Fersiwn Gymraeg ar gael yma.

After the cold, dark days of winter it’s always a relief to see spring arrive and the numerous signs we get from nature showing us that spring is upon us. With the days getting longer now that the clocks have been turned forward here are five signs for us to look out for that spring has sprung.

The cuckoo calling

Tradition has it that until you hear the first cuckoo call spring is yet to arrive. Named after it’s call, these migratory birds tend to arrive from Africa towards the end of March or beginning of  April. Despite numbers dwindling, cuckoos can still be seen and heard all across Wales. Upon their return for the summer the females lay their eggs in other birds’ nests especially meadow pipits, dunnocks and reed warblers. Why not take a visit to Newport Wetlands this spring and hear and see the cuckoo call this spring.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer

The saying might well be true with a sky full of swallows indicating that summer is here. But a good sign that spring has arrived is seeing the odd swallow in the Welsh sky. The first swallows tend to arrive back from their winter migration at the beginning of April, so keep an eye out for the small bird with a glossy dark blue back and long tail if you’re out and about.

All hail the Queen bumblebee

Sometime during March and April, bumblebees makes their first appearance of the year. The first one out and about is the queen bee who has been hibernating underground alone. Following hibernation, the queen bee’s energy is depleted and will buzz around spring flowers taking in nectar before they go searching for an appropriate suitable nest site, large enough to host up to 200 workers.

A carpet of bluebells

It’s not only above us where nature lets us know that spring has well and truly arrived but also below our feet. A clear sign that the weather is changing, and that spring is upon us is the carpet of bluebells that appear in our woodland every spring. Bluebells tend to flower anytime from late March to early May and are usually one of the final spring bloomers before new leaves close the woodland canopy and block out the sunlight and eventually sees the bluebells fade in colour. If you’d like to see a carpet of blue why not visit RSPB Ynys-Hir reserve this spring. 

Woodpecker peck 

One of the earliest signs of spring is the drumming of woodpeckers as they peck away at tree barks to establish their territory. To cushion the impact of the drumming woodpeckers have shock-absorbent tissue between the base of the bill and skull. The likelihood is that if you come across a woodpecker it would be the great spotted woodpecker or the green woodpecker but on the rare occasion it might be the lesser spotted woodpecker that you happen to spot.

With restrictions easing even further we’re delighted to announce that our reserves have started hosting events. Click here to find your nearest reserve and what fun events they’ve got planned this spring.