The month of March witnesses a real awakening of the natural world. Wild flowers brave the chill and the tide of insects begins to rise as days lengthen and the sun's rays warm the earth.

Migrant birds are beginning to fly in. Probably the first to be heard will be the chiffchaff, its apt name echoing his distinctive dual call, constantly repeated. Next in line should be the willow warbler, its sweet rather lisping cadence of a song emanating from dense scrub.

Birds are trading places now for as migrants fly in, so overwintering species such as redwings and fieldfares leave our shores.

Queen wasps buzz at open windows in early morning, seeking places in which to begin nest building while ladybirds, especially alien harlequins these days awake from hiding places behind curtains and crevices, often many together having huddled in groups during winter.

On 5th March, the sun shone endlessly and temperatures rose to balmy summer levels. Perfect skylark weather I thought so went to Richmond park and sure enough, several larks rose to sing briefly, one pair of males sparring over territory. What a wonderful treat to hear skylarks singing after enduring cold sunless days for so long. Who could fail to be enthralled by such iconic songsters in full voice in idyllic surroundings.

That solitary sunny pseudo-summer day followed by stimulating rain was enough to set frogs a'wooing and on 7th March spawning began, just before winter returned for another cold blast.