Ir­ish sea­sons in HD

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - COMMENT - By Ni­cola Byrne

THE glo­ries of spring, sum­mer, au­tumn and win­ter in Ire­land are about to be shown in beau­ti­ful high-definition.

Feed­ing a seem­ingly in­sa­tiable ap­petite for na­ture pro­gram­ming, A Wild Ir­ish Year be­gins on RTÉ One tonight. The se­ries, from the Water­ford film com­pany Crossing The Line, has four episodes, each fea­tur­ing the glo­ries of wild out­door Ire­land through one sea­son. Over the course of a year, cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies al­lowed the team to cap­ture Ire­land’s sea­sons.

High-speed cam­eras slowed down the move­ments of swal­lows and sand­martins, and low-light tech­nol­ogy re­vealed au­tum­nal ac­tiv­ity at a bad­ger sett. Dra­matic aerial footage of­fers a bird’seye view of the shift­ing coun­try­side be­low. Time­lapse pho­tog­ra­phy was used to slow changes in the weather and land­scape, show­ing the coun­try trans­form through the year.

On tonight’s pro­gramme, pre­sen­ters Dr Tara Shine, Rob Gan­dola and Eoin Warner guide view­ers through spring.

‘Ire­land’s na­ture is wild, un­pre­dictable and con­stantly sur­pris­ing,’ said Dr Shine. ‘You just never know what is around the next cor­ner and find­ing hid­den wildlife is al­ways a thrill.’ The first episode of Wild Ir­ish Year airs at 6.30pm this evening on RTÉ One.

it’s feed­ing time: A gan­net with its young

brief en­counter: A mayfly, known for its short life­span eye-catch­ing: Rana tem­po­raria – the com­mon frog – sit­ting on pondweed

dis­tinc­tive: An orange-tip but­ter­fly

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