This month is when we all notice that the mornings and evenings are cooler, mistier and darker
The leaves are changing colour, the summer migrants have left and the winter visitors arriving and the weather is not so inviting to watch Nature but there is a lot to see and hear!
So what to look or listen for this Month.
- Leaves changing colour.
- Deer rutting.
- Tawny Owl hooting.
- Mushrooms and Toadstools.
- Flocks of Starlings, Redwings, Fieldfares, Geese to name a few.
- Seals including new Grey seal pups (if you fancy a trip to the coast).
- Spiders spinning.
- Ground Beetles.
The bright red, orange and yellow colour of the leaves is due to the shorten daylight hours – less sunlight the chlorophyll pigment ,that makes the leaves green, drains away revealing the other colours on the leaves caused by the other chemicals ie. Carotenoids ( which create red and orange colour as in carrots ) and Flavenoids (producing the yellow shades).Go and look around the countryside especially Ashwellthorpe Wood ,take your camera – see what stunning pictures you can get and enjoy the leaves before they drop!
We are very fortunate that both species of seal- Common and Grey seal can be found around the Norfolk coast, especially North Norfolk and the Wash area. The Grey seal is our largest wild mammal to breed on land. This can be told apart from the Common seal, which is far less common than its cousin, not actually by the colour as both can vary but by the shape of face. The Grey seal has a pointed face with a Roman nose where as the Common seal has a rounded more friendlier face!, You maybe lucky enough to see newly born Grey pups long the coast or try a Seal trip which can be arranged from Blakeney or Morston villages.
In October there is a lot of noise from owls as they are trying to compete for territories to supply a food supply for the winter months and suitable sites for roosting and breeding next year. The Tawny owl is our largest owl and can be found in our local woods. Try imitating a Tawny Owl by blowing between your thumbs into an air tight cavity produced by your cupped hands. Even a bad impression can get a resident owl calling and it is almost guaranteed that you can see an owl by torchlight BUT once you have seen them please leave off imitating so to let the owl return to its business! Also locally we have seen Barn Owls one in the fields near Ashwellthorpe Wood and another flying around the fields in Traice Road. Also we have seen Little Owls in the fields opposite Roseacre Swimming pool and near the industrial Estate just before you go down Gravel Pit Hill. These sighting have not all been in the evening so listen out for screening noises and keep your eyes open.
Lots of birds are flocking together and in the parish this month I have seen a lot of Bluetits, Great Tits and Long-Tail Tits all flying around together. The Long -Tail tits can generally be heard first by a sound which is a low “zup” continuously repeated. Goldfinches and Chaffinches suddenly reappear Jays are seen often flying with acorns in their beaks and Green Woodpeckers are heard waffling- a loud echoing laugh and flying in an undulating manner. All three species of woodpecker (Green, Greater Spotted and Lesser Spotted can be seen in the woods locally.
Ashwellthorpe Wood has a great variety of Fungi and three species of Deer. Obviously you can see them all .particularly the Fungi other places….so kept your eyes open!
Do not assume what you see is usual. Recently we have seen a family of Harriers at Old Buckenham, Attleborough Hethel and flying over Wymnodham Railway Station.
To see pictures of wildlife that you might see at this time of year CLICK HERE