Greater Manchester Local Record Centre


Greater Manchester Local Record Centre
ALERC Member
Wildlife Recording ....
Seasons in Greater Manchester


What to look for & Where to Go

In his famous poem To Autumn, John Keats described it as the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness".

As the days shorten and the temperature starts to fall, nature reacts in many different ways.

For some species it is a time to take advantage of the fruits, berries and seeds that abound on the trees and hedgerows, collecting and hiding away a cache of food to see them through the coming winter.

Others such as bats and hedgehogs need to prepare themselves for hibernation by laying down extra layers of fat.

Many species of bird adopt a different strategy and migrate south to Africa, where the warmer climate means they will still find the insect food on which they depend.

Seasons: Autumn in Greater Manchester

Tandle Hill Country Park
Autumn in Tandle Hill Country Park

Bats

This is mating time for bats.  The males of some species, such as Daubenton's swarm outside the roost, at what are known as bat discos, where they compete with one another for the right to mate with the females.  They move to a different roost in the autumn, seeking out a cool location for the hibernation period.  This could be a tree or building, where they will start to go into torpor (a controlled lowering of body temperature).


Birds

Autumn is migration time for many species of birds.  Look out for flocks of Swallows and House Martins, the numbers swelled by this year's young birds, congregating on telegraph wires before setting off on their long journey back to Africa.

As our spring visitors leave, other species such as Fieldfare, Redwing, ducks, geese and swans arrive from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia to escape the cold northern winter.  Listen out and watch for the skeins of Pink-footed Geese as they fly over in classic V formation, often at high altitude.

Still, clear evenings are a good time to hear the high pitched calls of Redwing as they pass overhead.


Fungi

An incredible range of fungi can be seen in Greater Manchester with over 530 species recorded and this is the best time of year to get out into the fields and woods to see the amazing variety of shapes and colours.

Fly agaric
Fly agaric

Fly agaric is perhaps the most easily identified, with its large red cap and white spots.  Some species grow on the ground gaining their nutrients from nearby live host trees, others can be found on dead wood.  This group plays a key role in the ecosystem, breaking down dead and decaying plant matter and returning the nutrients to the soil.

Why not join a fungi walk run by your local countryside rangers?

Birch polydor
Birch polypor

Jellyear
Jelly ear


Mammals

This is a busy time of year for deer, as the rutting season gets into full swing.  Listen out at dusk for the gruff barking of the Roe Deer which over the last few years has spread into many new areas in Greater Manchester, taking advantage of the maturing tree plantations.


Trees

Autumn is epitomised by the magnificent display of the leaves on the deciduous trees turning gold, red and yellow.  It's well worth a visit to your local wood to see Ash, Beech, Oak and Sycamore and maybe collect a few chesnuts for roasting on the fire when you get home.

Match: Any All