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Nature of Britain Calendar: November

Updated Saturday, 1st November 2008

Follow the Nature of Britain's seasonal hints and tips - this month we look at November, when the countryside will be draped in gossamer web from linyphiid spiders, and enlivened by the sound of returning swans

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Do one thing

Plant a tree and look after it in the months ahead to make a positive contribution to your environment

What to look for

On mild days, the countryside is draped with gossamer from tiny linyphiid spiders.

Freshwater invertebrates like caddis are present all year. Now is a good time to look for the larvae in their cases made from stones or bits of plant material.

Mosses of all kinds can be found in woods and hedgerows; their velvety evergreen tufts and cushions stand out among the bare wood.

Many plants produce beautiful seed heads, such as hogweed and teasel, which are valuable as food for birds, but also as stems in which insects can overwinter.

Unlike the rabbit, brown hares do not burrow so you may spot them crouching in fields at this time of year.

Many birds gather together in small flocks, especially finches and tits.

Out on the marshes, skeins of geese arrive to spend the winter in Britain. Barnacle geese winter on the north-west coast and brent geese from Siberia find a refuge on our muddy estuaries.

Whooper and Bewick’s swans are some of the most spectacular visitors and enliven a misty November day.

Did you know

Dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater. They may take five years to become an adult. Although they are on the wing in summer, you can find the nymphs in freshwater at any time of year. Find out more at Buglife.

Habitat of the month: Wetlands

Wildfowl gather in abundance on lakes and reservoirs. How many different species of wader, duck or goose can you spot?

Photo opportunity: Winter berries

Provide a splash of colour to brighten up your photos. Use a macro lens to get really close; a tripod is useful to keep the lens steady. Alternatively, look for a bit of sunlight reflecting off dew or rain to give an extra sparkle.

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