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Top 7 Autumn wildlife sightings in the UK

03 May 2021, by Naturebreak

We're sure you will have noticed that the temperature has begun to drop, the nights are drawing in and the tips of the leaves are starting to turn amber and red. 

As Autumn edges ever closer, the wildlife that you can spot on nature walks also changes and we've created a top 7 list of the best Autumn wildlife to spot in September in the UK.


These majestic birds of prey are aerial acrobats, catching and often eating prey such as dragonflies and even small birds whilst on the wing. The best places to spot these birds are over heathland, wetlands and along woodland edges where there is plenty of food for them to catch. Hobbies summer in the UK before heading back to southern countries for the winter.

Migrant hawkers

As one of the later dragonflies to emerge in the UK, you may see them still flying as late as November. These stunning creatures breed in pools of standing water but look out for the adults flying in gardens, woodland and along hedgerows too. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies, they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards. Adding a pond to your garden is a great way to attract this kind of wildlife closer to home.





As the light dims, why not take a walk in the countryside and look out for badgers. You'll find these mammals feeding on fruit and nuts, and digging for worms and insect larvae. Head to a badger sett before sunset and keep very quiet and you may see them emerge and even feed.

Late summer butterflies

Some September days remain warm and you might still see late summer butterflies. Look for speckled wood butterflies flying in sunny glades and along rides in woodland, or basking in pools of sunshine. You may also see Clouded yellows in many different habitats, but particularly where clovers are growing as this is one of the food plants for their caterpillars.


During Autumn the elusive Jays emerge from the typical woodland hideaways to gather and store acorns to eat during the winter. You're far more likely to hear a Jay out on a walk before you see one, they make a loud screeching call, which is generally heard more often than jays are seen. In fact their scientific name, Garrulus glandarius, translates roughly as ‘chattering acorn gatherer’.

Moorwilds Liz On Picnic Blanket Foraging Jason Broughton


These generally colourful fungi grow on nutrient-poor grassland or heathland. Some species, like parrot and golden waxcaps, appear in late summer which means you don't need to wait until mid Autumn to come across them. Some waxcaps are of conservation concern because this type of habitat is declining.


Water voles

September is a great time to look out for water voles in the UK and if you find yourself on a riverside walk you may be lucky enough to spot them as the vegetation along river banks is starting to die back. There are also lots of young water voles around as by this time of the year they have grown large enough to leave the burrows and find food for themselves. 

The weather may have turned chilly but there is still a lot of glorious wildlife to spot and search for in the UK. We recommend taking nature walks or undertaking outdoor activities which place you in the heart of nature where you’re more likely to spot these lovely creatures, hit this link to locate our top outdoor activities.  

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