Home Newsletter Locations Diary




Wildlife Photography in September

September sees the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn, the most colourful time of year for trees, but we also start to see the migration of birds, with our summer visitors returning to their wintering grounds in Africa and some of our winter visitors starting to return.

On the estuaries waders and wildfowl such as curlew and oystercatchers are returning from the summer breeding grounds. Also returning to estuaries, rivers and wetland spaces for the winter months around the UK are Greater Canada Geese,  Heron, Wigeon, Cormorant, Dunlin, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Gulls and more. Migrating birds such as Swallows, Swift and House Martins can be seen all over the UK where there are many insects and flies building up their reserves before the long journey before them. Fieldfares and Redwings as well as Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush will be feasting on the fallen fruit in the many orchards around the country. Goldfinches will flock to teasel heads to get at their seeds before they ripen.

See Larger Image

Oystercatcher by John Haslam

Like many mammals and birds this time of year Hedgehogs are starting to build up their fat reserves for the coming winter months and hibernation, so you may see more of them about, and their favourite food of snail, slugs and earthworm populations start decreasing a little. Their breeding season extends will into September and some females will give birth for a second time this month. They have nomadic lifestyle so the only time they're truly resident in gardens is when they choose to hibernate there. You can encourage them by building shelters made from heaps of twigs and dry leaves in sheltered spots. If you want to find out more then visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Trust's website.

See Larger Image

Hedgehog by Daniel Wehner

Insects are more more noticeable around this time of year, providing a food source for many birds and bats. Craneflies (daddy-long-legs) are in their greatest numbers. On the riverbanks and in wetland areas on sunny days large dragonflies are going about their courtship and daily activities before the winter sets in. Many butterflies are still on the wing, but are starting to look at little ragged as this is the last month of adulthood. The Wall butterfly can be found taking the later summer sun on rocks and stones or even on paths and roads. It is also a good time to see the Red Admiral butterfly, clouds of hoverflies, bumblebees and many other bee species. Spiders are also out on the hunt and busily building webs to capture their prey. Spiders webs early in the morning with dew on them are very photogenic and a challenge to find a good one to photograph.

See Larger Image

Red Admiral Butterfly by Michael Gwyther-Jones

Many trees start to take on their autumn colours of browns, oranges, reds and muted greens as well as loose their fruit and seeds. Horse chestnut trees (conker trees) have already been showing signs of the changing season with their large leaves starting to brown at the edges, but the big event for these trees during this month is they start to drop their seeds to the ground. They drop the large green spiky cases which as they drop crack and open to uncover the highly veneered brown seed inside, ready for collection by both animals and those humans who take part in many conker competitions next month, they need the seeds to harden ready for the competitions. Some trees such as the field maple, ash and sycamore have seed pods with wings which help them to float away from the parent tree. Acorns from the Oak tree will drop straight off the tree but will be transplanted around the nearby vicinity by the local Grey Squirrel population, you will see many burying them ready for winter. Jays too also squirrel away acorns ready for winter.

Conker by David Davies

The hedgerows start to show their autumn colours through their many fruits, ripening berries such as hawthorn haws, shiny red rose hips, and the midnight blacks sloes, blackberries and elderberries.

On the woodland floor it is the start of the peak fungi season and varieties such as the stinkhorn, so named from it's shape and the rather pungent smell, follow your nose to seek it out. A walk in the countryside on permanent pastures you cannot miss the giant puff ball, usually grouped together and they grow to an enormous size before dying and releasing their many spores. Towards the end of September is a good time to visit orchards with apples on the floor being foraged by birds, wasps and insects, fungi such as giant puffballs that can grow up to 80cm in diametre, field mushrooms and other types of fungi also start to appear.

See Larger Image

Puffball by Lenny Montana

Road verges although starting to look at little ragged with dead grass seed heads and the skeletons of cow parsley and hogweed, there are some species starting to thrive like the common toadflax, fleabane, the lesser bindweed and Yarrow which produces flowers long after the others have gone over, their larger heads can produce up to 3,000 seeds. In open grasslands you may come across the pinkie purple flower of the autumn gentian. Whilst in moorlands and bogs you may come across bilberries and cranberries. Heather is still flowering on the moors turning purple and flowering on grassy hills are blue harebells and yellow tormentil. Skylarks and meadow pipits are also still active.

See Larger Image

Autumn Gentian by Alastair Rae

See Larger Image

Garden Spider building a Web by Linda Kenney

Share your wildlife photos

Let us expand our coverage of what can be photographed each month by including your photos. - Why not Contact Us.

More Information

See also the Nature and Wildlife calendar - September

Other species can be found listed in the Wildlife and Animals section of the Topic Index and plants within the Nature, Flora and Countryside section, more lists may be found from the Wildlife & Nature index page within the reference section. These lists also give you links to other websites allowing you more information on what we have and haven't yet covered.


By: Tracey Park Section: Diary Key:

Page Ref: wildlife_photo_september

Topic: Wildlife Last Updated: 08/2009

This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking: Wildlife Photography in September  on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer