. In-fact the Red Fox is considered to be one of the most invasive creatures in the world and many countries regard it as a pest.


Red Foxes vary considerably in appearance and size depending on where they are found in the world. Until recently the largest known example found in the UK was 4ft in length and was trapped and killed in Maidstone Kent in 2011 after it killed a domestic cat. On 5th March 2012 the BBC reported an Aberdeenshire farmer protecting his lambs by shooting a fox that was 4ft 9 inches in length from the nose to the tip of its tail. This incredible beast weighed 17.2kg as opposed to 6.8kg which is the average weight of a UK fox.

Foxes are sociable animals and are usually found living in groups. These groups often consist of an adult breeding pair and varying generations of their off-spring. Other adults within the group will also help to care for the young cubs.


The average litter size for the Red Fox is 4-6 cubs but litters of double this number is possible. The cubs are born blind, deaf and without teeth and are totally dependant on their mother. Their eyes usually open after about two weeks and at this stage their hearing starts to work and their teeth rapidly start to develop. 


The Domestic Cat  

The Domestic Cat (or House Cat) has been kept as a pet by humans for many thousands of years and is valued by its owners for its loving companionship and its ability to hunt vermin. The Domestic Cat has an acute sense of smell, highly developed eyesight capable of seeing in almost total darkness, sharp teeth and lightning-fast reflexes. This makes it an ideal hunter of small prey and is an enemy to small rodents, birds and reptiles in the UK.

A regular visitor to our garden in 2016 & 2017, this white cat is a nocturnal hunter on the prowl.

RIP 'Charlie B.' Our loving and loyal friend.   1st May 1997 - 23rd January 2016


RIP 'Mookie.' Our cute little friend with attitude!   1st May 1997 - 6th May 2016

My two lovely cats lived to around 19 years old, equivalent to 93 human years of age.

Work out the age of your cat using this link:  Cat Age Calculator

 The Cow  

The Cow is kept by farmers right across the UK for both meat and dairy products. With their protruding eyes cows have almost 360 degree vision!  In an article published by 'The Independent' newspaper in 2006 it was reported that cows produce more damaging emissions to the environment than the CO2 produced by all the cars on the road today. They are responsible for more than 33% of all methane emitted. And they are also responsible for more than 66% of all ammonia emitted worldwide, one of the biggest causes of acid rain.

 These  photos were taken using the Canon 40D Camera and the following lenses:

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L  USM lens,    Canon EF 100mm Macro 2.8,   Canon EF 100mm Macro 2.8 L IS,    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L,

  Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS.