Spotting an orange-tip butterfly in your garden is a true sign of spring. “I was pleased to get the male orange-tip with its wings open as they are not always so co-operative,” says Andrew Dearjrdin, who captured this resplendent image of one feeding on his grape hyacinths.
One of the rarer sights of the season is the striking-looking hoopoe, which sometimes arrives in the UK after overshooting its migration to southern Europe. Amy Lewis was lucky enough to see three on a recent camping trip to the Isles of Scilly: “A magical experience all to myself, and one I’ll never forget.”
Among the springtime animal baby boom are wild boar piglets, like this alert individual photographed by Scott Passmore who lives in the Forest of Dean.”The Spring always brings the prime breeding season and we often see piglets or 'humbugs' as they are named locally because of their stripy appearance,” he says, adding he is “privileged” to share the forest with many wildlife species.
A woodland walk in April might lead you to one of the UK’s most magical spectacles: a carpet of delicate, vividly-coloured bluebells. Vicki Gibbon captured this whimsical scene at Polesden Lacey National Trust site in Surrey. She adds: “As far as I can tell the bluebells are native and not the Spanish variety.”
Sarah Walters captured these bountiful blackthorn blossoms on a hedge between ancient woodland and new woods she planted at Alvecote Wood near Tamworth, which she owns and manages for local wildlife and communities. “[The blackthrorn] is on the sunny side of the woods, and has burst into blossom very spectacularly this year. We hope we will get some sloes to make jam and sloe gin later in the year.”
After waiting for an hour to see if any badgers appeared during a sunny evening in Aberdeen, Gordon Grieve was rewarded when this fine-looking individual emerged snuffling around for food.
“What a nightmare being a mother in charge of 13 ducklings,” exclaims Steve Maskell, who photographed this duck family outing on the River Avon in Salisbury. “The mother duck was taking great care to keep the ducklings under cover and along the margin of the river, as nearby there were two lesser black-backed gulls perched.”
This mallard chick’s unusual colouration stood out to Gary Gray, who photographed this fluffy character at WWT (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) London. A total of 25 chicks were sharing the pool with two female mallards, recalls Mr Gray. With a heron nearby, he says he was worried about the chick being targeted by predators “as it stood out like a sore thumb” but seemed to be safe for the time being at least.
Simon Farr snapped this delightful image of gambolling lambs at a farm in Dunton, Essex. “I had been watching these little fellows for a while, when after chasing each other, they all climbed onto this mound,” he says. “The middle lamb just ‘took off’, giving me the ideal composition for my shot. I used a reasonably fast shutter speed to keep them sharp.”
“This was taken at golden hour on Saturday near my home in south Somerset,” says Sarah Brooks, who took this magnificent image of a rapeseed field in full bloom. “I love how spring paints the land with its vivid brush, awakening the earth with its dazzling colour.”
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