Chiffchaff on blackthorn, (photo David Tipling) 1/3
Adders emerge from their winter burrows (photo by Lawrie Webb) 2/3
In waterways all over the county otters are courting in private (photo by Liz Dack) 3/3

Wildlife in March

The steady trickle of spring gathers pace in March.  In hedges and along lanes, blackthorn bushes burst into flower, signalling that the sap in the trees is again rising after the winter. Adders emerge from their winter burrows. The slender males appear first and bask in the sun, gathering strength for the emergence of the females a few days later.

Many species are mating and displaying this month. Over conifer plantations in the Brecks and elsewhere sunny days may see the exuberant displays of rare goshawks; and in waterways all over the county otters are courting in private. For more public courtship, listen out this month for the clamour of mating frogs and toads in ponds.

Spring picks up pace later in the month as migrant birds start to appear. March is traditionally the month in which chiffchaffs, sand martins, wheatears and Sandwich terns begin to return. And perhaps the most welcome sign that spring is here comes with the emergence of overwintered red admirals and brimstones