Wildlife is now preparing to hunker down for the winter and there are signs of this happening all around us.

For example, jays are busy gathering acorns, most of which they will bury in the same open area.

These birds have excellent memories and recall where they have stored most of them but if any are forgotten then this is how small woodlands may be created.

Grey squirrels also collect acorns and sweet chestnuts but their memories are far less reliable and they may have difficulty in locating them in the winter months.

Many birds are selecting or have already chosen mates, including mallard and mandarin ducks. Swans are chasing away this year's cygnets, often showing much aggression by biting their tail feathers until their offspring finally get the message and fly off to another location.

Butterflies are now in hibernation. Brimstones rest under bramble leaves or among ivy leaves while peacocks, tortoiseshells and red admirals hide in hollow trees and the comma chooses leaf litter or even perches in the open on a tree trunk, its ragged wing pattern looking like a dead leaf.