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Spotting sheets

Download our spotting sheets and take them with you when you go wildlife spotting.

 

 

Autumn wildlife detective - Autumn is the season of harvest.  Fruit, nuts, fungi and rich colours are everywhere. Use this spotter to explore the wildlife of this glorious season.

 

 

Spiky wildlife detective - Ouch!  All these things are a wee bit prickly.  Can you spot them all?

 

 

 

Jelly detective - they are most famous for their sting, but jellyfish are also an important food for leatherback turtles and can look quite beautiful.  You might see them washed up on the beach as they can be found all around our coast.  Don't touch them though, they hurt!

 

 

Night time moth detective - setting up a moth trap is a fun and easy way to get close to night-flying moths. Visit your trap in the morning and see if you have found any of these common moths.

 

 

After dark spotter - Lots of animals come out at night.  They prefer the cover of darkness.  So when the sun sets and night falls see if you can spot any of these creatures of the night.

 Night scented flowers

 

Night scented plants - These are all great flowers to grow if you want to attract moths and other insects to your garden.  With beautiful blooms and luscious scents they are good for us too.  Can you spot any of them growing in your garden?

 

 

Beetle detective - these colourful minibeasts come in all shapes and sizes.  The best time to spot them is during the warmer months of the year.  See if you can find them all.

 

 

Wetland Wildlife - The UK's freshwater wetlands and waterways range from small ponds and trickling streams to gushing rivers and massive reservoirs. It's no wonder that these areas support a diverse range of plants and animals. See if you can spot any of these common wetland species.

 

 

Minibeast detective - minibeasts come in all shapes and sizes. The best places to spot them are in your garden or local woodland where they hide and tuck themselves into crevices and under logs. 

 

 

Hedgerow wildlife - Hedgerows are havens for all kinds of wildlife.  See if you can spot any of these hedgerow inhabitants the next time you go out for a walk.

 Yellow spring flowers

 

Yellow springtime flowers - Lots of yellow flowers come out in spring, but can you tell which is which?  Use this spotting sheet to help you and see if you can spot them all.

 

 

Upland wildlife detective - Britain's upland areas are home to some amazing wildlife - some of which you can't find anywhere else in the UK.  See if you spot all these upland dwellers the next time you head for the hills.

 

 

Christmas card wildlife detective - All these creatures have appeared on Wildlife Trust Christmas cards in recent years.  But can you spot them in the wild?

 

 

Autumn tree and leaf detective - Can you tell and oak from an ash?  Do you know which tree those fallen leaves have come from?  Use this sheet to sort out which tree is which.

 

 

Finches detective - You might see some of these pretty birds visiting your garden bird feeder.  Can you tell which is which?  Use this spotting sheet to help identify them.

 

 

Bee detective - Buzz, buzz, buzz.  Find out which bee is buzzing near you with our detective sheet for bumbles and other bees.  See if you can spot them all!

 

 

Woodland wildlife in summer - Wandering through woods in the summer is a great way to escape the heat.  See if you can spot any of these woodland dwellers as you wander through the leafy glades.

 

 

Meadow wildlife - from buzzy bees to singing skylarks to fabulous flowers, meadows are great places to spot all sorts of wonderful wildlife.

Orchid detective - you might think that orchids are exotic plants only found in rainforests, but in fact the UK is home to more than 50 types! Can you spot any this summer?

 

Shieldbug spotter - these quirky little insects come in all sorts of sizes and colours and can often be found in gardens. Look for them as soon as the weather begins to warm up in spring.


Male and female birds - many of our garden birds look the same (to our human eyes at least) whether they are male or female. But some can be told apart. Can you tick off both males and females of these birds?

 

Crows and other black birds - in late winter you might notice large flocks of dark birds feeding on empty fields, swirling about through the air or generally making a racket in trees. Can you tell which species they are? 

 

Rockpool detective - if you look closely and carefully you'll find a hidden world of life and colour in rockpools. There are many different kinds of anemone, fish, crab and shell to spot. Here are just a few you might come across. 

 

Farmland bird detective - our fields and hedgerows are home to a range of different birds, from seed-eaters and singers to crows and gamebirds. How many of these can you spot?

 

Urban wildlife detective - you don't just need to be in the countryside to see wildlife. Towns and cities are home to many plants and animals. Here's a spotting sheet of some of the more famous city dwellers.

 

Spider spotter - autumn is a great time to look out for everyone's favourite creepy crawlies (ok, maybe not everyone's) - the spiders. Keep your eyes peeled for dewy and frosty webs or hiding spiders tucked away in nooks and crannies. 

 

Meat-eating mammals - these secretive animals are famously hard to spot! Some are nocturnal and some are rare, so if you can tick off three or four of these meat- and minibeast-munchers you're a very lucky wildlife detective.

 

River bird spotter - how many types of bird can you tick off on your next riverside walk? Keep your eyes peeled for the lightning-fast flash of blue of a passing kingfisher or the massive shape of a heron taking off nearby.

 

Marine animal spotter - what's that shape breaking the surface of the sea? Could it be a seal? A dolphin? A whale? Marine animals can be tricky to spot out at sea and even trickier to identify at a glance. Here are a few to look out for.

 

Baby bird detective - gardens and parks become filled with the cheeps of noisy youngsters from late spring. Look out for the colourful gaping mouths and fluttering wings of hungry chicks begging 'feed me!'

 

Seabird spotter - see how many different kinds of seabirds you can spot on your next trip to the coast. You might not see them all at once depending on where you visit, but there are lots of gulls, terns and other diving birds to look out for. 

 

Ladybird detective - have you noticed that not all ladybirds have the same number of spots and that they come in many different colours? This is because there are 26 types of true ladybird found in the UK, and they come in many different sizes and patterns. Here are just a few you might spot.

 

Cold blood detective - from late February onwards some much missed friends return to our gardens and wild places. Look out for sleepy reptiles and amphibians as they emerge from hibernation.

 

Festive wildlife detective - count down ten of the Twelve Days of Christmas with this festive-themed spotting sheet. But don't worry, your partridge doesn't have to be in a pear tree to count! 

 

Snail detective - did you know there are around 90 different species of land snail in the UK? There are hairy ones, flat ones, stripey ones and tiny ones, but can you tick off any of these?

 

Finch detective - finches are seed specialists, and each species has a beak that is perfectly adapted for its favourite foods. Compare a goldfinch with a bullfinch and you'll see the difference!   

 

Goose and swan detective - autumn and winter is a great to time to look out for flocks of swans and geese. You might think the UK is a bit of chilly place to spend the winter, but for many of these birds, it's like a summer holiday!

 

 Urban bird detective - you might not think it at first, but our towns and cities are home many kinds of plants and animals. How many of these street-wise birds do you share your local town with?

 

Nibbler spotter - keep your eyes on the trees, the hedgerows and the waterways, and you might just glimpse a secretive mammal darting in and out of the leaves. They're small, quick and difficult to get close to, so you'll need all your detective skills to spot these critters! 

 


 

Dragons and damsels - high summer is the time to look out for dragonflies and damselflies. These colourful predators look like flying jewels whizzing around our wetlands.

 

Summer wader spotter - we get a few new visitors to our wetlands in the summer, as well as old friends with new looks. See if you can tick a few of these off.

 

Warbler detective - these secretive little birds can be hard to tell apart by looks alone. It's when they sing that they reveal their identity! There are some differences to look out for though...

 

Summer flowers - a selection of some of the UK's most widespread countryside flowers. Many like to grow along footpaths and roadsides, so see how many you can tick off this summer. 

 

Garden bird detective - tick off the visitors to your bird table with this spotting sheet of familiar friends. Perhaps you've seen every single one in your garden! 

 

Bird of prey detective 2 - a few more birds of prey for you to spot, this time including owls and scarcer species. Many are hard to find, especially during the day!

 

Bird of prey detective - scan the skies for soaring buzzards, watch the roadside for hovering kestrels and keep an eye out for the classic forked tail of the red kite.

 

Grazing mammal spotter - watch out for deer, rabbits and other large plant eaters. These shy vegetarians are easily spooked and hard to get close to, so you might only glimpse bottoms as they bound away from you!

 

Winter wader detective - the UK's wetlands, coastlines and estuaries can be full of wading birds during the winter. With their long legs and beaks they can be tricky to tell apart!

 

Shoreline detective - a wealth of interesting marine treasures can turn up along beaches and coastlines throughout the year. Take a closer look at some of the things washed up and see if you can spot any of these.

 

Winter nuts and berries - once winter starts to bite, a few of the hardier berries and nuts are left to see birds and mammals through the cold weather. They're easier to see once the leaves start to fall.

 

Wild fruit detective - with lots of hungry mouths to feed as animals stock up in autumn, wild fruits often don't last long. See how many you can spot in the hedgerows before they're all gobbled up!

 

Fungi detective - mushrooms are the only part of a fungus we usually get to see. They grow quickly from the ground, often in the autumn, to release spores for reproduction. Look for them in damp areas around trees where the rest of the fungus is feeding on underground roots or rotting wood.

 

Gall spotter - these funny little growths are found on many parts of plants and trees. They are caused by tiny wasp grubs growing inside the plants, but how many can you find?

 

Moth spotter - some moths are on the wing during the day and can be as colourful as butterflies. Many more can be disturbed from their resting places when you brush past. Look out for the letter shaped marking of the silver Y moth or the hovering flight of hummingbird and burnet moths.

 

Caterpillar spotting sheet - here is a selection of just a few of the caterpillars you might come across over the summer. Many look similar and can be hard to find, so look carefully for small clues to tell them apart.

 

Country butterflies spotting sheet - the butterflies of country lanes, open fields and farmland can be different to the ones you encounter in your garden. Be prepared to identify them!  

 

Woodland butterflies spotting sheet - when you go down to the woods today, make sure you have this guide to woodland butterflies with you! The browns and buffs of the woodland butterfly can make them hard to spot in the shade.

 

Butterfly detective spotting sheet - identify the fluttering visitors to your garden with this handy butterfly guide. Some of them can look very similar, so pay close attention to the wing patterns to tell them apart.

 

Spring tree ID - tell those tricky trees apart by learning the signs to look out for. Even without their leaves, trees begin to give us clues to their identity with buds, flowers and left-over seeds.

 

Spring flowers spotting sheet - count down the days to warmer weather by ticking off these spring flowers. Some are early, some are late, and some are only found in woodland.

 

Winter bird spotter - see if you can spot these ten winter birds. Some are hard to find, but others like the robin should be quite easy to spot if you look around gardens and parks. Good luck!

 

Nut detective spotting sheet - learn how to identify common nuts and the signs left behind by the wildlife that eats them.

 

Duck detective spotting sheet - learn how to tell your pintail from your pochard with our easy-to-use guide to 10 UK ducks. Take with you on any duck-watching trip!

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