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

Pay homage to the Russians

Brent geese © Ian Cameron-Reid

Dark-bellied brent geese gather in their largest numbers in February, preparing for the long flight back to the Arctic

Spend the day enjoying your wild goose chase, and then finish it off with a bag of chips

Around 91,000 dark-bellied brent geese travel to Britain each autumn from their nesting grounds on the Taymyr Peninsula, in Siberia, to spend their winter in our sheltered estuaries and coastal marshes on the east and south coasts, from the Humber round to Portland.

Our smallest goose, around the same size as a mallard, the brent geese have spent the winter feeding on eel grass and grazing in coastal fields.  As spring approaches, they gather together in their largest numbers at the start of February, preparing to make the long journey back up to Arctic Russia, and this is a great time to pay them a visit.

Large flocks collect together, a continual conversation of “ronking” and “cronking” as they discuss the best feeding places and the best time to set off.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below…Elsewhere, around 5,000 birds of the pale-bellied sub-species visit Lindisfarne from their breeding grounds on Svalbard, while around 35,000 fly all the way from eastern Arctic Canada to spend their winters around Ireland, mostly in Northern Ireland.

Special spots

Cley Marshes is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve, one of the first nature reserves in the country and home in the winter to a large flock of brent geese which grazes on Eye Field, sometimes attracting individuals of the rare black brant, a visitor from America.

Essex,  The Naze

Essex,  Two Tree Island

Hampshire,  Farlington Marshes

Lincolnshire,  Donna Nook

Lincolnshire,  Gibraltar Point

Sussex,  Rye Harbour

Brent goose © Derek Moore

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