Late autumn wildlife

With the swifts, swallows and martins already gone to warmer climates, and expectations of frosty mornings high on the agenda, it's worth noting what to expect in late Autumn.

October has been wet, and at times very windy, the latter causing us to close the gardens on few occasions due to gales.

The raucous calls of jays give away the time of year, as it's during autumn that they become more active and far more easily seen, as they forage for acorns and beech nuts, and find places to hide them to sustain themselves during the harsher winter months. 

Fungi is very easy to see, with many species of bracket-fungus seen on our more ancient trees along the woodland paths, and many more species of mushrooms and toadstools abound in and around our grassy areas and the Pasture. 

Chicken of the woods fungus
Chicken of the woods fungus
Chicken of the woods fungus

Many insect species are still on the wing, with queen wasps, harlequin ladybirds and both red-admiral and peacock butterflies all noted as they take advantage of the seasonal weather and search out log-piles and outhouses in which to spend the winter, in hibernation as the temperature begins, eventually to fall. 

The project to restore the Georgian dams is well underway as autumn progresses, and while this work will affect access to some areas, it will also be a great opportunity to see the conservation work in action. Find out more about the project on the link below.

So, with winter approaching and as the north wind begins to stir, we here at Prior Park will be starting the big clear up, closing our doors during the week, and looking forward to the frosts and icicles of winter. We look forward to welcoming visitors during the weekends.