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September Round Up

September Round Up

The first of September saw the first day of autumn (Meteorologically speaking) and the Autumnal Equinox was on the 22nd this year, so it is now fair to say that we are well into autumn and as such the weather has changed accordingly and this has affected the flora and the fauna of the Abbey.

First of all our summer migrant birds have now departed for more southern climes, all the swallow and house martins seem to have left however the odd one could possibly been as a few bird were last week. It is a good guess that these birds are not the ones that have bred in and around Glastonbury but rather are birds from further north making their way south possibly even from as far north as Shetland. Willow warblers have also made the journey towards there wintering grounds in Africa.

The mild weather conditions have seen quite a large emergence of red admiral butterflies over the past few weeks. These are second or possibly even third generation butterflies of the 2017 season and will over winter in a torpid state somewhere that is dry and with a stable environment to emerge next spring and lay eggs for the first generation of 2018 butterflies. There are still good numbers of large white and green-veined white about on the wing along with speckled wood and small copper, however these will soon be dying off as the cooler weather will shortly start and the lack of flowers for them to feed on diminishes. Dragonflies are still well represented in the grounds with good numbers of common darter, ruddy darter, southern hawker and migrant hawker still buzzing around the ponds looking for a meal.

The leaves on the trees have now started to change and the full colour of autumn should be with us in a few weeks. Fungi is starting to appear around the grounds, but seems to be slightly later than last year, again this could be down to the weather. It is certainly worth keeping your eyes out for some of our more colourful fruiting bodies as the season continues.

The ubiquitous grey squirrels are ever present all over the Abbey grounds and they appear to have had a very successful breeding season and are currently chasing each other around the ruins and the tree canopy and provide a sometimes humorous sight on a dull day. Mallards are still present either on the duck pond but more recently are favouring the fish pond. Moorhens have had a good summer with two broods of chicks who again are ever present.
That's all for this month. Enjoy the colours.

Mark Huntington

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Added: 10th October 2017