March in the Cairngorms

March has been a month of firsts. First spring arrival, first flowers appearing, first day of spring. It has been mild most of the month and the birds are getting into their dawn choruses as we head into breeding season. The clocks have jumped an hour forward, seeing the start of the lighter longer days. Though we start April not being able to explore and enjoy the outdoors as much as we may like, there are still things we can be looking out for.

Frog Spawn
Common Frog
Common Toad

If you have a pond, shallow stream or just a small pool of water in the garden, you might be lucky enough to see toads or frogs. They are busy laying their spawn and croaking to attract mates. In the Cairngorms we have noticed the first of the frog spawn. Out on a recent walk I had to watch my footing as Toads and Frogs were covering the path in front. Well camouflaged against grass and soil, if you’re out near water remember to look down. If you would like to learn how to identify the difference between a toad and frogs, read our previous blog.

Perfect habitat for Meadow Pipit

Now that we are leaving March behind us, we are starting to notice a few new spring arrivals. The first Chiffchaff have been heard, Osprey have been seen and we hope to welcome many more migratory birds in the coming days and weeks. If you live near moorland, you may have already noticed the return the meadow pipit. Often sitting on top of telephone wires or trees as they start to display, using their wings like parachutes as they climb high before drifting downwards.

Meadow Pipit (Colin Scott)
Northern Egger moth caterpillar

If you haven’t already, please follow us on our facebook page, the link can be found through our website. We are continuing to do daily live videos from our guides local patches, to bring bird song into people’s homes who may not be able to go out and enjoy It themselves. Many of our guides are lucky enough to live in remote areas and for other this could just include their kitchen windows or garden.