Sea­sonal wildlife

Au­tumn is a busy time for an­i­mals, as they pre­pare for a long and chilly win­ter ahead

NPhoto - - Feature -

All crea­tures great and small be­come more bold at this time of year as they take ad­van­tage of nat­u­ral re­sources and build up stores for the colder months to come. You’ll have no­ticed the boun­ti­ful hedgerow har­vest from Septem­ber on­wards – think berries, rose hips, ap­ples, hazel­nuts and seeds – and many species take ad­van­tage of this feast to build up re­serves of fat for mi­gra­tion or for hi­ber­na­tion.

Some an­i­mals, such as squir­rels, are easy to spot out for­ag­ing, but you’ll need to learn the habits and pref­er­ences of shyer species. You could set up a reg­u­lar feed­ing sta­tion on your lo­cal patch with your tar­get an­i­mals’ pre­ferred food source. As an ex­am­ple, bad­gers thrive on peanuts, dried pet food, fruit and meal­worms (a pet shop will stock these).

Once es­tab­lished, a feeder pro­vides plenty of photo op­por­tu­ni­ties with a long lens and wide aper­ture, but if you want to pho­to­graph larger mam­mals, such as deer, get in touch with your lo­cal wildlife group and use their ex­per­tize.

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