The season of Autumn provides us with some of the most beautiful and intense colours within nature. Woodlands all over the UK are revealing their amazing colours of red, orange, yellow and gold. This happens when the trees start to withdraw their chlorophyll from their leaves revealing these vibrant pigments in the leaves giving this amazing and distinctive appearance during the season of Autumn.
Autumn is a great time to get out with your camera as the ground is laden with fruits and nuts forming a carpet of food. A very rich bounty in which all animal’s take advantage of this extra food source before the onset of Winter. Capturing behaviour in some animals during Autumn makes for some beautiful encounters with wildlife. The most commonly known one is the Deer Rut , which was very late this year, I have been to several places around the UK over the last month and seen some brilliant behaviour and great moments.
This time of year is also one of the best times to see and witness one of the most secret and shy birds within the bird world, the Jay, part of the Crow family. You only normally hear these birds in the tops of trees, but during the plentiful bounty on offer during Autumn you’ll see them on the ground feeding on the acorns and other nuts and fruits the trees shed at this time of year.
The changing seasons and the yearly life cycle of animals, plants and trees will enable you to photograph many different images throughout the year, which will tell the story of the changing weather and colours of the different habitats in which the wildlife live in. The season of Autumn for me is arguably one of the finest times of year to enjoy and view wildlife with a backdrop of amazing colours, while most summer birds have now gone. Vast numbers of new arrivals make up for their departure, with the likes of Fieldfares, Redwings, and various Geese and Ducks that spend the winter months with us.
One of my favorite winter visitor’s is the beautiful Whooper Swan that have started to arrive from Iceland along with the slightly smaller but equally beautiful Bewick Swan. When they have all arrived numbers can surpass more than 1,000 Whoopers in and around the various places I visit, one of the best is on the North West coast of the UK. So graceful and elegant for a large bird they truly are beautiful and amazing to watch in flight.
I have also been photographing a real comical and funny bird, always on the move and constantly calling as they climb and pose up and down trees with great finesse and ease, the Nuthatch. I wanted to try and capture a few different view points of these charismatic, iconic woodland birds with their bold mannerism’s. I waited out of site to where they were landing, hoping to capture their cheeky side within an image. The following two photos I feel demonstrate this, with the amazing colours of the autumnal woodland as the back drop. Very funny birds and just one of the many wonderful animals you can photograph now as they feed on this rich source of food nature provides them with during Autumn.
Autumn marks the transition from Summer into Winter and is a short season compared to the other three so make the most of it with the colourful foliage on offer, adding great impact to any photographs you take. With the cooler temperature’s you maybe lucky enough for some amazing sunsets as I was with this lone Kestrel hunting in the very last rays of light over marshland.
With so much happening now my best advice would be to just go out into nature and capture this amazing and visually beautiful time of year, your reward will be views of animals you may not be able to see during the other seasons of the year, at the same time witness these stunning colours.
The migrants that these shores attract along with the special winter wildlife we have, finally show up in good numbers from now onwards giving you a unique insight into their lives, some of the best for me are Short-eared Owls that come down from the mountains to feed at sea level during our winter months, Mountain Hares that change colour to pure white to avoid predators and blend in with their snow capped landscapes along with Ptarmigan and many more species of wildlife where the only downside is that it becomes colder but you get to put more layers on!!. Whatever you do you will not be disappointed with the beauty of mother nature.