What to discover for this season
Every puddle, tarnlet and ditch up in the hills will be strewn with this gelatinous wonder soon, if not already. Yet given a few weeks, as some of those puddles dry in the spring sunshine, much spawn will perish as it dries out and is eaten by birds unable to resist a free, protein-rich snack. Did you know that the tadpoles won’t mature into frogs until the following year in upland environs?
A lover of grassy level ridges and fell tops, this little bird stirs jubilance in your heart. On stubby triangular wings they carry themselves up to the limit of visibility (for us), then break into a hover and pour forth their joyous song, I always feel like they are singing for Britain! While wild camping, I’ve witnessed them rise before dawn to greet the sun. One of nature’s alarm clocks at this time of year, it’s a ground nester, so be careful where you tread.
At this time of year, ravens are seen up in the high, craggy mountains. The largest member of the crow family, ravens are easily recognisable from their smaller cousins. The head and neck protrude quite far from the long wings, the tail is wedge shaped and if one flies close by, you’ll hear its wing beats. The bill is a straight, black dagger with bristles at its base. “Kronk, kronk” is their main call. Look for their acrobatic flight, flipping onto their backs for a short time, plunging down crag faces.