The change of seasons can bring such joy, with spring feeling like a time of hope, renew and cheer. Thank you for sending in your stories and photos. We’ve loved sharing in the signs of spring you’ve been noticing. It reminded us that we all see the start of the season a little differently, with each of us having our own buds, blooms or awakening animals that mean spring is coming.

Here are some of our favourites. We hope you enjoy them and can take a moment to notice nature waking up near you.   

Blooms bringing joy

Snowdrops are often one of the first signs of spring, and many of you agreed. They’re a hardy flower often found in woodland and along riverbanks, but they can pop up in parks, gardens, meadows and scrub too. Snowdrops don’t rely on pollinators but instead on bulb division, though bees and insects will often pay them a visit on warmer days.

Snowdrops

“These little beauties hide amongst the ivy behind our oil tank every year, but I still know where to find them!  I know we've still got a lot of wintery weather to come but they bring a smile and a feeling that spring is coming. We are so lucky in our area to have wild snowdrops growing along our roadsides, spreading that little bit of cheer.”

Sue Burt

 Cowslip

“This is a photo of my dear grandmother’s favourite flower, cowslip, and reminds me of her every year. It’s in a pot near my back door and it’s come out very early this year, and survived the hail we had on Thursday 24th February!”

Liz Merryfield

 

Getting out and about again

Spring is of course not just about the blooms. Many of you sent in some brilliant sightings of birds, insects, and all sorts of animals as they become more active. We loved this shot of kingfishers courting in spring. The ritual for kingfisher courtship involves the male approaching the female with a fish in its beak, attempting to feed it to the female. Though if unsuccessful he will eat the fish himself and try again.   

Kingfisher

“Kingfisher courtship ritual. I've been lucky enough to see this as it happened in North Lincolnshire.”

Brian Hughes

Barn Owls

“Barns owls in their nest box. This pair successfully raised two chicks last autumn, they seem to be getting ready to breed again! Photo taken on 6 February.”

John Farnell

Hare

“Hares are becoming more active.”

Alan Gray

 

Keeping us on our toes

Many of you talked about the signs of spring you noticed earlier or later than we usually expect. A common theme was the snowdrops coming a little later and the daffodils a little earlier, or even at the same time. Here are a couple of things you noticed arriving early near you.  

"I saw this primrose in flower while doing some volunteer work at the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve at Woodhall Dean in East Lothian on 11th February this year. It was the only one in flower and was in a fairly sheltered part of the wooded glen, but nevertheless it seemed quite early for this part of Scotland." 
Colin Shepherd

Frogspawn

“This is the earliest we have ever had frogspawn in the pond in our garden in Liverpool. It's usually early March when the first frogspawn appears, but this photo was taken on February 21st.”

Brenda Cameron

 

Understanding change

You can read more about why we’re seeing some flowering species come out earlier than usual in this blog by the RSPB’s wildlife gardening expert Adrian Thomas: Bloomin' flowers!

Change does have an impact on wildlife and Adrian also explains how we can help by making our gardens and green spaces as friendly for wildlife as possible.

We may be seeing change, with nature needing some extra help, but we can see all around us that spring is persevering. In the words of American author and naturalist Hal Borland: “No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.”

Anonymous