January 1 Wild goose chases and whisky chasers 1 Islay, Arg yll & Bute for barnacle goose, Greenland white-fronted goose, chough, otter, goose barnacle 2 Meres, fens and washes 5 Cambridgeshire for Chinese water deer, muntjac, Bewick's swan, whooper swan, hen harrier 3 Larking about 9 New Forest, Hampshire for red deer, roe deer, wood lark, great grey shrike, hawfinch 4 Seal of approval 13 Cleveland for harbour seal, grey seal, glaucous gull, long-eared owl, waxwing 5 Fife's seaduck fiefdom 17 Fife for scoter, purple sandpiper, white-tailed eagle, Mediterranean gull, otter February 6 Touting for Tarka 21 Northumberland for otter, red squirrel, great variety of ducks, Mediterranean gull, red kite 7 Whirling waders, gathering geese, aerial attacks 25 Lancashire for otter, raptors, pink-footed goose, starling roost, scarlet elf cup 8 Kite-flying 29 Powys for red kite, raven, dipper, polecat, Wilson's filmy fern 9 Dark Peak, white hare 33 Peak District, Derbyshire for mountain hare, red deer, goshawk, raven, red grouse March 10 From rifles to Ratty 37 Greater London & Kent for water vole, water shrew, harvest mouse, heronry, rook roost 11 Serpents of the sandlings 41 Suffolk for adder, Dartford warbler, otter, brown hare, mossy stonecrop 12 Daffs in t'dale 45 North Yorkshire for wild daffodil, common lizard, red grouse, goshawk, gannet 13 Wailing heath chicken run 49 The Brecks, Suffolk & Norfolk for stone-curlew, stoat, grape hyacinth, Breckland speedwell, fingered speedwell April 14 Sand and deliver! 53 Devon for sand crocus, sand lizard, wild daffodil, rockpool species, cirl bunting 15 Highland spring, famous grouse 57 Inverness-shire for capercaillie, black grouse, osprey, golden eagle, pine marten 16 Snakes and snake's-heads 61 Gloucestershire & Wiltshire for wild boar, adder, goshawk, pied flycatcher, snake's head fritillary 17 A rabble of reptiles 65 Dorset for eight species of reptile, natter jack toad, sika, early spider orchid, early gentian May 18 Dukes and ladies 69 Kent for early spider orchid, lady orchid, bluebell, shingle plants, Duke of Burgundy 19 Fantastic fish - and fishers 73 Radnorshire & Carmarthenshire for sea lamprey, brook lamprey, badger, osprey, wood warbler 20 Pembrokeshire parrots, mystical Manxies 77 Pembrokeshire for Manx shearwater, puffin, gannet, bluebell, red campion Contents 21 Limestone ladies 83 Cumbria & Lancashire for lady's slipper, coralroot orchid, pearl-bordered fritillary, Duke of Burgundy, natter jack toad 22 Machair marvels, streaming skuas 87 Outer Hebrides for machair plants including orchids, corncrake, breeding waders, long-tailed skua, great yellow bumblebee June 23 Fluttering by flowers 91 Hampshire & Wiltshire for sword-leaved helleborine, musk orchid, frog orchid, Duke of Burgundy, pearl-bordered fritillary 24 Fens and flora 95 Glamorgan for fen orchid, early marsh orchid, fabulous flora, fen raft spider, beachcomber beetle 25 Swallowtails and amazons 99 Norfolk Broads for swallowtail, Norfolk hawker, natter jack toad, nightjar, crane 26 Island intensity 103 Northumberland for seabird colonies including roseate tern & puffin, 'Lindisfarne' helleborine, grey seal, ballan wrasse July 27 Butterfly high season 107 Cumbria for high brown fritillary, mountain ringlet, large heath, dune helleborine, dark-red helleborine 28 The purple empire 113 Hampshire for purple emperor, bog orchid, southern damselfly, scarce blue-tailed damselfly, nightjar 29 There be dragons... and dolphins 117 Inverness-shire for white-faced darter, northern damselfly, creeping lady's-tress, bumblebee robberfly, bottle-nosed dolphin 30 Snorkelling and skippers 121 Dorset for shiny spider crab, Lulworth skipper, small red damselfly, heath tiger beetle, Dorset heath 31 Shark! 125 Cornwall & Devon for blue shark, basking shark, greater horseshoe bat, southern damselfly, silver-studded blue August 32 Basking on the Lizard 129 Cornwall for Cornish heath, yellow centaury, bog asphodel, chough, basking shark 33 Pelagic paradise 133 Isles of Scilly for Wilson's storm-petrel, great shearwater, blue shark, grey seal, lesser white-toothed shrew 34 Mad Manx and mountains 137 Ceredigion & Snowdonia for Manx shearwater, osprey, soprano pipistrelle, feral goat, Alpine saw-wort 35 The magnificent seven 141 Essex & Kent for southern migrant hawker, southern emerald damselfly, water vole, wasp spider, shrill carder bee September 36 Chiltern challenge 145 Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire for brown hairstreak, silver-spotted skipper, glowworm, edible dormouse, Chiltern gentian 37 Webs, willows and waders 149 Suffolk for fen raft spider, willow emerald damselfly, migrant waders, bittern, otter 38 The Flamborough front 153 East Yorkshire for gannet, sooty shearwater, pomarine skua, rockpool life, migrant songbirds 39 Blubber and bucks 157 Norfolk for grey seal, harbour seal, rutting fallow deer, migrant songbirds, fungi October 40 Winner takes all 163 Suffolk for red deer rut, otter, bearded tit, bittern, curlew sandpiper 41 Scilly season 167 Isles of Scilly for vagrant birds, lesser white-toothed shrew, grey seal, prickly stick-insect, rockpool life 42 Estuarine exodus 171 Cheshire & Conwy for pygmy shrew, harvest mouse, Kashmir goat, short-eared owl, chough 43 Don't spurn the chance 175 East Yorkshire for migrant songbirds, estuary waders, little auk, long-eared owl, woodcock 44 Leap of faith 179 North Yorkshire, Cumbria & Lancashire for the salmon run, red deer, otter, dipper, fungi November 45 Yew and yours 183 Sussex for huge yews, fungi, water shrew, estuary waders, brent goose 46 Wildcat! 187 Arg yll & Bute for wildcat, pine marten, otter, harbour seal, white-tailed eagle 47 A pup is for life 191 Lincolnshire for pupping grey seal, brent goose, knot, twite, Lapland bunting 48 Murmuration 195 Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire for Cheddar whitebeam, starling roost, Eurasian white-fronted goose, Bewick's swan, Eurasian crane December 49 Hundreds and thousands 199 Norfolk for whooper swan, pink-footed goose, wader roost, grey seal, muntjac 50 Hoary and holy 203 Northumberland for pale-bellied brent goose, long-tailed duck, Slavonian grebe, waxwing, little auk 51 Ruling the roost 207 Norfolk Broads for starling roost, rook roost, crane, taiga bean goose, grey seal 52 Urban birding 211 Greater London for red deer, fallow deer, smew, bittern, ring-necked parakeet roost Further Information 223 Index of sites 225 Index of species 229
James Lowen has been immersed in all aspects of natural history since he was able to walk, encouraging him to become a fully fledged wildlife writer, editor, guide and photograper. Upon his return to Britain from several years leading tours in South America and Antarctica, James had an irrepressible desire to renew his relationship with British nature. This book, 52 Wildlife Weekends, is the result. He has also written Pantanal Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide to Brazil's Great Wetland and Antarctica Wildlife: a Visitor's Guide to the Wildlife of the Beagle Channel, Drake Passage and Antarctica Peninsula.
'A diarised walkthrough of 52 wildlife-filled weekend destinations to explore and experience in every corner of the British countryside, this is a guide that will find a home in the caravans, tent pockets and backpacks of nature-lovers just about everywhere...... 52 Wildlife Weekends will provide many with the inspiration to get close to nature somewhere across our islands, and might add a few destinations to the bucket lists of those already enthused. This is a guide well worth buying?-?regardless of your location, interest or expertise on anything wildlife-related. Let yourself be inspired!' www.birdguides.com 'Packed with stunning wildlife photography, this is an ideal guide to the range of British wildlife you can see as well as where to see it and when.' Powys County Times and Express 'Each chapter is an invitation to pack a picnic, pull on the walking boots and head out in search of our wonderful wildlife.' The Simple Things 'The text is, like the rest of the book, simply superb and full of feeling, as if the author has actually taken you there.' Highland News 'A pleasurable and practical read that aims to inspire and inform... an indispensible resource for anyone interested in British wildlife.' Outdoor Photography 'A year of wildlife-watching ideas divided into handy weekend breaks' Countryman Magazine 'Packaged in a handy-sized and beautifully illustrated book. The sumptuous photographs on the front cover provide a taster of the wonderful variety of wildlife that can be enjoyed across Britain... a great addition to any bookshelf' The Biggest Twitch 'An invaluable, inspirational guide and a real bargain to boot.' BBC Wildlife "A good idea and a useful guide... packed with information and well written... a good reminder that Britain has plenty of wildlife if you go to the right places, at the right times" Mark Avery, British Wildlife. 'Offers inspiring itineraries for a year of unforgettable wildlife-watching breaks across the UK' Sussex Wildlife Trust 'This would suit non-specialists as well as seasoned naturalists, and, accompanied by some fine photographs, contains evocative accounts of varied landscapes, from balmy evenings in the Chilterns to the saturated fens of Norfolk.' Good Book Guide 'This book provides an excellent starting point for a novice or for a 'wild' family to explore nature across beautiful Britain!' Dorset Wildlife Trust 'Britain is rich in wildlife, and now, thanks to a new book, seeing all these creatures in their natural habitats has suddenly been made a lot easier.' Evergreen 'Learn where to spot basking sharks, forage for fungi, track red squirrels and more, with maps, itineraries and great photos.' National Geographic Traveller 'Who needs BBC's Springwatch when this book has 52 good reasons to get out and see British wildlife for yourself?' Wild Travel