Wild Time


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



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



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



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

Hurrah for the king

Kingfisher © Malcolm Brown

Head to the river bank for a chance of spotting a kingfisher.

For such a brightly coloured bird, the kingfisher can be surprisingly tricky to spot.

A summer’s day: blue skies, the wind blowing in the willow trees, damselflies flitting about on the water’s edge, with the sound of running water. What better time is there to be by the riverside? But amongst the buzzing of the bees, the hiccupping of the moorhens and the song of the willow warbler, listen out for a high pitched, urgent ‘peep peep peep’ piping. That’s your sign to quickly look up and down the river: a kingfisher is flying past.

For such a brightly coloured bird, the kingfisher can be surprisingly tricky to spot. He spends much of his time sitting quietly on a perch, in the shade of the overhanging branches, his bright orange breast on show. But when he’s disturbed, the kingfisher is transformed. A blazing streak of electric blue, skimming fast and low over the water’s surface. He speeds past, ‘peep peep’ing, before swerving round the bend in the river and out of sight.

How to do it

Many people are surprised by how small a kingfisher is when they first see one: only slightly bigger than a house sparrow. If you’re lucky enough to get a closer view, pay close attention to that dagger-like bill: the male’s is all black whereas the female wears red lipstick on her lower mandible. 

If you can’t get to the special places listed below…Kingfishers can be seen on almost any river, canal, park lake or gravel pit. Sometimes they will even fish at large garden ponds. You just have to keep a good look out, and keep your fingers crossed.

Special spots

You are almost guaranteed to see a kingfisher when you visit Lackford Lakes in Suffolk, often from the visitor centre as you enjoy a coffee or ice cream. The landscape of lakes, reedbed, meadow and woodland makes Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Lackford Lakes a wildlife oasis, offering close-up encounters with nature all year round. The reserve, trails and hides are open daily from dawn to dusk.

Buckinghamshire, College Lake

Cambridgeshire, The Great Fen

Derbyshire, Hilton Gravel Pits

Derbyshire, Willington Gravel Pits

Hampshire, Blashford Lakes 

Hertfordshire, Tring Reservoirs 

Lancashire, Mere Sands Wood

Lincolnshire, Deeping Lakes

Lincolnshire, Far Ings

London, Crane Park Island

Norfolk, Cley Marshes

Norfolk, Hickling Broad

Nottinghamshire, Attenborough

Rutland, Rutland Water, Egleton Reserve 

Somerset, Westhay Moor

Staffordshire, Croxall Lakes 

Staffordshire, The Wolseley Centre

Yorkshire, Adel Dam

Yorkshire, Potteric Carr

Yorkshire, Wheldrake Ings

Yorkshire, Staveley

Kingfishers © Jon Hawkins SurreyHillsPhotography