• April

    Early migrants include ring ouzel and wheatears, with ospreys mid-month, and willow warblers singing from every bush by end of month

    Tree pipits displaying by end of month

    Spring flowers appear, with fine displays of celandine and wood anemone

    Peak of blackcock lek

    Slavonian grebes return to lochs

    Red deer shed antlers

    Lizards and slow-worms become active

    Bats emerge, to coincide with large numbers of spring moths in mild weather

    Over-wintering peacock on wing along with first brood speckled wood

    Hen harriers display


    Trees start to leaf, life is at its freshest and greenest

    Peak bluebell season late in month

    Sword-leaved helleborine flowers

    Hawthorn and gorse blossom at its best

    Bulk of migrants return, with flycatchers and swifts last to arrive

    Dawn chorus peaks

    Woodland specialities such as redstart and wood warbler easiest to find

    Cuckoos at their most visible and vocal

    Grasshopper warblers reeling

    Badger cubs emerge

    Early butterflies include green hairstreak, pearl bordered fritillary and chequered skipper

    Day-flying moths include narrow-bordered bee-hawkmoth and emperor

    Last wintering great northern divers seen in breeding plumage before flying north

    Raptors on eggs – osprey visible on nest

    Bulk of seabirds return to nest sites – auks, terns and shearwaters visible

    Display of northern marsh orchids along verges


    Harbour seals pup

    Seabird colonies at most active

    Young birds visible in heronries

    Broods of scoter on freshwater lochs

    Orchids found in great profusion, including small white and lesser butterfly

    Butterwort flowering and sundews now visible

    Short nights means that otters are forced to forage in the light, even along the rivers

    Early dragonflies include azure hawker, with golden ringed later in month

    Small-pearl bordered fritillary flying, early June peak for chequered skipper.

    Pine marten kits emerge

    Minke whales arrive

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