Following the phenomenal success of BBC1’s Halcyon River Diaries (May-June 2010), Charlie, Philippa and the boys are back this festive season with a wonderfully charming and often humorous one-off special, narrated by ‘Outnumbered’ actor Hugh Dennis. 

 A year has passed and we join Charlie as he tracks his beloved otters with Gus, sets up an experiment with Fred to see how fast kingfishers actually fly and tries to record the elusive winter song of a dipper.

 Charlie explains what we can expect “Well I can’t give too much away without ruining the programme, but there have been a lot of developments both good and bad, some have taken us by surprise but we have recorded them all for this one off diary special for Christmas.

 “There will be lots of family fun, especially when Fred and I use a special invention to find out where the fish go in the winter.  There is of course, plenty of wildlife, we try some experiments to find out just how fast a kingfisher dives and catch up with the mother otter and her cub.”

 Philippa is busy re-homing 12 battery hens and making bird cakes with Arthur, until one day a predator strikes and a duck is killed.  Are her water vole colony are under threat – could the mink be back on the river?

 “For a while we were mystified” said Philippa. “Something had managed to get in through the electric fence and the duck was just left lying in the stream, it was tragic – one of the ducklings I had reared last year and the worst part was knowing that the others were in danger but not knowing where from.”

 Find out what happens when Halcyon River Diaries is transmitted on BBC1 on Monday 27th December at 6.10pm

Keep up to date with all the news on the Halycon River on Facebook by clicking on the following link…


August 17, 2010

Taking place at Anglian Water and Birdwatching Centre, Egleton Nature Reserve, Rutland Water.

Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd August
9am – 5.30pm Daily.

Admission prices:
Adults £10
Children (under 16) Go free
Two Day ticket £18
Three day ticket £24
RSPB and Wildlife Trust Members on Sunday £8

 For more info on the fair itself visit

 Mike Dilger will  be on the Swarovski and RSPB Wildlife Young Explorers Stands over the weekend.

Johnny Kingdom will be ‘Pond dipping’ on the RSPB Wildlife Young Explorers stand every morning from 10am for an hour. You will also be able to met Johnny on his own stand in Marquee 3 on stall number 35.

Jonathan and Angie Scott will also be on the Swarovski stand on for all the three days.


Mike Dilger will be taking part in ‘Just a Linnet’ in the Event Marquee at 12 – 12.45. A Birdfair take on the Radio 4 program ‘Just a Minute’.


Mike will be giving a talk entitled “Birds on BBC” at 10am – 10.45am in the event Marquee.

Philippa Forrester and her wildlife cameraman husband Charlie Hamilton James will be on the RSPB Wildlife Young Explorers stand from 11am to 12 for a Book Launch of Philippa’s new children’s book “GET OUT and explore your local river”.

  Philippa Forrester and Charlie Hamilton James will be giving a talk entitled “Halcyon River Diaries” in the Events Marquee at 4pm – 4.45pm followed by a book signing of their books “Halcyon River Diaries”, “Kingfisher – Tales from the Halcyon River” and “The River”.


Jonathan and Angie Scott will be giving a talk entitled “A Photographic Journey” followed by a book signing. 

Mike and Johnny will be taking part in ‘Wild Brain of Britain’ in the Event Marquee at 1pm – 1.45pm. They will be battling it out against Chris Packham and Janet Sumner to be crowned Wild Brain by answering questions on their specialist subject.

 Johnny Kingdom will be giving a talk entitled “My life on Exmoor” in the Events Marquee at 2.15pm -3pm followed by book signing.

Come along and join in the action – there are fun things to do for all ages so there is no excuse to miss out!!

Episode 4 is at the earlier time of 6pm

Watch the final instalment of Philippa and Charlie’s ‘Halcyon River Diaries’ this Sunday 6th June.

This is the last in the 4 part series documenting life on, in and around the river that run outside the family’s back door.

It is now winter so watch to see how the wildlife survives the harsh nature of the season.

Friday 4th June 2010.
2pm – Heligan Shop
PL26 6EN
01726 845 100

If you are in Cornwall why not visit the wonderful gardens of Heligan. Wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton-James and his conservationist wife Philippa Forrester will be signing copies of their Halcyon River Diaries from 2pm in the shop. The book accompanies the major four-part BBC1 TV series about their family’s year living by a West Country river.

Also listen to Charlie talking about his current project filming at Heligan by following this link:

REMINDER: Do not forget to watch the 3rd in the series of Halcyon River Diaries on Sunday 30th May at 7pm.

 You can catch up on BBC IPlayer if you have missed the previous episodes.

 You can also purchase the book that accompanies the series of the same name “Halcyon River Diaries” from  Amazon.

Sunday 23rd May 2010
BBC 1 6:10pm     

The Times 15/05/10 wrote:

 “This was the wonderful surprise of the week. The wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton-James has spent a year filming the wildlife on the mile-long stretch of river directly in front of the home where he lives with his wife Philippa Forrester and their three small boys. The photography is filled with beauty and drama, while his attempts to get his children to share his passion for the natural world might as well have come straight out of Outnumbered. Not to be missed. “

Halcyon River Diaries secures family prime-time slot commencing Sunday 16 May 2010

 BBC1 4 x 60 minutes 6.10pm Sunday 16 May – 6 June 2010

 Halcyon River Diaries, filmed and produced by award winning wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton James and Philippa Forrester will be transmitted on BBC1 at 6.10pm (60 minutes) from Sunday 16 May 2010.  The 4 part series, which was filmed over 12 months, features Charlie, his wife Philippa and their sons Fred (8), Gus (5) and Arthur (2).  From beautifully shot sequences of kingfishers battling in the mating season, to tracking otters at night with five year old Gus, this new series is everything you have come to expect from BBC Natural History and so much more.  It’s a documentary series made by a family, for other families.

 The results are moving, informative, chaotic and sometimes hilarious and with more than a hint of the popular comedy series ‘Outnumbered’, it was fitting that comedian Hugh Dennis narrated the series.  The family saw things people have never seen, discovered things scientists never knew and learned an awful lot about the river, and themselves.