Autumn. It’s the season of vivid sunsets and momentary rainbows amid falling leaves. For some people, autumn heralds the onset of the winter chill: of retreating indoors to keep warm. Before you close your door to the nature outside, let’s take a look at the beauty of autumn.
What makes this the season of new beginnings for many living species, especially in Lincolnshire?
A breath of fresh air
Photographers love autumn. The light they capture at dawn and dusk in a late morning or early evening shoot casts their subjects in a favourable glow.
Lincolnshire has abundant wildlife for the enthusiastic photographer to catch on film.
Wonders of nature
Seals come in their hundreds to the shores of Lincolnshire’s coastline to give birth to their young. The babies will be born during October and November at Donna Nook and stay on the beach for about a month. If you visit the colony to see them – the grey seal babies are noticeable by their white fur – expect to be among thousands of human visitors. If the seals survive aggressive tides and winter storms, they will leave the breeding colony (north of Mablethorpe and south of Grimsby) to live for 25 years or more, becoming parents themselves after the age of 8.
Seals in rehab
Pups that become separated from their mothers soon after birth may spend their first weeks in an animal hospital at Skegness or Mablethorpe. There, they are taught to look after themselves and learn how to survive before they are released into the wild.
What else is happening in the Lincolnshire countryside this autumn?
A stone’s throw from rolling countryside
Little can compare with life among the beautiful British countryside. Former city dwellers are lured to Lakeshore by the countryside they find at the doorstep of their new retirement home.
Autumn starts with harvest – the bountiful season for berries, nuts and holly.
- You may see the grey squirrel on the hunt for chestnuts, its favourite treat. Berries and nuts are food for animals who store their food away for the winter months.
- Pondlife quietens. Frogs hibernate during autumn. If the sun comes out they’ll emerge to forage for food. Then they’ll retreat till spring.
- Fungus blooms in autumn – there are 17,000 varieties in Britain.
- Bats (did you know 18 varieties are British residents?) mate in the autumn and fatten up for the winter. Some travel from as far as Lithuania to spend their winter here. Three species of bat call Lincolnshire their home.
- Badgers live here and will settle wherever they find a rich supply of earthworms. They live in setts and spend their days travelling across their widespread territory.
- Autumn is rutting season for Lincolnshire’s deer. See the native roe deer in Witham Valley Country Park, the Wolds and in Brocklesby and Normanby. Also look out for red and fallow deer and listen out as the stags call the hinds as they gather in herds this season.
City centre wildlife
Brayford Pool is home to a thriving population of mute swans. Peregrine falcons can be spotted perching on the towers of Lincoln Cathedral. Closer to home, you can enjoy autumn at Lakeshore without moving from your garden. The blackbirds you see from your decking may be enjoying a welcome break from Scandinavia.
Frampton Marsh is home to the RSPB’s reserve. Here, migrating birds such as the Snow Bunting stop for the milder winters to escape harsh temperatures in their home country. Others fly south for warmer climates. If you’re out after dusk you may see flocks of migrating birds flying at night to avoid predators.
The saltmarsh offers an abundance of rich pickings for avocet, lapwings, redshank and little ringed plovers. Look out for kingfishers in the tidal creeks during wintertime.
Wildlife can be easier to spot in the autumn. Plan your own Lincolnshire Nature Reserve Tour using this map.
Getting involved with wildlife conservation is popular with retirees. If you want to do more than observe, you can offer your time and services by taking on a volunteer role. Working to help animals helps us as much as it does them. Studies have shown that being in the presence of animals lowers blood pressure.
Choose your favourite animal, plant or bird and do your bit to help it thrive in its natural habitat at:
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
- Donna Nook
- Boultham Mere, your nearest nature reserve, 5 miles from Lakeshore.
- Whisby Nature Reserve (7 miles away
- Or see the Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas page to find out what you can do to help.
Go out and see the Lincolnshire countryside in the autumn. Notice how the season changes into winter and make the most of the short, bright autumnal days.
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