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

Revel in roosting wagtails

Pied wagtail © Margaret Holland

Take a break from the shopping season to marvel at the wagtails sharing our city centres.

Keep your ears open for the unmistakable buzzy ‘chizzik’ call of the pied wagtails and your eyes peeled for their bounding long-tailed flight

As the winter sets in, everyone seems to head off to the shops, stocking up on supplies or preparing for the excesses of the coming festive season.  But as the shops are closing and the crowds head home, a different crowd takes over the town centres.  Look upwards and you may notice them, gathering on the rooftops in rowdy gangs.

Pied wagtails spend most of the year out in the countryside, in ones and twos. But as winter approaches, they take to roosting communally, often in our town centres.  As dusk starts to fall, small groups begin to gather, their ‘chizzik’ calls barely noticeable above the urban hustle and bustle.  But as the small groups become bigger groups, the first birds will head down off the roof tops and in to their roost trees.  The ornamental trees planted around shopping centres or in supermarket car parks seem to be particular favourites, often near to street lights.  As the daylight fades, more and more birds pour down into the favoured trees, with the biggest roosts often numbering in the hundreds, who sleep the night away amongst the twinkling Christmas lights.

How to do it

Keep your ears open for the unmistakable buzzy ‘chizzik’ call of the pied wagtails and your eyes peeled for their bounding long-tailed flight.  Often birds will gather on the ground in car parks before moving up to the roofs, all the while unnoticed by the busy people below.

If you can’t get to the special place listed below…Most town centres will have their own wagtail roost: just try looking upwards on your way home.

Special spots

Suffolk - there is a beautiful pied wagtail tree in the centre of Bury St Edmunds, just next to The Nutshell (Britain’s smallest pub).

Wagtail © Wildstock

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