Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Cheer on the salmon run

Atlantic salmon © Karl Franz

One of the great journeys of the natural world is coming to its conclusion at the end of the autumn: the great Atlantic salmon run.

Find a good vantage point by the river: bridges over weirs are the best

Having spent the past five years way out in the Atlantic maturing, salmon have been gathering during the autumn at river mouths around our coasts.  As the rainy autumn season arrives, the river levels rise and the salmon begin their journey back up stream.  

Weirs and waterfalls are no obstacle for the king of fish when he wants to get to his spawning grounds: the salmon hurl themselves up and over.  Gather at the riverside and cheer them on!

By the end of November, spawning will be complete and the surviving adults can make their way back out to sea at a more sedate pace on their return journey.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below… Watch Jack Perks’ film of UK freshwater fish – the salmon is one of many fascinating species for which he has footage . Atlantic salmon are over-fished and salmon farming is fraught with environmental costs.  If you want to enjoy eating salmon sustainably, then wild-caught Pacific salmon from Alaska is the best option, according to the Marine Conservation Society.

Special spots

Gilfach in Powys is bisected by the River Marteg, an important tributary of the River Wye.  Follow the ‘Salmon Stone Circular Walk’ which takes you to a special viewing platform perched above a waterfall, from which you can get a birds eye view of the salmon leaping upstream.  The area is also a good one in which to spot an otter, as he waits for an easy meal.

Running along the side of Tees Valley Wildlife Trust’s Maze Park nature reserve is the River Tees. Visit in October or November for a chance of seeing the salmon jumping up the fish ladder at the nearby Tees Barage, along with seals who are hoping to catch an easy meal. 

Perthshire,  Tummel Shingle Islands

Atlantic salmon © Jack Perks

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