Leaping into Spring!

Over the past few days and weeks the weather has been warming up, we’re seeing birds collecting nesting material in the garden, bees and butterflies are emerging, primroses are spurting up everywhere and frog spawn is emerging in our garden ponds. There’s no doubt about it Spring has sprung and it’s very exciting! I went along to one of my favourite local places yesterday, Elford Hall Gardens, and there were plenty signs that Spring has arrived!

Whilst walking around the walled garden I was having a good look in one of the small ponds and spotted a massive heap of frog spawn and at least 10 frogs surrounding it. The frogs were croaking, swimming around and poking their little heads above the water. Even though frogs are a species that I see throughout Spring, Summer, and sometimes into the colder months, they were great to watch and I managed to get some photos of them too.

Along with this, whilst walking around the gardens, there were lots of Spring flowers including primroses and daffodils. However the best moment of the visit was walking down a path and a swallow was flying right above our heads! This was the first time I’ve seen a swallow this year so it was very exciting and I couldn’t wait to record it as part of the Big Spring Watch.

The Big Spring Watch

For those of you who watched Springwatch at Easter on Friday evening you’ll already know all about this but for those of you who didn’t the Big Spring Watch is where you record when you see five seasonal events. By doing this the Woodland Trust hope to piece together the speed at which five seasonal events are first seen across the country from south to north.

The five season events are:

  • English Oak
  • Hawthorn
  • 7-spot ladybird
  • Orange tip butterfly
  • Swallow

These records will lead to a better understanding of seasonal timings which means the Woodland Trust, along with many others, may be able to help species that appear less able to react to climate change. We know that our precious habitats are under threat and it’s important that we do what we can to protect these habitats and the species within them.

You can read more about the Big Spring Watch here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/natureuk/entries/ec03f10b-aa7e-46a4-8671-67d8f9069bec

I have already recorded one of the five seasonal events, which was a swallow, so don’t forget to do so yourself when you spot one of the events from the list.

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Spring flowers.

Following yesterdays first Thursday wildlife quiz here’s a post with the answers on and some information about each flower species I quizzed about.

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So then the answer to the first one was of course a daffodil which has the Latin name of Narcissus. Daffodils are a well known European flower and can be spotted from the beginning of Spring. Snowdrops belong to the same family as daffodils which makes them both a member of the Amaryllidaceae. 

The Latin name for daffodil is thought to have been inspired by Narcissus who was a figure in Greek mythology said to have fallen in love with his reflection in a pool of water. The nodding head of the daffodil is said to represent Narcissus bending down and gazing at his reflection.

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The answer to this photo was snowdrop which have the Latin name of Galanthus nivalis. They are mostly found in deciduous woodland but occasionally coniferous woodlands. They can also be found in meadows and near rivers. It was given the name nivallis as this means snowy. It is very popular in the British Isles even though it isn’t native here.

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The answer for this photo was crocus which has the Latin name of crocus too.You can find them in three different colours which are purple, white and yellow.

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This was a very difficult one, it is in fact a southern marsh orchid which is commonly known as a ‘spotted orchid’. They are widespread and commonly found across the UK. These flowers appear in the late Spring to Summer, dependent on the weather, but typically from June to July.

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This one is off course a primrose and has the latin name of primula vulgaris, it also belongs to the Primulaceae family. They are native to the UK and you can usually expect to see the pale yellow flower in the Spring time.

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The sixth photo was a wood sorrel which has the Latin name of oxalis acetosella. You can expect to find them in distinctive clumps in woodlands and shady hedgerows, often growing from moss on fallen logs. They are widespread and you can expect to see them in April and May.

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This is a common dog-violet which has the Latin name of viola riviniana. They are very common and they grow almost everywhere in the UK and you can expect to see them in many different habitats including woodland, grassland, heaths, hedgerows and old pasture. It flowers from around April to June but it’s flowers are not scented.

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The last one was of course bluebells which have the Latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta. They can be found throughout the UK and can be expected be seen in flower throughout April and June. They are mainly found in woodlands, especially coppiced woodland.

Next weeks quiz will be all about British fungi!

 

Thursday quiz: Spring wildflowers.

Today marks the first time I will publish the Thursday quiz on to my blog, from now on every Thursday I will do a blog post with a new quiz on. Every week will be about different UK wildlife and the question type will be different each week too. To answer the quiz you can comment below or tweet me on twitter @GeorgiaLocock

This weeks quiz is a bit easier then most will be and it’s all about Spring wildflowers! You have to name each flower I have displayed a photo of. Also an extra challenge would be to give the Latin name. Tomorrow I will do a blog post about the Spring flowers that I have quizzed about, give the correct answer and some information about them all.

Good luck and next weeks quiz is another picture quiz about fungi!

All photos are taken by myself.

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New Thursday quizzes!

I have thought of an idea to make my blog more interactive, get more visitors and fun for my blog visitors. It would also make sure that I’m regularly putting new things on as recently I haven’t kept my blog up to date due to school work and an injured wrist. The quiz will start on Thursday coming and I will publish it in the morning then visitors will have all day to answer. Then on Friday I’ll do a blog post with the correct answer on and a bit of information about the species or wildlife that I have quizzed about. Each week the question(s) will be different for example one week it might be a photo, video or some questions. There is no prize as it’s just a bit of fun. After having problems commenting with my old blog host this new host is much more easy to comment with but let me know if you have any problems or you can perhaps tweet me the answers at @GeorgiaLocock 

This weeks quiz will be published on the morning of Thursday the 10th of April and it will be a photo quiz about Spring flowers!