What you might see on a Local Stroll in Early Spring

Winter feels as though it’s lasted forever this year, but there are buds and blooms appearing already. While we're staying close home to help slow the spread of Covid-19, people are still finding beauty in their immediate locality. Here are some of the things you might see beside the path on an exercise walk near you in February and March.

  • County:
  • Great for: birds | flowers | insects | trees |
  • Refreshments: eat at home
  • Please note: researched/updated in January 2021. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
  1. 4. Birds, bees and butterflies

    Garden birds are singing away already. Robins, blue tits, great tits and sparrows are busy in the trees and bushes everywhere. Among those that build nests all year round, wood pigeons and collared doves can be seen flying around with twigs and bits of straw. Climate change means some birds are nesting as much as a month earlier than they did fifty years ago.

    • Listen out for colourful great tits, louder as the days get warmer into March, with their distinctive call sounding a bit like tea-chertea-cher. Woodland Trust have produced a guide to help you identify common garden birds.
    • Tall grey herons can start to build or rebuild their nests in heronries around February, before starting on the month-long wait for their eggs to hatch. The first ducklings, meanwhile, might beat them to it, hatching as early as March.
    • Blackbirds can start very early too, but usually nest in March. You can hear their hungry chicks cheeping in thick hedges.
    • The first butterflies, like yellow brimstones and frilly-edged commas, start stirring out of hibernation in March. Red Admirals, with their black and scarlet wings, arrive after flying all the way from southern Europe or North Africa.
    • And queen bumble bees come buzzing out of their underground nests to look for nectar and pollen. Enjoy walking and nature spotting!