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

In the autumn, Wild Time goes into Business Mode. The temperature drops, the essential work of breeding and nurture is over and done with: and it’s time for the Wild World to rearrange itself. Each species gets ready to enact its own strategy for getting through the winter, writes Simon Barnes.

It’s all about changing: changing the way you live, changing the place where you do so

For many birds it’s about arrivals and departures: some, like swallows, flying to Africa to escape the killing cold and the shortage food, others, like geese, swans and ducks arriving here because they find our country so mellow after the Arctic.  The colour values of the landscape shift: browns and oranges tell us that if we have to say good bye to the summer greens at least we can do it style.

The woods are full of fungi that only an expert can identify and only an adventurer can eat, while the red deer, perversely, decide that this is the moment to get excited about breeding.  They make a wonderfully dramatic – and disturbingly noisy – spectacle as the world changes all around them.

For many plants, insects and some mammals, it’s a time of shutting down.  It’s all about changing: changing the way you live, changing the place where you do so: getting ready for the great annual emergency called winter.

Foray for fungi


With our thanks to the following photographers who have kindly allowed the use of their wonderful images throughout this online guide. Credits: fungi & heather © Neal Trafankowski, beaver © Ben Lee, stonechat © Derek Moore, blackberries © Amy Lewis, red squirrel © Jon Hawkins/Surrey Hills Photography, heather © Amy Lewis, red deer © Jon Hawkins, autumn woodland © Gillian Day, salmon ©Karl Franz, pink-footed geese © Scottish Wildlife Trust, fungi © D Mitchel/Ulster Wildlife.

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