Happy almost November! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get out as many blog posts as I had wanted in October. Between my fried post-covid brain, an endo flare-up and my massive amount of uni work/volunteering, I haven’t had much time spare to write. I have lots of ideas, but I am struggling to get the words out. Today, I am writing about the upcoming November wildlife in the UK! I like to reflect and write about what makes me happy when my posts start to lack. I’ve missed a few wildlife monthly posts, but I am bringing them back because it’s one of my favourite writing subjects. I have seen a fair few Red Admiral butterflies in October, which I wasn’t expecting but I’m so happy I saw them.
During autumn and winter, lots of birds’ natural food sources are scarce which means it is vital that we provide food for them. Different food types will attract different birds so it’s important to put a variety in your garden. I only just discovered that a damp feeder can result in a horrible disease being transmitted between birds, specifically greenfinches. Therefore, make sure you schedule a good bird feeder clean from time to time!
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)
The Brambling bird can be mistaken for a male chaffinch because they are of a similar shape and size. The obvious difference is that the Brambling has an orange breast with a white belly, whereas the chaffinch has a redish pink breast. In the winter, they tend to fly about in large flocks, sometimes with chaffinches too. Their diet mainly consists of seeds in the winter, and insects in the summer. You tend to be able to see Bramblings from mid-September until March or April. They like to be amongst the woodland, farmland, urban and suburban. In the summer, they especially like to be on the coast, whereas in the autumn they prefer the woodlands and farm fields.
Continue reading: November wildlife in the UK
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
The Long-tailed Tit is one of my favourite birds because they are so small and cute! It is very easy to identify, just by looking at its long tail, which is longer than its body. They have quite distinctive patterns, mainly black, white and purplish-pink. Long-tailed Tits are seen throughout the UK, apart from parts of North Scotland. Their habitats are woodland, farmland, heathland, suburban and urban. They are social birds and fly around with their family even after they become old enough to search for their own food.
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Blackcaps are part of the Warbler family and are grey birds. The female has a brown cap (as shown in the photo) and the male has a black cap, hence the name. They used to only be in the UK for the summer, but recently (since the early 2000s) some have been seen staying over winter. During winter, they mainly occur in England. Blackcaps can be seen in woodland, farmland, suburban and urban habitats, and their diet consists of insects and berries.
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
The Song Thrush is a small brown bird with a spotted pattern on its breast. They look fairly similar to the Mistle Thrush which is a grey bird with the same pattern. Song Thrushes can be seen all year round, and they live in woods, farmland, hedgerows, parks and gardens in the UK. Their diet consists of snails (we’ve all seen that video, right?), worms and fruit.
Butterflies (Vanessa atalanta)
The Red Admiral butterfly is the only butterfly that can be seen all year round. They hibernate, but in recent years they have been seen in all months of the year, in the south of England. As with all butterflies, they love sunny days so they come out then to bask in the sun and recharge their energy. In the autumn/winter, they like to take in the nectar from rotting fruit. The most available larval plant is the Common Nettle, which is seen all over the UK.
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October and November time is when Hedgehogs tend to be hibernating, but in milder winters they can still be active in November or even December. Hibernation can be dangerous, especially as people jump into leaves or use a log pile for a bonfire without checking. Always check logs, leaves and twigs for hedgehogs (& other animals) before lighting on fire! Hedgehogs go into hibernation at different times, so it is always a good idea to have a bowl of water out for them. If you have a pond, try to create a beach area so that if they fall in, they can get out easily.
All kinds of different fungi are out in November, I love going out and looking at the different types. Just don’t eat them, unless you are with an expert/100% sure it’s edible. I like to just take photos, the safest way of admiring them. Above are some of my latest fungi finds.
Which November wildlife are you hoping to spot?
Best wishes, Cx