Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma
As the colder months approach, starling will start to roost together, and huge flocks - or murmurations - will gather at dusk to form breathtaking aerial displays. Sometimes, as much as 50,000 birds swoop and soar in unison, chattering noisily before dropping spectacularly into the safety of reedbeds or trees for the night. Early evening, just before dusk, is the best time to see them. Simply look up into the sky and enjoy the stunning display. RSPB Conwy and Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve are good places to witness this spectacle.
Welcoming back winter migrants
During the autumn, Wales attracts a whole host of migrating birds. As summer visitors start to disappear, birds from more northerly countries start to pass through on their way south. Birds such as the redwing and fieldfare can be spotted in big noisy flocks, enjoying the wealth of seasonal berries on offer. Migratory ducks, geese and wading birds such as curlews and oystercatchers arrive to feed on worms and grubs in estuaries. RSPB Cors Ddyga and Newport Wetlands are excellent places to spot winter migrants.
Autumn is the seal pupping season. Female grey seals come ashore in Wales, with fluffy white pups born from September to November. Many islands on the Welsh coast are important nurseries for grey seals, as well as on some sections of the mainland coast. The seals will use sheltered beaches, coves and caves to rear their white-coated pups.
Remember, it is important to take care if you spot seals on the Welsh coastline. Never approach a seal, as this may cause a mother seal to become aggressive or abandon their pup. Instead, keep your distance, being as quiet and still as possible. There is plenty of interesting behaviour to watch safely from the cliff-tops and you might even see a pup being born.
One of nature's finest spectacles is watching salmon leaping up rivers and waterfalls during the autumn as the fish return to their breeding grounds to spawn. Salmons navigate to the rivers they were born in and travel upstream to spawn. By the end of November spawning is finished and the adults make their way back out to sea. Salmon can be found in many rivers across Wales, including the river Wye and Towy.
Woodlands transform as autumn takes hold, from lush greens to blazing oranges, yellows and reds. Colourful berries cover the trees and nuts and acorns lure red squirrels and jays. There’s nothing quite like walking through a forest or woodland. It’s a soothing experience that brings you close to the natural world.
All of our nature reserves have something to offer. Visit our reserve page to find your nearest one and go out to enjoy the wonderful wildlife spectacles that the autumn has to offer!
Grey seal at Ramsey- Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
Woodland Lake Vyrnwy - Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
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