Early signs of spring
It’s been a cold winter but there are signs that spring is just around the corner and the half term holiday is the perfect time to enjoy Wales’ great outdoors.
Natural Resources Wales has some fun suggestions about where you can see the first indications that spring is on its way.
Rob McCall, climate change specialist for Natural Resources Wales, said:
“Spring is always a welcome sight after the winter months and although it doesn’t officially start in meteorological terms until 1 March, there’s already plenty to see.
“It could be trees in bud, plants starting to flower, frogs spawning, or birds nesting collecting material to build nests and with the days getting longer we can all take advantage of the Welsh landscape.
“And while you are enjoying yourself, you can also help gather vital evidence on the impact climate change is having on Wales and its wildlife by reporting your spring sightings to the Woodland Trust’s Nature’s Calendar.”
Nature's Calendar is the home for thousands of volunteers who record the signs of the seasons where they live across the UK.
It could mean noting the first ladybird or swallow of the year, or the first blackberry of autumn.
“You don’t have to be an expert to take part just visit www.naturescalendar.org.uk where you’ll find lots of help and information, including a free downloadable nature identification booklet.
“This kind of recording has moved from being a leisure hobby to a crucial source of evidence as to how our wildlife is responding to climate change.
“And don’t forget to let us know what you’ve seen while you are out and about by sharing your photos with us at @NatResWales using the #FirstSignofSpring hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, or in our Wales Wild Side group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/WalesWildSide.”
Here are some ideas to get you started:
· Look out for frogspawn like this found at Llyn Cefn, Anglesey.
· A displaying lapwing heralds the arrival of spring at the Newport Wetlands Reserve. For more information visit: http://naturalresourceswales.gov.uk/out-and-about/our-visitor-centres/newport-wetlands-national-nature-reserve-south-wales/?lang=en
· A goat and its kid on Snowdon, photographed by NRW warden Hywel Roberts, is a sure sign that spring is on its way.
· Visit Fenn’s & Whixall Mosses National Nature Reserve, near Whitchurch and Wrexham to see if the curlews have returned to breed. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
· Look out for catkins or lamb’s tails – like these at the Dingle Local Nature Reserve, Llangefni, Anglesey. Not only do catkins look like lamb’s tails, they also appear during lambing season.