Wildlife that visit the garden.
The Grey Squirrel.
The eastern gray squirrel or grey squirrel (depending on region) (Sciurus carolinensis) is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and midwestern United States, and to the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada. The native range of the eastern gray squirrel overlaps with that of the fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), with which it is sometimes confused, although the core of the fox squirrel's range is slightly more to the west.
A prolific and adaptable species, the eastern gray squirrel has been introduced to, and thrives in, several regions of the western United States. It has also been introduced to Britain, where it has spread across the country and has largely displaced the native red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris. In Ireland, the red squirrel has been displaced in several eastern counties, though it still remains common in the south and west of the country. There are concerns that such displacement might happen in Italy and that gray squirrels might spread from Italy to other parts of mainland Europe.
The Grey squirrel is now a common sight in most parts of Scotland.
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous
mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids
(slightly smaller than a medium-sized domestic dog), characterized by possessing
a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail (or brush).
Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to the Vulpes genus of "true foxes". By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their appearance in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world.The Modern English word "fox" is Old English, and comes from the Proto-Germanic word fukh compare German Fuchs, Gothic fauho, Old Norse foa and Dutch vos. It corresponds to the Proto-Indo-European word puk- meaning "tail of it" (compare Sanskrit puccha, also "tail"). The bushy tail is also the source of the word for fox in Welsh: llwynog, from llwyn, "bush, and grove". Portuguese: raposa, from rabo, "tail" and Ojibwa: waagosh, from waa, which refers to the up and down "bounce" or flickering of an animal or its tail. Male foxes are known as dogs or reynards, females as vixens, and young as kits, pups or cubs. A group of foxes is a "skulk", "leash", "troop" or "earth".
A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily
Erinaceinae, which is in order Erinaceomorpha. Hedgehogs share distant ancestry
with shrews (order Soricidae), with gymnures possibly being the intermediate
link, and have changed little over the last 15 million years. Like many of
the first mammals they have adapted to a nocturnal, insectivorous way of life.
Hedgehogs' spiny protection resembles that of the unrelated rodent porcupines
and monotreme echidnas.
The name hedgehog came into use around the year 1450, derived from the Middle English heyghoge, from heyg, hegge ("hedge"), because it frequents hedgerows, and hoge, hogge ("hog"), from its piglike snout. Other names include urchin, hedgepig and furze-pig.
The average hedgehog litter is 34 newborns for
larger species and 56 for smaller ones. As with many animals, it is
not unusual for an adult male hedgehog to kill newborn males.
Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 47 years in the wild (some have been recorded up to 16 years), and smaller species live 24 years (47 in captivity), compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 35 years. Hedgehogs are born blind.
The West Highland Terrier (Resident Wildlife).
The West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as
the Westie, is a Scottish breed of dog with a distinctive white coat. The
modern breed is descended from a number of breeding programs of white terriers
in Scotland prior to the 20th century. Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of
Poltalloch, is credited with the creation of the modern breed from his Poltalloch
Terrier, but did not want to be known as such. Other related breeds included
George Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll's Roseneath Terrier and Dr. Americ Edwin
Flaxman's Pittenweem Terriers. The breeds of small white Scottish terriers
were given its modern name for the first time in 1908, with recognition by
major kennel clubs occurring around the same time. The breed remains popular
in the UK and is in the top third of all breeds in the USA since the 1960s.
It has been featured in television and film including in Hamish Macbeth and
in advertising by companies such as Cesar dog food and Scottish whisky Black
The breed is a medium-sized terrier, although with longer legs than other Scottish breeds of terrier. It has a white double coat of fur which fills out the dog's face giving it a rounded appearance. The breed can be good with children, but will not tolerate rough handling. The Westie is an active breed, but are social with a high prey drive.
The European Peacock (Inachis io), more commonly known simply as the Peacock butterfly, is a colourful butterfly, found in Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan. Classified as the only member of the genus Inachis (the name is derived from Greek mythology, meaning Io, the daughter of Inachus). It should not be confused or classified with the "American peacocks" in the genus Anartia; these are not close relatives of the Eurasian species.
The Peacock butterfly is resident in much of its range, often wintering in buildings or trees. It therefore often appears quite early in spring. The Peacock butterfly has figured in research where the role of eye-spots as anti-predator mechanism has been investigated.
In the British Isles, the butterfly is found in England, Scotland (including Orkney and Shetland), Wales, and Ireland
The Wood Mouse
The wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) is a common murid rodent from Europe and northwestern Africa. It is closely related to the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) but differs in that it has no band of yellow fur around the neck, has slightly smaller ears, and is usually slightly smaller overall: around 90 mm (3.54") in length. It is found across most of Europe and is a very common and widespread species, is commensal with people and is sometimes considered a pest.
Wood mice inhabit forests, grasslands, and cultivated fields. Almost entirely nocturnal and terrestrial, wood mice burrow extensively, build nests of plants and live in buildings during harsh seasons. It is one of the most intensively studied species in the genus.
Wood mice are primarily seed eaters, particularly seeds of trees such as oak, beech, ash, lime, hawthorn and sycamore. If there is a plentiful amount of seeds on the ground, they carry them back to their nests/burrows for storage. They may eat small invertebrates such as snails and insects, particularly in late spring and early summer when seeds are least available. They also consume berries, fruits and roots.
The Common Frog
(Rana temporaria), also known as the European common frog, European common brown frog, or European grass frog, is a semi-aquatic amphibian of the family Ranidae, found throughout much of Europe as far north as Scandinavia and as far east as the Urals, except for most of Iberia, southern Italy, and the southern Balkans. The farthest west it can be found is Ireland, where it has long been thought, erroneously, to be an entirely introduced species. They are also found in Asia, and eastward to Japan.
Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry 'warty' skin. The spawn of the two species also differs in that frogspawn is laid in clumps and toadspawn is laid in long strings. The frog's skin also secretes temporin, a tarlike mixture of various peptides, for which the latter part of its scientific name is denoted translated in Latin.
The European rabbit or common rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a species of rabbit native to southwestern Europe (Spain, Portugal and Western France) and northwest Africa (Morocco and Algeria). It has been widely introduced elsewhere, often with devastating effects on local biodiversity. However, its decline in its native range (caused by the diseases myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus, as well as overhunting and habitat loss), has caused the decline of its highly dependent predators, the Iberian lynx and the Spanish imperial eagle. It is known as an invasive species because it has been introduced to countries on all continents with the exception of Antarctica, and caused many problems within the environment and ecosystems. Australia has the most problems with European rabbits, due to the lack of natural predators there.
The European rabbit is well known for digging networks of burrows, called warrens, where it spends most of its time when not feeding. Unlike the related hares (Lepus spp.), rabbits are altricial, the young being born blind and furless, in a fur-lined nest in the warren, and they are totally dependent upon their mother. Much of the modern research into wild rabbit behaviour was carried out in the 1960s by two research centres.