The secrets of great garden wildlife shots

Attract animals to your garden with cleverly placed food

Getting good garden wildlife shots can be made a lot simpler with a few basic tips. By using the right kind of feeder and a bit of a bit of fruit you’ll be able to attract more life to your garden images. We show you not only what to feed birds and butterflies, but how to present their food for the best possible pictures.

Feed birds with a flat wire feeder

These are better than tube feeders because they enable more birds to feed at once and are also completely squirrel-proof. Terry makes his, which cost less than £5, from a sheet of small gauge-wire mesh measuring 100x50cm.

The mesh is folded in half and crimped along the side edges. He fills it with peanuts and folds over the top. As well as birds that come to feed, the shower of broken peanut pieces on the floor will attract the odd badger.

Put bird food mix into bark

Feeding from drilled holes in an old tree trunk or a log is a good idea, as youíll have a natural-looking backdrop. Terry makes his feed, which camouflages in with the bark, using 500g of lard, 700g of bird peanuts and 100g of wholemeal flour blitzed together in a food processor to make a paste.

Usual diners include tits, woodpeckers, magpies, jays and nuthatch, and wood and yellow-necked mice at night.

Attract butterflies with plums

Fermenting plums are useful attractants for butterflies, particularly red admirals. As well as moths, including our most beautiful, the red underwing, which can be seen flying in September. They like to get quite merry on the alcoholic plum juice.