Hello everyone, Laura here, the Visitor Experience Officer at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen. For those of you with families, the current government guidelines will probably have halted most plans to get out and about in nature this Spring. Although we may be stuck at home, Spring has by no means been disrupted and continues to bloom beautifully around us So join me, as I hunt for clues that Spring has arrived in my garden and local green space.
I have been working from home for the last couple of weeks and have enjoyed spending my permitted daily exercise outside in my local green patch. I often see birds flitting around in the trees above me, hear several different birdsong melodies and on occasion glimpse a muntjac deer. So, last week, I grabbed my camera and headed back there, to try and search for signs that Spring has sprung. A Spring Scavenger Hunt is the perfect way to enjoy the nature around you and entertain the little ones at the same time. This scavenger hunt can be carried out in your garden or in a local green space, remember to keep to social distancing guidelines and choose a space where you can maintain a two metre gap between you and others.
The first thing I spotted, only a few minutes into my walk, were the large numbers of daffodils lining the paths. Standing tall and bright yellow, they were the perfect first addition to my Spring Scavenger Hunt list.
My Scavenger Hunt:
In the nearby fields, I saw several cows and was delighted to see some with calves. One particular calf was trying his hardest to eat his tail, which was entertaining to watch. I didn’t stay long as I didn’t want to upset the mother cow but was able to snap this adorable picture before I carried on.
As I continued further, I wandered into a woodland where I spotted my first spring snowflake of the season. As I was getting a photograph, I heard a rustle deeper into the woodland and saw a group of hares playing about in the brambles. They were gone too fast to photograph, but was a lovely sight regardless.
As I passed through more trees, I heard my next two findings before I saw them. Both a robin and a chiffchaff were singing loudly in the surrounding trees. The robin, I discovered was singing proudly on a branch and posed just long enough for me to snap a photo. The chiffchaff, named for the ‘chiff-chaff’ sound of its song, was less easy to photograph and flew off before I could get a good picture.
Nearby, a tree was blossoming beautifully and was definitely another sign I could add to my list. Thankfully the blossom couldn’t fly off anywhere, so I got a nice photograph of this one! Sadly, I cannot say the same for the queen bumble bee which caught my attention only minutes later. Queen bumblebees are large and are the first to appear in Spring after spending the winter underground. They feed on nectar while searching for a suitable nest site. This one was obviously too busy to stop and pose for the camera.
With the light fading, I began to head back home. But not before snapping this brilliant blue tit, hanging from the tree like an acrobat. A perfect end to a perfect Scavenger Hunt.
Here are the finished results of my Spring Scavenger Hunt. My challenge to you is this; take time this week to head into your garden or local green space and help your little ones with their own Spring Scavenger Hunt.
Use this Wild Challenge sheet to see how many Signs of Spring you can cross off… or just head out like I did, with your eyes and ears peeled to see what you can discover.
You can complete this activity as part of your Signs of Spring Wild Challenge. For those who are new to Wild Challenge, RSPB Wild Challenge is an online space for families to get connected to nature by completing a number of wild activities. These activities range from building a hedgehog house to becoming a nature detective… and everything in between. Complete the activities to earn points towards your Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Sign-up is free and you can create your account here:
Don’t forget to like and follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for more family friendly wild activities including our NEW Mini Wild Challenge series – fun 5 minute activities for when you need a quick break from computer screens and textbooks.
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