Biodiversity Blog: Autumn
Everything is starting to become naturally beautiful with the appearance of autumn colours. Autumn is one of the more popular seasons, along with Spring, for its natural beauty. It could be known as the end of the beginning. In the Spring months everything can be seen flourishing back to life, blooming into tranquillity after the Winter stagnations; then the Summer months approach and everything from insects and bugs, to mammals, reptiles and birds, to flowers, trees and shrubs are thriving and growing; finally Autumn is upon us and trees are shedding their leaves as the cold weather approaches. Many types of trees shed their leaves as a strategy to survive harsh weather conditions.
Autumn is a time of colour, change and sufficiency. The colours of Autumn are naturally striking and offer a time of change. With the high numbers of berries, fruits, nuts and seeds everywhere, animals are getting ready for the cold winter approaching, as some birds arrive and others leave for migration. The non-migrating native species are preparing for hibernation season. Autumn is wildlife’s harvest season, with great hedgerows of blackberries, rosehips, crab apples, hazelnuts and seeds, many wildlife species take advantage of this wild harvest to build up fat reserves for migration or for hibernation.
Whilst Autumn is upon us, why not lookout for these top four things:
- Fascinating Fungi
- Thrilling deer ruts
- Birds of flock
- Complex spider webs
Fungi is everywhere, from woodlands and parks to your own front garden, it can be found on piles of wood chippings and on dead logs, on the grounds and on the trunks of trees. There are over 15,000 species of fungi found in the UK, so have some fun discovering the rather strange and mysterious world of fungi. Please do be careful though, as some fungi can be poisonous… we recommend the ‘just looking and not touching or eating’ approach!
Thrilling Deer Ruts:
Autumn is the time of year when stags and bucks develop their antlers and fight rival males to attract a harem of females. Red deer are the largest land mammal in Britain and the stags have the most spectacular antlers of any British species. There are several species of deer and at this time of the year you may hear the barking of the muntjac and roe deer or the roaring of the red deer at night. So, keep an eye and ear out for these magnificent animals.
Birds of Flock:
Autumn is when many birds form flocks from parties of long-tailed tits to huge flocks of waders on coastal estuaries and murmurations of starlings. Look for flocks of jackdaws, rooks and carrion crows flying to woodland roosts on Autumn evenings. If you live near the coast look for great skeins of migratory geese which arrive from Arctic breeding grounds to spend the winter with us.
Complex Spider Webs:
On cold autumn mornings, you suddenly realise how many spiders there are! Take an early morning walk and spot spider webs outlined in dew on hedgerows, in meadows and even on house windows and car wing mirrors. Spider silk is truly amazing, did you know that spider’s silk is five times as strong as the same weight of steel! If you can find a spider making a web and watch carefully how it’s constructed! It’s a complex and fascinating process.