Wildlife to watch in October
Black Bryony is a climbing hedgerow and edge of woodland plant. The pale green flowers are easy to miss in the summer but come October, the strings of bright red berries are easy to spot. With its exotic looking heart shaped leaves, it is our only native member of the yam family, but it is actually highly poisonous.
In autumn Black Bryony dies back and stores its energy underground in an irregularly shaped blackish tuber. In spring shoots appear and rapidly grow upwards, twining round the nearest supporting hedge or tree.
Also look out for
Long Tailed Tit
The Long-tailed Tit is an adorable, small, fluffy pinkish bird. Juveniles lack pink and have grey-black cheeks. Long-tailed tits are not really members of the Tit family but of the Aegithalidae family.
In the winter, flocks will huddle together to conserve body heat, sometimes using nest boxes or roosting pockets.
The Long-tailed Tits usually fly around in flocks of up to twenty or so, and they are twittering continually to one another. When they are in the trees, they can be seen busily flitting from branch to branch looking for insects. Long-tailed tits are very acrobatic and will hang upside-down from the end of branches.
The English Oak is a large deciduous tree up to 20-40 metres tall. In England, the English Oak has assumed the status of a national emblem and for centuries it has been a national symbol of strength and survival.
The open canopy enables light to penetrate through to the woodland floor, allowing bluebells and primroses to grow below.
Oak forests provide a habitat rich in biodiversity and they support more life forms than any other native trees. They host hundreds of species of insect, supplying many British birds with an important food source.
A shrub with pure white flowers and dark, thorny branches, blackthorn is perhaps best known for its fruits, which are used to produce sloe gin.
Blackthorn is a shrub belonging to the same genus (Prunus) as almond, cherry and plum trees. The specific epithet spinosa refers to the sharp spines or thorns that are characteristic of this plant.
An important plant for wildlife, its early spring flowers provide nectar for early emerging insects, and its branches create a spiny thicket, providing secure nesting sites for birds.
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