Red Squirrels sightings become more frequent as they are increasingly active during spring. They are seeking to regain weight after the lean winter, and their dull winter coats are becoming a more vibrant red.
The Red Deer are beginning to shed their antlers now and will start to regrow them for the next breeding season. It will take just 4 months to grow another impressive set of antlers. They will be spending lots of time foraging, as there is plenty of fresh spring growth for them to eat, and can often be seen in the wooded shelter of the glens in the evening.
Spring is a busy time for the Black Grouse as they vie for females with their fabulous displays on the lek sites. You’d have to be up very early to catch this, but they roost in the trees so you may see them during the day as well.
An early nester is the Crossbill, which is not easy to see, but the female will be feeding chicks so keep quiet and your eyes peeled. They have quite heavy heads, and their unique crossed beak gives them the appearance of a parrot.
The river valleys will be filled with the sound of courting Oyster Catcher, Lapwing and Curlew. Many other birds will be arriving back from wintering away; look out for House Martins, Swallows, and Swifts. Listen out for Cuckoos as well; when did you hear your first one this year?
The first butterflies to be seen in spring are the majestic Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, and the small Green Hairstreak, which has fantastic, metallic green under-wings.
Many woodland plants are in flower now, making the most of the light before the tree canopy closes for the summer. In particular look out for Wood Sorrel, Wood Anemone, and Dog Violet.