Tuesday, November 2, 2010
With the changing of the clocks heralding the official end of British Summer Time, the arrival of autumn has been shepherded in by a chill in the air and the turning of the leaves.
Autumn is one of the most spectacular times of year with the natural world providing a final flourish of glorious colours before winter sets it. There are many autumnal delights to be found in the natural world: what could be more enjoyable than taking a stroll through deciduous woodland with leaves of gold, orange and crimson falling all around.
As you walk you may be lucky enough to see a red squirrel gathering beech masts, hazelnuts and other woodland treats to supplement its winter food store. Of course, many animals have devised different means of surviving the British winter with autumn a time of preparation for birds that fly to warmer African climates - lookout for swifts, swallows and house martins as they flock overhead before starting on their 6000 mile – and animals that hibernate during the cold winter months.
If you come across a hedgehog in your garden during autumn it may very well be looking for a secure spot in which to hibernate. You can help hedgehogs by providing natural nesting places such as log piles, compost heaps, and gaps under a hedge or the garden shed.
Such sightings of wildlife in your garden or Local Park provide valuable information that can be used to understand and protect wildlife at local, national and international levels.
Fife Nature Records Centre aims to gather wildlife information and make it available to all who can help to conserve wildlife. You can contribute to this by submitting records of the wildlife you see to Fife Nature Records Centre. For more information on wildlife recording please visit the Fife Nature Records Centre website www.fifenature.co.uk