The wildlife in Mycenae Gardens is frequently in a state of flux. While some species are in permanent residence, particularly the tinier ones, many are present only from time to time.

Some birds migrate here in the spring and summer to breed after wintering in southern Europe or Africa. Others migrate here for what they recognise as our mild winters after summering and breeding in Scandinavia or northern and eastern continental Europe. Some only appear if winter on the Continent is especially hard. Others drop by on their migrations to or from more northerly or southerly destinations.

Some come to Mycenae Gardens from much closer and for far less extreme climate reasons. Life can be tough once the summer and autumn are over. Birds, especially, need to move to where they can readily find food. When they find it they eat it, and when supplies drop as a result they move on to look for more. Just watch a berry-laden holly tree. A resident blackbird will try to fight off visiting marauders and protect the food store, but the numbers will grow until the tree is stripped. Then off go the marauders, leaving the resident blackbird with a bare larder.

Some come in search of the good life, but find the pickings aren’t rich enough. After a good breeding season the bird population shoots up. More mouths means they must range wider to forage. Birds that don’t live in flocks need to move on to find empty territories where they can survive.

Others use Mycenae Gardens as a regular refuelling or dormitory stop in a constant foraging round over a wider area. Residents with bird feeders will recognise this. At times a feeding station bustles with activity, sometimes there is no bird in sight, not because they are quietly digesting their feast, but because they constantly roam an area in search of food.

Which all adds to the conservation importance of Mycenae Gardens and the Woodland Dell. The grounds are crucial not only to the resident breeding species, but to all the casual or short-term visitors for whom Mycenae Gardens and The Dell are a life-saving pit stop.

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