Blog / Pets and sheds

Animal visitors to your shed

10 August 2016

Have you ever looked in your shed and found something lurking among the garden tools, spiderwebs and musty packets of seeds? Something...alive?

All over the country people are discovering unexpected visitors in their sheds. We’ve done some digging and here are some of the most unusual creatures that people have found making their home at the end of the garden.

Snakes in the shed

snake on garden shed
Image source: chroniclelive.co.uk
Corn snake peeks out from Brenda Markie's garden shed

Of all the exotic species found in our sheds, Corn snakes seem to ‘crop’ up quite often. When Brenda Markie saw a snake pop its head out  of her shed she rushed inside to call the RSPCA. Daughter Melissa explains:

“By the time she came back out it had disappeared and we couldn’t find it.”

Brenda went back to her gardening but the snake emerged again just the next day.
“Although mum got a shock at first, she wasn’t scared and even fed it some chicken to make sure it didn’t starve to death.”

corn snake by garden shed
Image source: chronicle live
The corn snake coming out from hiding under Brenda’s shed

This time the snake was picked up by a local reptile centre, but it’s still a mystery how it found its way to the shed in the first place.

Another corn snake showed up in a family shed in Wirral which for Michelle and Carl “was such a shock – at first we thought we were hallucinating.”

The couple’s children were fascinated by the visitor, which was later safely captured by the RSPCA.

Snake owner Daz Barnett was relieved when after nearly a week on the ‘slither’, his 6ft corn snake Fergie was found in a neighbour’s shed. But there’s no word on what the neighbour thought when he discovered the bright orange reptile!

 

Here be dragons

bearded dragon found in shed-snake-2
Image source: daily record
Bearded dragon lizard found in Ross Gemmell's shed

When Ross Gemmell cleared out the shed in his new garden, he picked up an old shoe box, only to discover a Bearded Dragon Lizard inside. He was so shocked, he nearly dropped the box.

“I thought it was dead. It was upside down and not moving. Then I closed the box and opened it a minute later and it was up the right way and staring up at me.”

Luckily for the lizard, Ross knew it needed to be warmed up and fed so he took it to a local pet shop where they gave it something to eat and make sure it was rehydrated.

 

Something on the shed roof

fox keeping an eye on the garden from the shed roof
Image source: croydonducks
The shed roof is the perfect vantage point

If the number of photos is anything to go by, shed roofs seem to attract foxes - perhaps because they offer a high vantage point or a safe spot for a snooze in the sunshine.

For many people the novelty of spotting a fox on their shed roof brings a touch of the wild to their garden, but blogger Jonathan Wallace had mixed feelings when he saw this fox on the roof of his shed in London:

“Had this photo been taken on my allotment back home ... I would have been a bit less relaxed. Foxes and hens don't go well together, in my opinion, though the fox may beg to differ.”

fox resting on shed roof
Image source: self-sufficient in suburbia
The shed roof is also the perfect place to relax

We think the hens might agree, though!

Feathered friends

peacock looking out from the shed roof
Image source: examiner.co.uk
Wendy Linley's new shed decoration - a peacock!

It’s not just mammals that turn up on shed roofs. When Wendy Linley looked out of her window in Huddersfield last year she noticed a Peacock on the bungalow behind her house. Wendy says:

“The weather hadn’t been very good and he was looking a bit sad, with bedraggled feathers.”

After being spotted all around Huddersfield, the brightly coloured bird later turned up in her garden where he took a well deserved rest - you guessed it - on her shed roof.  

eagle owl on shed roof
Image source: Liverpool Echo
An eagle owl, totally ruling the roost

This giant eagle owl, the world’s largest species of owl, was spotted on the roof of Mary Robert’s shed in Liverpool.

“It comes and goes but when it lands, it just sits on top of our shed”

Despite his size and fearsome features the owl flies away when Mary walks up to it - it’s thought to be an escaped pet.



The wildlife garden

climbing hedgehog
Image source: shutterstock
Sometimes hedgehogs need a helping hand

Less exotic creatures may also seek a temporary home in your shed, especially when autumn comes. Hedgehogs, toads and bats all benefit from hibernating with a roof over their heads.

Hedgehogs in particular have seen their numbers decline by 25% over the last ten years, so they need all the help they can get. Gardening with Children  gives some great advice on how you can help provide a home for a variety of helpful garden visitors. They say:

“Many species of creature are constantly seeking refuge and safe nesting sites, you may find ...an unexpected species... this is part of nature and all species should be welcomed as part of your wildlife garden.”

mouse stealing tomatoes
Image source: rusty duck
Caught red-footed!

If you’re using your garden to grow vegetables the last creature you want to find in your shed is a mouse. Blogger Rusty Duck is waging an ongoing and well documented battle with the furry creatures who’ve invaded the ‘Man Shed’:

“We’ve persisted with live catch traps for in excess of two years, transporting the mice at least two miles distant after a nice ride in the car. But they are clever. They learnt how to get into the trap, scoff the peanut butter sandwiches hidden therein and then scarper, leaving only crumbs in their wake.”

The little blighters have chewed through petrol lines and stolen his tomatoes from the greenhouse, so, it’s finally time to resort to lethal force, says Rusty Duck.

And finally...

jeds shed
Image source: Mark Willis
How habitable is Jed's shed?

When old ale began to go missing from blogger Mark Willis’ friends rather ramshackle shed, the pair wondered what kind of creature might might be responsible.

But all soon became clear. Mark says:

“Jed told me... he found a couple of down-and-outs ensconced in his shed supping the stale beer he was saving for slug-traps.”

Maybe the slugs had a lucky escape!

 

Next time you’re in your shed, have a good poke around and who knows what strange creature you might find. And if you do spot something out of the ordinary, please let us know and share your photos with us on our Facebook page.

Lead image: Croydonducks

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