Spring so far and Springwatch 2013

Friday 26 April 2013, 15:41

Paul Deane Paul Deane Web Producer

Springwatch will be returning to your screens towards the end of May, hosted by Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games. We’ll have all the details next week.

News in March was dominated by the cold weather and its effects - lots on that to come in the shows. Early migrant arrivals have not fared well. Many spring flowers are late this year and the Woodland Trust finds that some bluebells are lagging by weeks.

The BTO report that by last week house martin, sand martin and swallows had pretty much caught up after a very slow start to their migration here. For early warblers it is a very different picture though. Chiffchaff, willow warbler and blackcap are all running about two weeks behind.

But 10 Springwatch points to capribluegenie for this somewhat bedraggled looking swallow - taken on the 29th March and the first swallow on our Flickr group this year. 

swallow by capribluegenie First swallow on the BBC Springwatch Flickr group this year, by capribluegenie

Chris the cuckoo seems to be taking his time round France instead of continuing to the UK. But ospreys have been returning including at the Lake District, Rutland and Dyfi ospreys, who we'll be following again during Springwatch. (There's quite a story in Dyfi already)

If invertebrates are your preferred spring marker maybe you've seen an Orange-tip butterfly? We've not had photos uploaded to the Springwatch Flickr group yet, but thanks for Ian A Kirk, for this Brimstone spotted at Badbury Rings, Dorset.

brimstone by ian a kirk_

Brimstone butterfly, by Ian A Kirk

And if you need an excuse to get out this spring, BBC Things to Do has plenty of suggestions, as do the National Trust, the Woodland Trust to name a few. If you want to do your bit, the ‘Big Beach Clean Up’ is running this week.

We've been following your posts on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and on email (thanks as ever for sharing).

We'll have more news soon on Springwatch next week.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Hip hop hooray! I can't wait for the show to get started, thanks for posting this happy news.

    Let me tell you that I was impressed by the female reindeer story by Michaela and Martin in this year's Winterwatch, it was fun and informative. Read my short story Fantastic female Easter Bunnies about it here: http://www.bluemarkforme.com/?p=1320

    Enjoy your weekend, ciao, Fleur

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I really do not understand why Springwatch doesn't begin much erlier in the year - there is already plenty of things to make fascinating nature programmes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/natureuk/

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Hello I have a question - I found a chrysalis in the garden last year - it was on the floor and not attached to anything. It's about 2 inches long by about 3/4 inch across, it's a dark brown, hard chrysalis. As it was winter I placed it in the shed to keep it at the outside temperature. Now it's spring I went to check on it and it moves around quite a lot in my hand - where's the best place to put it? Thanks

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Can't wait! As I write, a pair of Siskins are on my bird feeders, and since last Springwatch, I've managed to attract a few new species to my garden; Blackcap, Siskin, Goldcrest, Reed Bunting and during my hour of the Big Garden Birdwatch (RSPB), Mallard, Black-headed and Common Gull! Herring and even Lesser Black-backed Gull have even visited in the past. I've added Lesser Scaup (seen at RSPB Freiston Shore in Lincs) and Long-tailed Duck (at Titchwell) to my Life List, which is now at 216.

    I spent an idyllic hour last week at Whisby Nature Park near Lincoln being serenaded by Nightingales, who were all in good voice round one of the park's walks. Add to that Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Robins, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Whitethroats and Blackcaps all singing their hearts off.... what a truly spectacular avian orchestra! Given the late blooming of leaves and blossom, I managed to get some stonking views of the Nightingales through my binoculars!

    I'd be interested to know when Martin Hughes-Games saw his first Swift of the year. I saw 2 over my house in South Lincolnshire on April 25th, which broke my previous 'first sighting in the year' record of April 30th, which I got in 2012. Amazing given the bad weather this year's brought. I saw my first Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins of the year on April 13th (earliest sighting record is March 30th in 2009). My first butterfly was a Brimstone on April 2nd.

    Was overjoyed to meet Iolo Williams at the 2012 Birdfair at Rutland Water. He HAD been booked to appear at another event in Wales but that got cancelled owing to severe weather. So, because of that, he ended up at Rutland Water. Got a glimpse of him in the Optics Marquee and just gasped with shock! Eventually, I managed to get him to say the word 'puffling' into my ear and I got a kiss off him too! *swoons a bit*

    Looking forward to my holiday in Falmouth this year, where I am hoping to see Black-throated and Great Northern Divers and Cirl Bunting. If anyone knows any 'unsung hotspots' for birds around the Falmouth area, do let me know!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Today (April 28 2013) Us the Slingsby family spotted a Hoopoe near Louth, Lincolnshire.


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