Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon
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Autumn Outdoors: What to look for

DEER RUT SEASON

Autumn brings the breeding season for deer, which means that the Red Stags and Fallow bucks will be competing for females. Red deer are the UK’s largest land mammal, and they will be pitting their spectacular antlers against each other this month.

Make sure you find a spot to watch well back from the action, and especially don’t find yourself standing between two male competitors, as the male deer will be roaring and clashing antlers to drive away rival males and show off their strength to the females.

Deer rutting can be seen at Richmond park this autumn.

STARLING MURMURATIONS

Starlings begin their autumn roosts around November, although some sites can start slightly earlier. In the early evening, just before dusk, birds will flock together, and as the weeks go on, more and more will join them. The starling murmurations are where as many as 100,000 birds swoop and dive in a massive formation across the sky, just before they settle down to roost for the night.

One of the best places to see starlings is in Sussex, particular by Brighton pier. It would be well worth a day trip – especially as the starling population has dropped by over 80 per cent in recent years, making them on the critical list for the UK birds most at risk.

See a video of a starling murmuration here

WINTER VISITORS

We often forget that not all birds migrate away from the UK for warmer skies in the winter – some birds migrate towards us, from the even colder climates of Scandinavia. This autumn, you might be able to spot the following winter visitors: redwings, bramblings, Bewick’s and whooper swans, as well as a variety of ducks, geese and wading birds.

If you’re near the coast for the day, have a look out for migratory geese, who flock over to spend the winter with us.

Have a look on RSPB for diagrams and descriptions, so you know what to look for when you are out and about this autumn.

FUNGHI

The damp air and composting leaves provide the perfect environment for funghi to grow, and not just in wooded areas, but over lawns, dead logs, tree trunks and wood chip piles as well. It is estimated that there are at least 1.5 million different species of funghi, which vary vastly in shape, size and colour.

See which species you can spot, from the mushrooms that are served up on your dinner table, to the Razor-Strop fungus that barbers once used to polish their razors – but do not eat any, even if they look like harmless edible mushrooms – there are 14 species of deadly mushroom in the UK, some of which look remarkably like the mushrooms we regularly eat.

Click here what-to-look-for worksheets for you and your little ones to enjoy on your autumn walks. Also, on Saturday 21 October, Dr Brian Spooner is leading a walk around Painshill Park, teaching you how to identify the fascinating fungus that thrives in the gardens.

SPIDER WEBS

Not for the faint-hearted, but the cooler air and frostier, dewy mornings show us the wealth of spiders webs that populate the outdoors. If you are out early in the morning, you should be able to catch their delicate intricacies gleaming, and the detail in some webs is incredible.

Bucks locking antlers