Jon Owen, Press and Social Media Officer for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, tells us some wildlife highlights you can look out for this spring.
Spring has been described as showtime – the time when life starts again. From carpets of beautiful bluebells to the gradual arrival of migrant birds, it really is a spectacular time of the year. Plus, the extra daylight in the evening certainly gives us an added boost!
Image – Susan Freeman
Here are some things you can look out for this spring across Staffordshire.
Wakey wakey! The Dawn Chorus has to be one of nature’s finest sounds. Listen to the wonderful cacophony of birds first thing in the morning. We like to go out just after dawn when a greater variety of birds are singing.
Image – Janet Packham
Rising temperatures awake a queen bumblebee who has been hibernating alone in the soil. The queen bumblebee will have successfully survived the winter, spent underground using up reserves of energy stored as fat in her body. They awaken at this time of the year, seeking nectar and pollen from spring flowers.
Spring is a time when the first migrant birds usually arrive in the UK. One of the first to arrive is the chiffchaff, which can be heard singing their names in a repetitive ‘chiffchaff’ song from the tops of trees. Cuckoos, swallows and house martins usually arrive in April, although swifts may not appear until early May.
Image – 2020 Vision
One of the first spring signs is the spawning of frogs and toads. This time of the year is breeding time and when you will likely see them returning to ponds. Once spawning is over, most animals will leave the water and may not spend much more time actually in a pond at all. There is evidence that frogs and toads are breeding earlier, even in late winter months so start looking in February.
One of the great spring wildlife sights is carpets of bluebells which transform woodlands into a place of magic and wonder in late April and early May.
You don’t have to go far to see them too! Head to www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/reserves to find out where you can see bluebells across our reserves – including at Hem Heath nature reserve in Stoke-on-Trent and George’s Hayes, near Rugeley.