Dartmoor Nature Tours

Discover Dartmoor's wildlife with a professional local guide  

November 

November 2018 (updated on Thursday 1 November)

November was the ninth month of the Roman Year and November 11th was considered to be the beginning of winter. The Saxons called November the blood month because it was when cattle were slaughtered for winter consumption .

The clocks have gone back and now it is light at 6.30 in the morning and dark at 5 in the evening - we would save an awful lot of energy (and money) by switching to European time.

After a warm, sunny end to October autumn has definitely arrived – the trees and bracken are turning colour, leaves are falling and there is a hint of frost on clear mornings. The last spring migrant birds have returned to their wintering areas in Africa and the first redwing (see picture below, top right) and fieldfares have now arrived from their breeding grounds in Northern Europe.

Golden plover are winter visitors to Dartmoor from northern areas and there is usually a large flock in the short grass, boggy areas at the back of Haytor quarries. On the ground (see picture below, bottom left) they are very difficult to approach and have a ‘safety limit’ of about 100 metres – approach any closer and they take off immediately. In flight they keep close together like a murmuration of starlings.

Fungi - The Third Force!

Fungi are neither plants (they don’t have chlorophyll) or animals and are now recognised as a kingdom in their own right. The problem for the amateur enthusiast is that there are so many of them - several thousand in the UK alone. They depend on a complex combination of warmth and moisture whilst soil and vegetation influence what species are likely to be found in any given locality.

After a slow start Autumn 2018 produced a fungal surge following several wet days. The foray at Langaford Farm on 14th produced well over 35 different species including a wonderful display of the Birch Web Cap just next to the barn. (see picture below, bottom right).

B> Future Events -

B> WINTER BIRDWATCHING WALKS

Sunday November 25th – Winter Birds
Start Time: 09.30 Start Point, Trendlebere Down Lower Car Park SX 784793
Duration 3 hours Charge £5.00 per adult

Sorry no dogs allowed

Sunday December 16th – Winter Birds
Start Time: 09.30 Start Point, Trendlebere Down Lower Car Park SX 784793
Duration 3 hours Charge £5.00 per adult

Sorry no dogs allowed

Further walks can also be arranged on request – please ring Phil Page on Tel: 0785 8421 148 or e-mail to: enquiries@dartmoornaturetours.co.uk if you need more information.

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