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

Get sent packing by grouse

Red grouse © Richard Bowler

Red grouse are setting up their territories in the uplands, and can get carried away when chasing off their rivals.

Most red grouse will fly away if disturbed, whirring wings skimming them low and fast over the heather

Go back, go back, go back ” yells a belligerent red grouse from a small hummock of heather. Just the size of a plump partridge, a deep chestnut-brown in colour with a dazzling bright red eye brow, the male red grouse is occupied with setting up his territory. And a territorial red grouse is a force to be reckoned with, especially when he sees red.

That flash of red above his eye is a sign of how fit a male he is, and how good a partner he will make to a female. The bigger and brighter the red, the better the male. The arrival of a bigger flash of red on his territory is seen as a threat, to be chased away: even if that red flash is your red coat! Stroppy male grouse have even been known to react angrily to a red car parking nearby, while the females quietly go about their business.

The boisterous ‘famous’ grouse is found on moorland in northern England, Wales and Scotland, as well as in Ireland… and nowhere else in the world! He may seem angry, but the red grouse is a very special bird and we should be sure to take care of him.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below…Red grouse isn’t the only grouse in Britain. The handsome black grouse is famous for its lekking behaviour, where several males gather together to fight over the attentions of the females. These leks are now few and far between, and very easy to disturb, but Durham Wildlife Trust has some wonderful videos of black grouse lekking on its YouTube channel as well as its Living Uplands website .

Special spots

The fabulous uplands of at Glaslyn Nature Reserve , Montgomeryshire will take your breath away with stunning views of the Dyfi valley and beyond. The reserve is open all year round but your best chance of spying a red grouse is in the late summer when the chicks have grown and the heather is in flower. 

Cumbria,  Drumburgh Moss

Denbighshire,  Gors Maen Llwyd

Derbyshire,  Ladybower Wood

Highlands, Handa Island

Highlands, Rahoy Hills

Highlands, Isle of Eigg

Lothians, Red Moss of Balerno

Northumberland and Cumbria,  Butterburn Flow

Northumberland,  Harbottle Crags

Perthshire, Balnaguard Glen

Staffordshire,  The Roaches

Yorkshire,  Fen Bog

Red grouse © Tom Marshall

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