The Messenger - Serving Gislingham, Mellis and the Thornhams

Nature Notes - November

Date: 14 November 2018

As autumn begins, lots of fantastic colours appear around us – particularly in the woods as the leaves on the trees change from green to yellow and red and every shade in between. The relatively low angle of the sun in the sky can seem to amplify the intensity of these shades, adding to the spectacle. A couple of weeks ago, I visited Lynford arboretum, which lies just off the A1065 north of Mundford, to enjoy the sights. Arboretums are a good bet if you want to see autumnal colour as their many different species of trees promise a wide palette of colour. In truth, my visit was rather early in the year to see the trees at their best but timing has to be judged against the likelihood of strong winds that blow all the leaves away! All in all, a very pleasant stroll around the grounds.

Back in the garden, we’ve had a female Green Woodpecker foraging on our lawn quite regularly over the past few months, as well as visit of a Nuthatch, the first we’ve seen in our garden. Dragonflies have been zooming around over our pond and I’ve also spotted a Red Admiral basking on a wall. The star garden species this month, though, has to be a Hummingbird Hawk Moth, which was nectaring on some Verbena flowers. These large day-flying moths are fascinating creatures to watch as they move around the flowers, keeping their bodies perfectly still as they take nectar but with their wings beating so quickly they’re just a blur.

Things to look out for in the coming weeks include all kinds of toadstools that are beginning to appear in the countryside and sometimes in our lawns. Apparently, there are over 15,000 species in the UK alone, so it’d be a poor show indeed if we didn’t spot a few! Hopefully, I’ll have some interesting photos to share next month. If you come across some please remember that they can be deadly poisonous so don’t handle them unless you’re an expert at identification and really know what you’re doing. Happy Wildlife Watching! See these and other photos at my Flickr site: flickr.com/photos/darrelphoto/