In September, huge flocks of young swallows and house martins can be seen gathering on the fences in the parkland, or feeding over the garden lawns before migrating to Africa in late autumn. Migrating garden birds such as blackcaps, chiffchaffs and willow warblers disappear gradually, so their departure is not as noticeable.
October sees the arrival of many thrushes from Scandinavia, including mistle thrush, fieldfare and redwing. Look out for them on the edge of the parkland, especially feeding on apples in the 'ha ha' ditch. Large flocks can also be seen feeding on yew trees.
A good time to spot birds in autumn is when they're feeding. Look for nuthatches, blue tits, great tits and coal tits on the feeders in the American Garden, or in the Wilderness Play Area looking for insects on the mature trees there. Green woodpeckers can often be seen on the lime tree avenue or near the river, feeding on ants from the ground. Sparrowhawks can sometimes be seen hunting in the gardens, and little owls often hunt in daylight hours on the lime tree avenue.
Wood mice, short-tailed voles, common shrews and pygmy shrews are actively storing food for winter at this time of year. They don't hibernate unless it gets really cold, so depend on their autumn stashes of food to get through the winter. Look out for them in the garden, around the hedges, around log piles, or under trees. Hedgehogs and bats on the other hand will sleep right through the cold months.