FLORA AND FAUNA CALENDAR – AUTUMN
To continue with our Grandhome community scavenger hunt, we’ve been adding regular flora and fauna guides to what you can see in the local area at this time of year.
We hope you enjoy this guide as you make the most of your walk, run or cycle by looking out for wildlife, flowers and plants that are found at this time of year.
We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas to add to the list.
Deer and stags can be found in the countryside and woodland areas of Aberdeen year-round, but the hour immediately after first light is the best time to see wild deer in a woodland area, according to the British Deer Society. You will have to be very quiet and eagle-eyed as deer are some of the quietest animals around.
Black bog rush is a very rare plant that makes Scotstown Moor a site of Specicial Scientific Interest, and can be found in the wetland areas.
Autumn is one of the best times of year for owl spotting as the young owls are first stretching their wings. The best time of day to see owls is at dawn or dusk when they are most active. It is easier to see owls in open habitats, so head to the outer edge of Grandhome and see if you can spot a tawny or short eared owl.
October is the month where the UK sees a big arrival of migrant birds that spend the winter in gardens, woodland, farmlands and wetland areas. In wetlands, we’re likely to see birds like the Lapwing and Golden Plover in our local area.
Keep an eye out for Fieldfares which are usually on the lookout for hawthorn and rowan berries to eat, and are likely to be found in large flocks. You might hear them before you see them – listen out for ‘chakking’ calls, says the RSPB.
October/November is a vital time for hedgehogs as they prepare to hibernate. Now is the time to leave food and water out to help them prepare, and think about bedding options that they have. You can build a hedgehog home to help them keep warm and dry over winter.
If you head down to the beach, such as local Donmouth Nature Reserve, be sure to keep an eye out for grey seals. In October, some pups may also be visible, although take care and make sure that they are not disturbed.
A 20-minute cycle from Grandhome is Seaton Park, where the River Don flows through. Look out for the otters which regularly frequent the river, along with red squirrels often found in the park and many species of seasonal plants.
Back at home, you can get your garden prepared for winter by regularly raking the fallen autumn leaves and using them as compost. Leave out some herbaceous perennials such as ferns to create a winter home for insects. Remember to stock up on bird feed and feeders to help birds and hedgehogs out over the winter months.
Tell us what you spot when you’re enjoying the outdoors this autumn and share photos on our Grandhome Facebook group.