It’s not just the fireworks putting an end to the colourful displays this month as the fiery autumnal leaves begin to fade. As we wipe off the cobwebs from Halloween we are still left with eerie fog and frost, plus a sky full of rooks and crows.
When the light of the day fades the finale awaits. Flocks of starlings provide the most spectacular display as they join up in their thousands, twisting and turning in unison painting the sky with black glitter before they swoop to their roosting ground.
As temperatures drop, so will some of nature’s heartbeats. Bats enter a state of torpor, reptiles undergo brumation, whilst our prickly friends snuggle up to hibernate. Remember to check for them under the bonfire piles.
When the sparklers fizzle out, the icy cold waters will continue to dazzle. The snowy white seal pups will glow and so will the salmon leaping over weirs and waterfalls as they return to their breeding ground.
Whilst most of our summer migrating birds have left, our winter residents and migrants have returned along with the first festive flashes of winter berries. It’s the perfect time for spotting arctic wildfowl and waders along twinkling lakes and estuaries and for cleaning out bird boxes and filling up bird feeders – to help our garden birds prepare for the colder nights ahead.
To help us prepare, it’s time to dress up warm and flock together to enjoy Durham Wildlife Trust’s events this month.
We start the activities on Saturday 4 with a Salmon and Otter Walk along the Tees in Barnard Castle. We will be looking for those jumping salmon and signs of otters, as they both get active in our waters this time of year. Stepping over the fallen leaves and acorns will be our Low Barns Wildlife Watch Group, as they take a close look at trees and woodland habitats in Deepdale. For those wanting to step out of the cold, our Coffee Morning at Low Barns Nature Reserve will provide you with a warm brew and welcome.
From Tuesday 7 our refreshing weekly Wild Yoga sessions will continue to take place at Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve. If you didn’t see the group hit the headlines last month you can still watch the BBC Look North feature here: https://www.facebook.com/BBCLN/videos/1505642966183452/. We hope you’re persuaded to embrace the weather to connect the mind, body and soul with nature. You may also be connected with our wild geese, they often make the headlines too when they fly over the reserve this time of year.
We will be looking out for winter visitors and making wildlife sculptures from fallen leaves and woven withies at Wildlife Watch! Lanchester on Friday 10.
Saturday 18 our Wildlife Watch Group are at Rainton Meadows for their monthly meeting. Whilst John Grundy from Durham Wildlife Trust’s Revealing Reptiles Project will be a guest speaker at the ERIC North East Annual Wildlife Recording Conference 2017 which takes place at The Sill in Northumberland. Anyone interested in recording or observing wildlife is welcome.
We end the month on Wednesday 29 on our home patch at Washington Old Hall with the regular monthly session from Washington Wildlife Group.
We hope your month starts and ends with a bang. Please continue to share your photos with us on Twitter @durhamwildlife and Facebook and keep checking on our website too for new events: http://durhamwt.com/events/.