Celebrate nature this spring!

Spring is a magical time here in Scotland. As the evenings get longer our gardens, greenspaces and countryside are transformed in an explosion of colour as trees come into bud, flowers begin to bloom and (fingers crossed of course) the sun shines.

From the sounds of the dawn chorus once again filling the early morning to the screams of swifts at dusk spring feels like a real celebration of nature exploding back into life. Seabirds return to the cliffs around our coast creating a cacophonous racket as they greet their returning mates and squabble over ledges for nests. Swallows zip through the skies once again and dart about catching insects. Bumblebees buzz away in tree blossom and flowers collecting nectar. It’s a great time to be outdoors exploring!

If it’s a walk through your local park or a day in the mountains there’s so much to see and listen out for, and over the next month there’s festivals and events taking place across the country celebrating Scotland’s outstanding wildlife.

There’s family fun to be had at our Loch Lomond and Loch Leven reserves. At this time of year keep your ears alert for the calls of wood warblers and redstarts at Loch Lomond and enjoy the glorious smell of the wildflowers in bloom. At Loch Leven lapwings will be tumbling through the air doing their display flights, and you may be lucky enough to see the elaborate courtship display of great crested grebes.  

Come mid May you’re spoilt for choice for ways to discover more about the wildlife found in Scotland with three big nature events taking place.

We’re taking part in Coll Bird Festival with guided walks and seabird safaris. This island is one of the places that corncrakes migrate to in Scotland, and spring is when you’re most likely to see these elusive birds. Related to moorhens and coots they spend the winter months in Africa and the males make a distinctive rasping call. 

Our Loch Garten and Insh Marshes reserves are both holding events as part of the Cairngorms Nature BIG Weekend. Ospreys are one of the star species to see up here - you can watch EJ and Odin on their nest from the osprey centre at Loch Garten and also look out for more of these magnificent birds overhead at Insh Marshes as they fly en route to their fishing patches. Insh Marshes is one of the most important wetlands in Europe so look out for lapwings, redshanks and curlews if you take a spring time stroll along the nature trails.  

There’s also a weeklong celebration further north with Orkney Nature Festival. These islands are amazing places for wildlife. You can hear skylarks singing, spot guillemots on a cliff top walk and might even spot the orcas that start appearing in the Orkney waters from May.  

If you’ve been inspired by these festivities but aren’t able to make it along to them why not pay a visit to your local RSPB Scotland reserve? There are almost 80 of them dotted across the country so you can take your pick and get out exploring springtime Scotland!