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The season of change

Posted: Thursday 1st October 2015 by Community

 A flock of geese in the sky A flock of geese in the sky

The buzz of summer is fading, the days become shorter, and the air gets cooler – it must be autumn. This is the season of change, and as the summer heat dies down and an cooler breeze fills the air, the wildlife and their surroundings adapt.

Winter may be fast approaching, but our wildlife isn’t ready to hide away just yet. In fact, autumn is one of the busiest times as they prepare for the winter. The days are shorter, and animals and birds need to feed more – so you’re more likely to see them now! As leaves begin to fall off the trees, it is often easier to see small birds.


Top creatures to look out for

  • flocks of migrating birds
  • swans, ducks, and geese
  • huge flocks of starlings
  • spiders and spider webs outlined in dew
  • hedgehogs, dormice, and bats
  • redwing and fieldfare arriving for autumn
  • squirrels and jays burying acorns
  • butterflies, ladybirds, and moths
  • stags developing antlers and looking for mate

Starlings on a fence



There are many other changes that occur at this time of year:

  • autumn is full of beautiful colours, as leaves change from green to shades of orange, brown, red, yellow, and gold. This is because trees stop producing chlorophyll for photosynthesis as sunlight levels decrease, causing leaves to begin to change colour
     
  • berries start to appear, as well as other fruits, nuts, and seeds, which make the perfect feast for hedgehogs and dormice preparing to hibernate
  • the sun becomes lower in the sky, making colours appear more vibrant during the day and stars seem brighter at night. There is the chance to see some spectacular sunsets at this time of year or mist over fields on cold mornings.

 

Things to do in the autumn

  • go blackberry picking
  • clean out nest boxes and put up new ones
  • create log piles for insects
  • collect conkers and chestnuts
  • catch sycamore seeds (“helicopters”) as they fall
  • go for early morning walks
  • last chance to see butterflies and ladybirds for the year
  •  create hibernation spots for hedgehogs and other mammals
  • leave fallen leaves where they are – they make perfect shelter and protection for wildlife
  • leave seed heads to provide food for finches
  • October is the time to plant new borders, shrubs, trees, spring bulbs, and vegetable patches
  • look out for huge flocks of starlings
  • look out for migrating birds

A boy holding a basket of blackberries

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