Photos of the month: May

Martha Boalch, 11/06/2018

The last of the late spring flowers

Your top first flower spotted was oxeye daisy with 72 records. A few garlic mustard and cuckooflower have also been trailing in. Our next first flowering event is ivy, so keep your eyes peeled from August onwards.

ox eye daisy

Oxeye daisy, Mary Kerby

oxeye daisy

Oxeye daisy, Elizabeth de Quidt

garlic mustard

Garlic Mustard, Peter Gordon Smith

cuckoo flower

Cuckooflower, Peter Ford

Showy shrubs

Hawthorn’s alternative common name is May because that’s when it flowers. So it’s no surprise that your top flowering shrub was hawthorn. You sent in 152 records of hawthorn first flowering in May.


Hawthorn flower, Dave Helliar

Hawthorn flower

Hawthorn flower, Trevor Stephenson


Hawthorn flower, Mary Kerby

Also brought on by the good weather are elder flowers attracting insects and foragers alike. Records for dog rose and lilac blooms are also coming in.

elder flowers

Elder flowers, Alan Moody

dog rose

Dog rose, Peter Gibbings


Lilac first flower, Bianca Emberson


Lilac, Marika Szarbo

Terrific trees

You’ve been busy spotting 62 first ash leaf events. There are still some horse chestnuts showing off their white and pink blossoms.

Ash first leaf, Gillian Osborne


Ash, Catriona Logan

horse chestnut

Horse chestnut, Andrew Penny

horse chestnut

Horse chestnut first flower, Peter Gordon smith

Breeding birds

We’ve received so many fantastic photographs of nest boxes crammed full of young life. And along with these, 70 records of blue tits first feeding their young.  

Blue tit feeding young, Kay Shaw

Blue tit nest box, Joanne Farrier

Blue tit nest box, Sheila Blair

Blue tit nest box, Jo Parksinson

We received 31 records of first blackbird juveniles. Plus this beautiful whitethroat (first seen) in full song. We even have a photo of house martin in the nest.

blackbird juvenile

Blackbird juvenile, Caroline Hooper

blackbird juvenile

First blackbird juvenile, David Stevens


First whitethroat, Liz Bracken

house martin

House martins, Stephen Mulford

Find out more about blackbirds.

Beautiful butterflies

There are some stunning shots of your first seen butterflies. We received 142 first seen records of the wonderful orange tip. 

Orange tip, Emma Price

Feamle orange tip, Mary Kerby

Orange tip feeding, Peter Ford

Orange tip caterpillars feed on cuckooflower and garlic mustard and other cabbage family members. So look out for females around these plants looking for a place to lay eggs.


Comma, Clare Eaton


Coma, Peter Ford

holly blue

Holly blue, Dave Helliar

red admiral

Red admiral, Mary Kerby

Still to come…

I had an absolute riot rifling through all your wonderful pictures of spring. Keep the records coming as we go through summer. And please keep your eyes open for more species to come: grass flowers (Yorkshire fog and timothy), bramble first ripe fruit and rowan first ripe fruit.

Thank you to all our recorders. Every record helps scientists discover more about how UK wildlife is responding to a changing climate.

And a last look...

meadow foxtail

Meadow foxtail, Angela Taylor

red tailed bumble bee

Red-tailed bumble bee, Rohit Bangay

field maple flower

Field maple flowers, Valerie Hill. We do not record these as they are rather inconspicuous...but very beautiful.

sycamore flowers

Sycamore flowers, Valerie Hill. These are also lovely but not on our recording list.

Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

Have you seen your first butterfly or swallow of the spring? Is it a good year for wild autumn fruits? Take part in Nature's Calendar and help scientists to monitor the effects of climate change on wildlife.

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