The Herald on Sunday

SCREEN SHOT

- SUSAN SWARBRICK

What’s the story?

Scotland: A Year In The Wild.

Tell me more.

A four-part nature series begins on Channel 5 this week, delving into the secret lives of everything from capercaill­ies, mountain hares, red squirrels and pine martens to puffins, sea eagles, grey seals, otters and orcas.

Who are the stars?

The opening episode charts the first of four seasons – spring – where, across Scotland, the nimble dance of mating season begins. A female mountain hare tests the virility of male suitors by letting them chase her through the rugged landscapes.

Emperor moths emerge from their cocoons, as red squirrels woo would-be partners and capercaill­ies engage in battle to impress the opposite sex against a backdrop of the Cairngorms National Park.

Down on the forest floor, wood ants are hard at work toting pine resin back to their nests, an elixir with antimicrob­ial properties that helps fend off pathogens.

Anything else?

Magnificen­t sea eagles – also known as white-tailed eagles – have a pair of chicks to raise on the west coast. The offspring will require almost 200lbs of food before fledging.

Meanwhile, more than a million seabirds arrive in Shetland. Among their number are 25,000 puffins, laying eggs in three-feet-deep burrows to protect them from harm.

When can I watch?

Scotland: A Year In The Wild begins on Channel 5, Friday, at 7pm.

 ??  ?? Puffins clacking their bills beside a nesting burrow
Puffins clacking their bills beside a nesting burrow

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