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

Rejoice in Manxie’s chorus

Manx shearwater Manx shearwater © Amy Lewis

Let your spirits soar with the incredible sound of Manx shearwaters calling through a wild night.

Offshore, black and white birds are gathering; thousands of Manx shearwaters in large rafts appearing like a dark stain on the water’s surface.

Night falls like a blanket, muffling the sounds of the day. Offshore, black and white birds are gathering; thousands of Manx shearwaters in large rafts appearing like a dark stain on the water’s surface. Above the old farm the first whoosh of feathers ruffles the air. The noise starts slowly, building until the crooning wails, crowing howls and gurgling screams of the shearwaters’ calls seem to come from the sky, the land and underfoot. Gentle torch light gives you glimpses of their white underwings as thousands of Manxies search the island for their burrows. Half the worlds' population is coming home for the night. And their home is the islands of Skokholm and Skomer.

The Manx shearwater is a relatively small seabird, similar in size to a collared dove but with a wingspan of up to 90cm. Black above and white below, their distinctive flight pattern and stiff wings lend them their name as they use the air currents passing just above the surface of the waves to ‘shear’ with barely a wind beat to propel them. Manx shearwaters make an extraordinary journey across the Atlantic from the coast of South America to nest on the off-shore islands along our western coast from March to August.

How to do it

If you can’t get to the special places listed below…Manx shearwaters can be seen migrating past our coastline during the late summer. To hear the noises of the Skomer colony at night, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have a very atmospheric recording .

Special spots

During the summer, you can stay overnight on both islands of Skomer and Skokholm, off the Pembrokeshire coast. As well as the Manx shearwaters, the islands are home to thousands of other seabirds, including 6000 pairs of puffins, as well as grey seals.

In August, accompany the Wardens on Skokholm Island as they measure and weigh the rarely seen (and incredibly cute) storm petrel and Manx shearwater chicks. Learn about their amazing homing instinct, predators and incredible journey once they leave the safety of the burrow. Please note that there are no day trips to Skokholm island - only short breaks are available.

Manx shearwater chick © The Wildlife Trusts for South and West Wales

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