Butterfly Snail Rush Large Butterfly
Spring in Nene Park

Nature in Nene Park

Spring in Nene Park

For many people March is the start of Spring and if you look closely you will be able to see the first signs. By April and May things really move into top gear and it seems that wherever you look nature is feeding, flowering, breeding or squabbling over territory.

Rangers Sightings

Spring Highlights

Spring is a great time to listen to nature. Birds are singing their hearts out and hearing the first Chiffchaff or the drumming of a Woodpecker are true signs that Spring is imminent. Starlings, Blackbirds, Blackcaps and Song Thrushes are other top performers.

Click here to listen to a Chiff Chaff's song on the RSPB's website
Click here to listen to a Blackcap's song on the RSPB's website

Spring migrants to look out for include House Martins, Swallows and Sand Martins. We are hoping that this year Sand Martins will take up residence in the Sand Martin Box we installed on Lynch Lake in Ferry Meadows last year.

Swallow
Swallow courtesy of Peter Gallagher

Sand Martin Box
Rangers moving the Sand Martin Box to Lynch Island in 2013

In early Spring, birds such as Long-tailed Tits will be starting work on their nests. You can also watch Blue Tits nest building on a screen in the Visitor Centre thanks to our nestcam. While Twitter and facebook updates will make sure you don't miss out on developments.

Long Tailed Tit (Peter Gallagher)
Long-tailed Tit courtesy of Peter Gallagher

Nestcam Image Of Bluetits
Nestcam image from 2013

Another bird we are keen to welcome back to Ferry Meadows is the Common Tern. We are hoping that they will again breed in the Park on the Tern Islands which we installed on Overton Lake.

Tern Chicks
Ringing Tern chicks on the Tern Islands on Overton Lake

Dog violets are some of the first flowers to emerge which are followed by the wonderful display of Bluebells in the aptly named Bluebell Wood in Ferry Meadows. Cowslips can also be seen and a good place to find them is Oak Meadow by Lynch Bridge in Ferry Meadows.

Violets
Dog Violets

Bluebells
Bluebells

Cowslips
Cowslips

Some butterflies such as Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks may also be tempted out by early Spring sunshine. In April expect to see Orange-tips as they time their flight period to coincide with the flowering of their favourite food plant, Lady's-smock.

Small Tortoiseshell
Small Tortoiseshell

 Male Orange Tip
Male Orange-tip

Amphibians and reptiles will be on the move in March as Common Frogs, Toads, Smooth Newts and Great Crested Newts all head for their breeding ponds. Frogs and Toads will breed earlier than Newts and Coney Meadow Pond in Ferry Meadows is a good place to watch the action.

Smooth Newt (male And Female)
Male (back) and female (front) Smooth Newts - during the mating season the male becomes darker

In April Badger cubs will make their first appearances above ground after having been below ground since February. The best way to catch a glimpse of Badgers is to join an organised Badger Watch like the ones organised in Ferry Meadows or with other wildlife organisations.