By May Bluebells and Wild Garlic take centre stage,and there are lovely walks to be had through shady woodlands and along sparkling rivers enjoying the scent and the spectacle and the welcome return of colour to the countryside. Brock Valley has gentle riverside walks through woodlands carpeted with bluebells and wild garlic, later on after flowering, when the leaves of the wild garlic are dying back, the smell of garlic is amazing! Calder valley and the woodlands around Arnside and Silverdale also put on spectacular displays of spring flowers.
Late April and May sees the welcome return of swifts, swallows and house martins that make good use of the nesting sites provided by Lancashires many old stone farm buildings and hawk for insects over fields and rivers.
Lancashire has miles of traditionally laid hawthorn hedges that can bloom profusely in May, filling the air with their burn't honey smell. Rowan flowers now, often alongside roads in upland areas. Horse chestnuts large white flower spikes are open too. In mixed hedgerows look out for the big flat guelder rose flowers.
Stoats and Weasels are busy with young and are often seen scurrying manically across country lanes and squeezing through tiny holes in drystone walls sometimes sticking their heads back out to glare at you.
As the weather warms up look out for Common wasp and Red-tailed bumblebee queens searching for new sites to establish their colonies. These mated queens are the first wasps and bees to emerge and are a very welcome sign of spring. Ladybirds are coming out of hibernation too, easily seen sunning themselves or mating and laying eggs timed to make the most of the greenfly bonanza to come.
On higher ground birds such as Meadow Pipits, Larks and Wheatears are arriving to claim territories and establish nesting sites. In the Bowland area if you are lucky you may catch sight of a male Hen Harier males passing food to his mate.
Living With Mammals – urban mammal survey April and June each year