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Springwatch Easter Special: Your spring sightings

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Stephen Moss Stephen Moss | 16:20 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

What an amazing spring it's been! After the coldest December on record, many people thought we were in for a really hard winter, followed by a late spring - similar to last year. In fact this has been a very warm spring, with temperatures in early April soaring into the low 20s. If this warm weather continues into May, then spring 2011 may well turn out to be one of the warmest on record.

Not surprisingly, given the long spell of fine, sunny weather, nature's signs of spring have been out in force. I've already seen seven different kinds of butterfly in my Somerset garden, five of which are the earliest we've seen them in the five years since we moved there. And I'm not alone: up and down the country people are seeing orange-tip and holly blue butterflies, bumblebees, ladybirds, swallows, blackthorn blossom and even the first returning nightingales and cuckoos, just arrived from Africa.

We're currently putting together the Springwatch Easter Special, which will be broadcast on Easter Monday 25 April, at 8pm on BBC Two. The programme is being recorded this coming Monday at Portland Bill bird observatory on the Dorset coast, one of the first landing-points for migrants returning from the south.

Now we want your help. If you're out and about this weekend we'd love to hear about your sightings - especially any unusual or particularly early ones. Please let us know by posting a comment below. You can also send these in to the Nature's Calendar website - the world's biggest survey of changing seasons.

So hope the good weather keeps up - and look forward to hearing from you!

Stephen Moss is the Producer of the Springwatch Easter Special

Many thanks for all your comments. Please don't comment on this post any more. We'll be posting spring updates on this blog right through the season so please feel free to comment on them instead.


  • Comment number 1.

    On 1st April i saw my first and only Swallow to date at Kenfig Nature Reserve, South Wales. Since the last week of March i have also been hearing the sound of Chiff Chaffs around my area.
    At the beggining of March 2011 a local farmer i am friendly with gave me some off cuts of wood from his brothers saw mill that were going to waste. I constructed 16 nest boxes. 11 of these i placed on the farm and farmers garden and 5 in the gardens of friends and family. I varied the size of the entrance holes, some being 25mm, some 28mm and some 32mm. I also constructed 3 'sparrow colony' nest boxes.
    I placed them at their locations during the first and second week of March. By the third week of March i checked on some of them and was suprised to find nesting had begun in 3 of them.
    Today (12th April) i checked 14 out of the 16 boxes and discovered that 10 were occupied with nests and 1 of those contained what looked to be 4 Blue tit eggs. Of the 10 nests it would appear 8 are definately Blue tits and 2 are possibly Great Tits. I will continue to monitor the boxes but wont be lifting up any more lids to check for fear of causing too much disturbance.
    Of the 3 i couldnt check today 1 box i gave to my aunty who reported seeing a pair of blue tits enter the box within an hour of it going up and began nesting in it the very next day! Another i gave to a friend who believes he may have a pair of Great Tits nesting in it. The other i have been unable to get to.
    It struck me as being early for eggs to be present in the 1 nest, however the majority of the nests i saw today were complete and just awaiting eggs, 1 or 2 had the begginings of the nest but the 'cup' had not yet been lined.
    What i also found interesting was the materials used. Of all the boxes on the farm, the nests were made purely of moss and lined almost entirely with Deer hair with the exception of 1 nest in the farmers garden which also contained the bright green 'fuzz' from the surface of a tennis ball left on the garden lawn!
    1 nest in my grans garden was constructed entirely from what looked to be pure black hair. Possibly dog or cat? Another in my In-laws Garden (the 1 with eggs) Also contained similar looking black 'hair' and also some 'tortoise shell' looking hair. Isnt it ironic the urban birds appear to be using cat and dog hair to line their nests?!
    I have also observed some interesting behaviour at the 'sparrow colony' boxes. 1 has had no interest. The other 2 (1 at the farm and 1 in my garden) have

  • Comment number 2.

    Continued- Blue tits nesting in them. The boxes consist of 3, 32mm holes drilled in the front, each hole with its own seperate nest chamber. Now whats interesting is that the blue tits are carrying nesting material into all 3 holes! It would seem that they are confused by the choice of 3 holes so close together? I did think about blocking 2 holes so they could concentrate on building 1 nest but have decided to leave nature take its course. It will be interesting to see the outcome.I dont believe it is more than 1 pair at the colony box as i have yet to see more than 2 birds at any 1 time.
    It would appear that Spring is really under way with all the action at the boxes. I'm just so pleased that so many are being occupied so quickly. Surely this shows that naturally occurring nest sites in these areas are few and far between and means that by giving them the option of an artificial box it could make a real difference to local populations.
    Paul Davies, Port Talbot, South Wales

  • Comment number 3.

    Many insects seem to be out and about very early - I've caught both Ruby Tiger and Swallow Prominent in the moth trap in the first week of April, a month early - the Swallow Prominent laid fertile eggs, so she's obviously not the only one flying so early! I've also seen reports of Common Pug flying in the last week of March, about 5 weeks early, and the nettle patches are full of 14-spot ladybirds, yet another species which isn't normally about in decent numbers until May. With the very early spring, it will be interesting to see how many generations species like the Beautiful Hook-Tip, 2 & 10-spot ladybirds manage this year - they usually have one, but in good years they can squeeze in another.

  • Comment number 4.

    I have just had a unexpected sighting on the way to do our weekly shop. I was driving along on the bypass around Darlington and a large cat ran across the road infront. For a split second, I thought just a large tabby cat by then I saw the ears were slightly bigger than usual and the tail had distinctive black rings down it and a black tip. So in conclusion it must have been a hybrid wildcat! I was so excited in the car. The habitat fits as the area is right on the outskirts of the town with mainly farmers fields, a river with small sections of woodland inbetween.
    I'll have my eyes peeled next time I go for the weekly shop, to see what other rare wildlife I can see....

  • Comment number 5.

    It's ridiculous that Springwatch does not start till the end of May that is almost Summer it doesn't make any sense. Why is it on so late?

  • Comment number 6.

    I had a rather late fieldfare in Kings Lynn, Norfolk on Wednesday13th April. Only one swallow so far on 6th April, but sedge warblers are now starting to come in, first recorded on 10th April.

  • Comment number 7.

    Have just been visiting Abbotsbury in Dorset. I saw swallows, skylarks and chiffchaffs.
    Back home here in Bristol we have noticed lots of very large bumblebees in our back garden as well as brimstone and small blue butterflies. The birdsong has been stunning this year. We are pleased to have our lovely Bullfinch pair as regular visitors to the apple tree.

  • Comment number 8.

    We live in Aberdeenshire in a remote area and felt the full effects of the winter getting down to -20 overnight and the wildlife had a difficult time. Have had feeders out throughout the winter and had the usual visitors - Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Yellow Hammers, Sparrows etc. Then we had three Greater Spotted Woodpeckers that seemed to enjoy the peanuts.

    As spring began we removed the peanut feeder but left the bag of seeds hanging on the tree. We now have a most unexpected visitor which made us laugh. A male Phesant has worked out how to fly in to the Rowan tree and get to the feeder. There isnt a lot of room and so he wedges his body between two branches and rests there with his feet dangling down and then pecks at the feeder. Once some seeds fall down he then falls out of the tree and drops a couple of feet then opens his wings and lands quite gracefully. Have not been able to get a video yet but got some photos. Has anyone seen this before?

  • Comment number 9.

    I stayed at Portland Bird Observatory in early April. It's a fabulous spot, just wish I had more time to explore the island. As well as the migrants arriving (wonderful to watch swallows arriving from across the Channel), and a welcome number of skylarks in residence, there were lots of bees and butterflies, plus migrant moths. There is an aggregation of what I think are ashy mining bees (Andrena cineraria), right by the coast path, fantastic to watch, plus saw brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) - a UK BAP priority species - feeding on garden comfrey.

  • Comment number 10.

    From Scilly.
    Saturday 16th male Woodchat Shrike.- http://www.flickr.com/photos/41349641@N00/5624379509/in/photostream/
    Sunday 17th Female Woodchat Shrike and five Bee-eaters- http://www.flickr.com/photos/41349641@N00/5627156794/in/photostream

  • Comment number 11.

    Just moved my motorbike out of the garage to get it cleaned up for Easter.The battery was dead so I tried to kickstart a few times...and a Robin flew out! (A factory extra I was unfamiliar with.) Quite funny at the time but closer inspection revealed a nest including chicks concealed behind the headlamp fairing. I've carefully wheeled it back in closed the garage and have spent the last 1/2 hour hoping mum will return...

  • Comment number 12.

    Just seen, 11.45 am today, the returning turtle dove (or another!) which really means spring has arrived for me. A turtle dove first arrived in my garden (20 yrs after moving to this house) in July 2005, and every year thereafter. I now have rufous collared doves later in the year!!!

    In the cold, cold weather at Christmas I had to rescue a 300gm hedgehog trying to find food under birdfeeder. Collected by our fabulous WRAC (East Sussex). This week they returned the hedgehog, whom they called Brussels (Christmas names being given at that time!). He weighed around 1 Kg and is happily grunting round the garden at 10pm.

  • Comment number 13.

    Only recently just starting to venture out into the garden here in Gravesend. Spotted an Orange Tip Butterfly today which I have not seen around here before. Tend to see Painted Ladies more than often. There was also a hubub of honey bees on the apple tree blossom this morning which was also a good sign.

  • Comment number 14.

    On 17th April I saw a solitary white-cheeked bahama pintail at London Colney Lake in Hertfordshire. What a beautiful little bird! I've never seen one in England before. Is this rare or should I get out more?

  • Comment number 15.

    I saw a painted lady this afternoon - first reported sighting on the Isle of Man!

  • Comment number 16.

    Saw first Swallow at Rainworth near Mansfield on the 10th April, normally arrive late April. Also had Orange Tip Butterfly in garden same day. Great tits nesting in bird box for first time.

  • Comment number 17.

    First three Cockchafers of the year in the moth trap, 17/4, along with a Scorched Carpet, another May-June species

  • Comment number 18.

    31st March : Spotted our 1st two swallows at Crarae, Argyll.
    7th April : 1st adult predacious beetles of this year sighted in our garden pond.
    15th April : Predacious beetle larvae now attacking frog tadpoles.
    17th April : Heard our 1st cuckoo at Glashan Reservoir, by Lochgair, Argyll.
    Question : Are predacious beetles normally common in Argyll / West of Scotland ?

  • Comment number 19.

    Not exactly a sighting as it was dark, but heard what I think must be a nightjar on the common at 10pm last night. It was fading in and out as quartered the field, a very weird noise! Would love to know more about this rather mysterious bird!

  • Comment number 20.

    On the 9 April whilst walking my dog, in the fields below Sudbury Hall Derbyshire, next to the river Dove I saw a flock of sand martins skimming low over the river obviously feeding on the insects. They looked to be investigating an earth river bank exposed by the previous winters flood waters. Such masters of the art of flying fast and low over water.
    On the 16 April I walked down to the river again to see if the sand martins were still there , yes they were, not only were they feeding this time they were also settling on the face of the river bank and it looked as thought they were beginning to dig their burrows as some settled and momenterily disappeared into the bank .
    Nice to see sand martins here as we tend to see only swallows and house martins.

  • Comment number 21.

    Have not seen but have heard... a cuckoo in Great Buckland in Kent I was stunned as I have not heard one for at least 14 years in this area.Thought this might be of interest.

  • Comment number 22.

    I have just found a bright yellow spider eating a bumble bee. At first I thought a flower was stuck to the bee, but it's a yellow crab-like spider. I took pictures of it. It can't be native to the UK? I have seen pictures on the web, as I did a search, it seems to be native to North America. it must of hitched a ride over here!

  • Comment number 23.

    Ever since i was a young child i have always every year heard the Cuckoo each spring. It is always in the same area which is at the top of our local canal. Tonight my husband went out with binoculars and camera to go looking for other birds as he was very lucky to see a grasshopper warbler the other day so hoped to see if he could get a photo. Anyhow whilst out he believes he heard 4 cuckoos all within a certain area. He did however manage to get photos of 2 of them. Considering the Cuckoo is in decline it sure likes to make an appearance in our area. thankfully as i do love to hear him. Our area is Hampshire

  • Comment number 24.

    Upto 30 Bottlenose Dolphins including several young calfs are feeding in Aberdeen Harbour at the moment. At this time of year they can be seen every day feeding on fish that need to migrate though the harbour to get to the River Dee. It is stunning to watch with breaching, tail slapping and obvious signs of hunting.

    We also had our first Risso's Dolphin sighting of the year 20 miles north of the city early on Sunday morning.

    I mist admit I find it surprising Aberdeen's Dolphins have not had national TV coverage as surely 'urban dolphins' must make an interesting story. They are close to land, reliable and easy to film, I guess we are just to far north.

  • Comment number 25.

    Neil Warrilow - your spider is almost certainly a UK native, as we have a good number of crab spiders, which are pretty much all brightly coloured in order to blend in with the flower they're sitting on - indeed, many have a degree of colour-change ability to match their perch more closely. They use this camouflage to ambush other flower visitors, as you saw

  • Comment number 26.

    The grasshopper warbler is still in our area of Hampshire heard him tonight along with the reed bunting and lots of chatting sedge warblers and not forgetting the 3 cuckoos. The Grasshopper warbler is drawing a lot of interest amongst other bird lovers.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hello Springwatch.
    I've spotted a pair of Red Kite's from my back garden in Chertsey, Surrey. It's fantastic to see them doing their aerial dance. The pair can regularly be seen flying overhead, so I'm guessing they must be nesting nearby. If you're not sure where Chertsey is, it's on the western edge of the M25 and is only about 30 miles from the centre of London.

  • Comment number 28.

    I was woken up this morning by the chatter of the first House Martins checking out the nests under the eaves. Also seen a number of Orange Tip and Small Tortoishell butterflies in the garden over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Our pond has about 10 to 15 newts in at present, mix of smooth and palmate I think and found two "efts" hiding in a small pot of compost this morning.

  • Comment number 29.

    As we all know the early spell of very warm dry weather has meant that many wildflowers are blooming earlier than usual and in greater profusion. However, yesterday I saw something not seen before - a field close to where I was walking along the Wey Navigation in surrey was almost completely pink! On closer inspection I discovered the area to be completely covered with Common Storksbill flowers - an amazing sight.
    This morning whilst visiting a beautiful ancient bluebell woodland in Hampshire I came across a cloud of high flying moth-like insects, black or very nearly with burnished gold/bronze wing-tips and a very long proboscis which was carried vertically. These insects were very tiny and were gathered around some hazel bushes; I would be grateful for any help identifying these as I cannot find them in the usual searches.

  • Comment number 30.

    Hello fellow nature enthusiasts! I am a newbie on this site and my sudden impetus to join is because I am a bit mystified by the behaviour of a mating pair of Blackbirds. They were nesting in my Pyracanthas, however this week, I spotted the female discarding one by one the dead bodies of her 3 newly hatched babies. All three were already dead when I found them on the patio, I wonder if she felt the nest was threatened? Does anyone have any ideas? Yesterday, I noticed they were both building 2 more new nests on the opposite wall in another Pyracanthus, why would they be building 2 nests? Your expert opinion/comments are most welcome....

  • Comment number 31.

    I live in Angus and today the pair of swallows arrived back to their nest in the garage a beautiful sight to see so glad to have them back. Also pleased to see the great tit back from last year it left late last year it has a very distinctive face colouring that's why I know it is back. Sadly the black cap which has been in my garden all winter has not been seen for a few weeks now

  • Comment number 32.

    I heard the Cuckoo for the first time yesterday about a mile from St. Davids, Pembrokeshire and also saw my first swallow of the season

  • Comment number 33.

    Swallows arrived at our house in Cheshire 24th April, I think about 1 week late, any views on that?
    During the last 6 weeks confined to my garden room ( broken ankle) I have counted 36 species in the garden or overhead. No wrens they appear not to have survived the winter.

  • Comment number 34.

    Hi Martin, I have a web cam in my Blue Tit birdbox and as of this morning she is sitting on 12 eggs. It has been brilliant watching them build the nest, try to fight the occasional Bumble Bee. One got right underneath the nest, so I had to pop out and poke it to make it fly out. So looking forward to babies next week.

  • Comment number 35.

    Saturday 23 April, Eastbourne. I have seen in the front garden of our block of flats, the most astonishing sight. It was around 2:50 in the afternoon, and as I walked into the driveway I saw a bird of prey on the lawn hunched over some prey. It had its back to me so I was able to approach quite close and just as I was drawing out my mobile phone to photograph it, it turned to look in my direction. It was a beautiful Peregrine falcon, predating on some small creature that I never really got to see closely as it took off at this point to go and roost in a tree nearby. Although I couldn't really see any more detail than this and it had flown into a densely leafed horse chestnut, I don't think it would be nesting there. However I do think that as we live in an old block of flats 5 storeys high, it could well be nesting on the roofline. Our property has a Mansard roof which would make that easy for it. I will be keeping my eyes open as it is a spectacular creature!

  • Comment number 36.

    Cuckoo heard in Grangewood, Derbyshire National Forest, on Easter Sunday.

    Twelve toads in our garden in Austrey, Nr Atherstone, Warwickshire.

  • Comment number 37.

    Night Heron seen twice on Thursday 21st Apr on River stour, Bournemouth. Very kindly offered lovely view via spotters scope as walking dog. Many spotters there to try and catch a glimpse. Returned same evening and was still there (as were many spotters). Regularly see the grey heron on this stretch but would love to know more about the Night Heron.

  • Comment number 38.

    On 14th April I saw an osprey fishing on the River Clyde near Abington. It actually took a fish from a pool on the river where it is joined by the Dunedin Water.

  • Comment number 39.

    I was walking in Old Woking Surrey last week and got excited thinking I had seen an Otter in the river only to be told by family members that it was more likely to have been a Mink. What I wondered was if this sighting which I managed to video have been reported?

  • Comment number 40.

    Did anyone spot the pot of daffodils on the terrace wall? Not only were they badly staged but they kept disappearing and reappearing between shots?
    Also would like to know why it was necessary to capture wild birds and handle them for the gratification of the camera? I would have thought that there were standards governing the handling of wild birds, particularly protected species, where the handler must be registered, have had appropriate training, and must not handle birds simply from a voyeuristic point of view. The bird may have looked calm but was probably highly stressed, hence it flying back out to sea, and laughed at for doing so by the presenters?

  • Comment number 41.

    Large Slow worm in garden basking in the sunshine 25/4/11
    Swift have still not arrived in my roof, getting a bit worried as I'm in Hants

  • Comment number 42.

    Cuckoo heard at Mamhilad, Gwent on 20th and 21st April 2011

  • Comment number 43.

    hi just watched springwatch easter special and here is a list of my first sightings ,9/april oxeye daisy ,willow warbler,orange tip,large/small whites,small totoishell,ladies smock, speedwell,white grape hiacinth. 8th april,lily of the valley,whitebells, hedgehog. 17th april swallows,brimstone butterfly and orange tip. 20th april,yellow/black 10 spot ladybird, herb robert blackcaps. 21 april reed warbler,shoveler chicks amd mallard chicks,dunlin,green sandpiper,linnet, avocets nesting, comma ,alderfly,meadow brown.29th march.forget me nots. 26th march,wheatear,sand martins,little ringed plover.21 march chiffchaff,coltsfoot,oystercatchers, dandelion. 18th march,cowslip.14th march,lesser celandine,creeping cinquefoil,glory of the snows,pansies,and a swan nesting. 7th march ladybird, honey bee.ist march daffodil. 24th feb,bumble bee.7th feb orange crocuses.4th feb purple crocuses and snowdrops.

  • Comment number 44.

    hi Stephen , will the springwatch trackers be back alongside springwatch this year? they havent been on for the past 3 years and i loved it and really miss it . simon king was one of the presenters and i am the proud owner of the t shirt he wore on the springwatch trackers show--he sent it to me!. hope springwatch trackers will come back .

  • Comment number 45.

    A fine day. Easter Monday sunshine; Cheshire countryside. Reed Bunting, Whitethroat, Wheatear(??) and Lapwing. A walk on OS public footpaths across fields that have been ploughed and harrowed and sown - and are alrerady sprouting - but where there is no discernible 'footpath' evident. Just a stile viewed in the hazy distance; and ALMOST disaster. Striding across the (almost) bare earth I ALMOST trod on a Lapwing's four perfect eggs. (Photo taken - can I post it?). Why would the stupid birds build a nest right on the 'path'? Haven't they looked at the map? ---- Or has the farmer confused us all by ploughing the path into oblivion. x square metres additional productive land but y cubed Lapwings less??

  • Comment number 46.

    I have recently moved to the Highlands, North East Scotland. Have spent the last couple of weeks watching two buzzards reguarly flying over the house, and from the windows we can see them soaring over the cliffs. Amazing to look at epecially through the telescope.

  • Comment number 47.

    Is it possible I could have seen a rock sparrow in my garden one day last week? I farm one mile from a village in Rutland, see loads of house sparrows, tree sparrows, chaffinches, goldfinches and many others. I have looked through my bird books and although I realise it was unlikely, rock sparrow is a perfect match for the bird I saw.

  • Comment number 48.

    anyone seen a swimming heron before.... was down Cardiff Bay area in the bleak mid winter... looked down from a bridge over the bay... and there it was a swimming heron!!! cool or what?

  • Comment number 49.

    Brimstone Butterflies spotted at Powys Dinas near cardiff
    Saw my first Holly Blue yesterday

  • Comment number 50.

    We heard our first cuckoo(s) calling loud and clear today easter Monday in Oakhanger Woods near Selborne Hampshire.

    I also sighted orchids deep purple standing out brightly near drifts of bluebells. Is this unusually early?


  • Comment number 51.

    I live in Hamble and recent activity in and around my garden include, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Red Admiral, Comma, Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Large White Butterfly.
    Singing Blackcap and Chiff Chaff, Buzzards displaying, Mallard ducklings on the pond, Fox Cubs playing in the woods plus lots of flying insects and several species of Bumble Bee.
    I love Spring

  • Comment number 52.

    I watched Springwatch for the first time and loved the program very much. I have this weekend seen and heard the wild-life about me as I've walk my dog. I hope my list will be of interest? I live in a village at the base of Leith Hill Surrey and on the 21st April I heard my first cuckoo. The greater spotted woodpecker has been hammering away in the woods near my home and I watched the buzzered in the thermals above the village. The Canada geese came a few weeks ago with their haunting crys that even my dog looked to the sky. There is also a heron that sits on the island of the village pond checking out the spawning fish. I've also seen a snake, not sure what sort, as it moved swiftly through the dry leaves and a small blue butterfly darted around my legs.
    I feed the birds fat balls and have nuthatch visiting as well as blue tits, great tits, longtail tits, and the resident Robin. One thing that worried me the other day was seeing a jackdaw hanging from the feeder, I hope he's not trying to kill the small birds?
    I have seen a few bumble bees and a couple I found dead in the house, don't no how they got in as at the time there were no open windows.
    My Horsechestnut is in full bloom and all around me has suddenly become green, amazing!

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi, enjoyed the program last night as usual, live on Oxfordshire/Northamptonshire boarder, approx 3 miles from Banbury. Just registered and signed in for the first time. Have not heard the cuckoo as yet but have not heard one around here for years? No swallows sighted either.
    Have seen a small blue butterfly in the garden not sure what it was but have not seen one before. Several cabbage whites.
    Last weekend saw 14 Magpies all together in the trees, what a noise they make in such a large group. Where are those cuckoos ?

  • Comment number 54.

    First stag beetle of the year in my garden in South West London, a very splendid male. I do not recall ever seeing one in April before!

  • Comment number 55.

    Whilst out walking over the Easter period at The Warren near Oakhanger Hants, the Kids & I spotted Male & female Wood duck perched in some trees, a nightjar flew past after being disturbed from the heather & over head a family of Buzzards & a fly past of a Red Kite. Also on the sand, markings left behind by snakes ...Adders ?? A fun time for the boys to get interested in nature.

  • Comment number 56.

    Enjoyed yesterday's Springwatch special. Where I live in East Sussex, Bluebells were coming into flower on 11/4, Cuckoo first heard 16/4 and local Oak went from bursting buds to full leaf in 1 week 16-23/4.

    However, the sighting I wonder whether anyone can shed light upon, which seems completely wrong, was what appeared to be a young Jackdaw begging for food and being fed, back in late March but haven't seen it again since. Corvids are among my favourite birds, especially Jackdaws, and I wouldn't normally usually expect to see young Jackdaws being fed until some time into May, at the earliest. Could this have been a spurious event, has anyone ever seen adults behave this way for some reason or was I hallucinating?

  • Comment number 57.

    I've recorded a woodpecker on the 24th and 25th of April that we have been listening to over the last couple of weeks...on Tooting Bec Common in South London which is proving to be quite the hive of wildlife. We've spotted lots of activity along with the woodpeckers (lesser spotted we think- its quite small)- along with loads of green parakeets, green woodpeckers, goldfinches not to mention hosts of other birds...this park also does regular bird spotting walks.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm not sure this is a sign of spring, but this morning I saw a pair of what I'm sure were Egyptian Geese at our local pond on the Wanstead Flats (East London). I understand these beautiful birds are usually found in East Anglia, so I wonder if there have been other sightings in or around London.

  • Comment number 59.

    First swallow sighting was 1st april while sat on the beach at wells-next-the-sea.
    Heard the cuckoo on the 20th of april in a village in north norfolk.
    Also have bluetits in our nesting box in the garden at wells-next-the-sea

  • Comment number 60.

    So good to have Springwatch back! It was lovely that at the moment a Chiff Chaff appeared on tv, our resident CC was chiff-chaffing away in the garden!
    But this morning was even better - a pair of Goldfinches seem to have arrived in the garden - pretty sure this is a first for us. One of them - and they looked identical - was using the hooked end of his/her bill to extract spiders from under the top of the fence - briliant! A beautiful sight to see!

  • Comment number 61.

    I must confess I know little the correct way to report this sighting. On Sunday 24th April I saw a Red Kite with what appeared to be a leaf (no bino's, could have been rodent (but looked kinda flat))in its beak I watched it pass through some woods and noticed it stopped at a nest, on which was sat another red kite.I assume they are a pair and may have bread. This was local to the Fairy Medows in Peterborough. I would love to be able to give more information but I haven't had the chance to go down and look properly from a near by hill, what with exams looming.

  • Comment number 62.

    In reply to Paul Davies': I always leave piles of dog hair on the lawn when I groom my dogs and the robins, blue tits and great tits all help themselves!


  • Comment number 63.

    About six weeks ago I bought niger seed and a feeder - previously had greenfinches and goldfinches at my birdtable but they have now disappeared, after ignoring the posh new feeder hanging from it. Suggestions please!

  • Comment number 64.

    I live in Caithness on the coast, very beautiful. We have been watching two buzzards every day flying together over the cliffs. In the past week we also have Swallows nesting in one of the outhouses, not the first year for them. Also just at dusk we get two wee bats flying round the garden. There is so much going on, we hate leaving the garden. Love it all.

  • Comment number 65.

    Further to mine of 29th April: I have been informed that the missing birds are away in their nesting areas now and do not need the seed I've been putting out.
    I am, however, still getting blue tits, great tits, robins etc, plus the inevitable pigeons, magpies and squirrels.

  • Comment number 66.

    Hi, We saw around 20 bottlenose dophins near Dancing Ledge/Durlston today.

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi i hope this message is not too late, registering to the site proved difficult.Whilst my
    wife and i were walking on easter monday the 25th in the area of OLD WOOD, SKELLINGTHORPE NR LINCOLN we heard a cuckoo it was very distinctive and sang for some time.

  • Comment number 68.

    This last few days we've been regularly hearing both a Cuckoo and a Chiff Chaff from Freemans Marsh and The Croft, both in Hungerford, Berkshire, respectively.

  • Comment number 69.

    We woke up to see this woodpecker [a juvenile?] having a snooze on the peanut feeder! He was all fluffed up and quite content. Never seen that before!



  • Comment number 70.

    This year robins nested in a crash helmet in our garage and raised 5 chicks. We are providing live mealworms for them - with the robins waiting by our front door to be fed or coming to us in the graden if they think we are a bit slow. The chicks have been out of the nest 8 days and are now indulging in flying practice in the garage. However mum has now built a second nest in a carboard box in the garage and is currently sitting on another 5 eggs whilst her and her mate are still feeding the original five chicks. Is this normal!

  • Comment number 71.

    I finally heard my first cuckoo today coming from the woods between Crockleford Heath and Welshwood Park just outside Colchester, Essex, after a couple of year's absence.

  • Comment number 72.

    come and see the WHITE blackbird who visits my garden.

  • Comment number 73.

    Was rather surprised to see a waxwing today..Was feeding a collared dove who has become rather tame and suddenly a waxwing lands on the fence next to me.Managed to get several really good photos of the waxwing busy pecking at the flowers on the sycamore tree. Photo below

  • Comment number 74.

    Imagine the whoop of excitement we all made when the most spectacular, rainbow-like bird took flight right in front of us as we drove along a tiny country lane. Our initial shout was "a green woodpecker!" but as it spread its wings, we saw the traffic light colours across the back and wings, and immediately had to reach for the bird book to check out what we had witnessed. A Bee-Eater! We saw it at 8pm on a mild evening in rural Upham, Hampshire, on 5th May 2011. Such a thrill to have seen something so unusual -and so beautiful- in the UK.


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