With this in mind make sure you keep an eye out for nests if working in your garden – it can be easy to accidentally damage or destroy them, especially when hedge trimming. Birds naturally try to keep their nests secret so they are not always easy to spot!
Keep an eye out for ducklings in particular as mallards often can’t seem to wait for the spring and start the breeding process early in the year. If you consider that the female takes at least two weeks to lay her large clutch of eggs and then incubates them for four weeks, to have ducklings in March she got off to a flying start in January, possibly during the heavy snow!
Watch out for hedgehogs, bats, and on warmer days, butterflies too. Hedgehogs will be on the lookout for slugs, beetles, caterpillars and snails. You could help them by supplying an alternative to their natural food. A small dish of meaty kitten or puppy food will go down a treat but remember to avoid milk and give them plain water as well. Other wildlife such as frogs, toads and newts will also be active and if you have a garden pond you may already have spotted frog and toad spawn, great signs that we really are heading towards spring.