the first new green growth of the year topped with delicate white bell flowers, these pretty spring bulbs are a welcome sight after the muted colours of winter.
- soaring high above Ray Wood these magnificent birds of prey are getting ready to breed as the warmer weather arrives.
carpets of these golden blooms cover the gardens, catching the light of the spring sunshine and dancing in the breeze.
- as the warmer weather approaches and food is plentiful birds start looking for a mate. It is the fittest, most well fed male birds that sing the loudest attracting a female and defending their territory.
Great crested grebes' water dance
- look out for grebes performing their annual mating ‘dance’. The birds flick their heads from side to side before paddling furiously to rise up from the water, chest to chest, holding tufts of weeds in their beaks.
- the sudden explosion of a haze of pink and white petals, buzzing with bees, is a sure sign of the arrival of spring.
returning from a winter in South Africa, swallows make the 10,000km journey back to the UK to breed. Keep an eye out for their distinct streamer tails and blue-black feathers.
- one of the first butterflies to venture out after hibernation on sunny day, keep an eye out for the large, pale yellow wings of this butterfly.
- the first bees you see are queens looking for early flowers and a suitable site to set up a colony for the year ahead.
a real treat for queen bees after their long winter, these early spring bulbs come in a beautiful array of colours.
- these young leaves begin to appear in spring, soon filling the air with the unmistakable garlic aroma.
the delicate pink and white goblet flowers of the magnolia bloom in spring before the leaves begin to emerge.
- in early spring, hares are at their most visible as males ‘box’ to protect their mate and territory during breeding season.
- bluebells spend most of the year as bulbs emerging to flower and leaf from April, the blue woodland carpet attracts a host of pollinating insects.
translucent jelly-like spawn, frogs lay their eggs in ponds and slow-moving streams. Often up to 5,000 eggs are laid at once.