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

Winter in Wild Time is Survival Mode. Shut-down. Lock-out. Do anything you can to get through, writes Simon Barnes

Some say winter is lifeless. It’s anything but. It’s the toughest time of year: but everything that lives is preparing for the great things that lie beyond

You can best see this on a river estuary: the mud will be jumping with wading birds, gathering in huge numbers to feast on the worms that live there: or more often, all facing the same way, heads into the wind, hoping they’ve got enough fuel on board to survive until tomorrow.

Many birds that fought each other off all spring and summer now gather together in enormous numbers: and starlings will fill the skies with the crazy patterns of the murmurations.

But even at this, the darkest, coldest and least promising time of year, you can feel the stirrings, the new beginnings.  As winter advances each day brings another clue about the advancing year: the new season that lies waiting in the wings. Winter is a fearsome time: but it brings glorious and defiant vistas of life along with deep and sincere promises of better times ahead.

Some say winter is lifeless. It’s anything but.  It’s the toughest time of year: but everything that lives is preparing for the great things that lie beyond.  The darkest time of year is also another season of hope: and so the year turns, and carries on turning.  Everything that lives in this wild country has its being among the four seasons of the year: and thus we all measure out our days in Wild Time.

With our thanks to the following photographers who have kindly allowed the use of their wonderful images throughout this online guide. Credits: short-eared owl © Amy Lewis, brent geese © Derek Moore, barn owl © Gary Cox, oystercatcher © James Rogerson, seal pup © James Rogerson, crane © Neil Aldridge, pied wagtail © Janet Packham, mistletoe © Zsuzsanna Bird, starling murmuration © Jamie Hall, otter © Amy Lewis, fossils © kimbenson45, hen harrier © Amy Lewis.

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