Time and Tides - October, 2020
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
A monthly column I am writing for Perspective Magazine.
Sky Events: Mars will be the third brightest celestial body this month after the Moon and Venus. On Oct. 6 its distance from Earth will be the closest and easy to see between dusk and dawn. A blue moon will be rising at halloween on October 31. The name “Blue Moon” comes from local folklore and indicates the rare event of a second full moon within a single calendar month. The next time this happens on Halloween will be 2039.
1st to 7th October - Spring
8th to 15th October - Neap
16th to 23rd October - Spring
24th to 30th October - Neap
Positive Ecological Restoration News: October, 2020
- Spoonbills breed successfully for the first time in three centuries
It took over a decade of dedicated conservation efforts to see the first four spoonbill chicks successfully fledge from the nest in Suffolk in over 300 years! The RSPB Havergate Island nature reserve had seen many visiting spoonbills over the years, but this is the first time that two pairs were successful.
Two beavers born in the wild in Essex since the Middle Ages
Beavers were hunted to extinction in the UK for their meat and fur by the beginning of the 16th century, but numerous reintroduction programmes have been initiated around the UK, due to their positive engineering impact on nature.
Large blue butterfly returns for first time in 150 years
The mesmerising Large Blue Butterfly is back in Cotswold after 150 years.
No less than 750 large blue butterflies were recorded on Rodborough Common in Gloucestershire this summer. This follows years of innovative conservation work and grassland management to create the perfect habitat conditions for this endangered species. This is deemed as one of the most successful insect introductions in Britain. - Hen Harrier has best breeding year in England for 20 years
The Government Agency, Natural England have just announced that Chicks successfully fledged from nests across Northumberland, Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria and Lancashire in the best breeding season on record since a recovery project began in 2002
Nature Notes: October 2020
This month both the jay and squirrel are busy burying nuts to eat for when it gets colder and food more sparse. When they forget where they buried their stock, they accidentally become nature’s best tree planters. We can do the same this season and gather seeds to grow trees for the future. Growing trees from local seed is the best way of tree planting. Children love to go out and gather acorns. To turn them into oaks, fill a bucket of water and drop all the collected acorns in, if they float, disregard, if they sink, keep. Those that have sunk, pot them and wait for your mighty oaks. If successful give any surplus saplings away for free to schools, local wildlife trusts, or landowners. Start a free and voluntary service. One oak tree supports over 280 different species of insects and many of them are natural predators to pests. The hedges are now seen to be dropping their leaves, but the one plant that is flowering is the honeysuckle which assists starved bees and insects. A moth can smell the honeysuckle flower from a quarter of a mile away. The honeysuckle is the main food source for the declining white admiral butterfly; it is therefore a worthwhile plant to have in your garden. With the colder weather looming, worms and moles wiggle and dig deeper into the soil; one busy mole was recorded digging almost 15 metres of tunnel in one hour. This is also time where food become more scarce for birds. Make sure you leave them only natural foods, do not feed them spicy or salty food, oils, or chocolates or coconuts - much of our own food diet can be deadly for birds, if you are unsure, buy food supplements from specialists. One secret this month: If you venture into the forest at dusk “The King of the Forest” (the Stag) can be heard bellowing, vocalising that Samhain (pronounced “Sow-in”) is soon upon us. A time when we acknowledge that the season is changing and winter is around the corner. A time to relight the fire in the house, to take stock like the jays and squirrels, and best of all, to be still.