For frogspawn to be laid in mid-April is most unusual but that is what occurred in my pond and elsewhere.

The first spawning took place on 7th March but thereafter the big chill descended for almost six weeks keeping paired frogs comatose on the pond bottom until now, when temperatures rose by several degrees. Then, steady rain oxygenated the water and set the amphibians off again albeit much later than usual as spawn is normally laid from early February or even earlier in the West Country.

The exceptionally cold March and early April delayed for over a month most springtime activities in the natural world. The dawn chorus that began in February virtually ceased temporarily. My local songthrush has not performed since but happily my chaffinch (pictured), has remained loyal and is singing once more as are two rival blackbirds and a wren, all commencing at 5 AM. Buds on trees are only just unfurling but all has suddenly changed at temperatures have risen.

On 14th April brimstone butterflies made the most of the sudden welcome warm sunshine and I counted twelve of the sulphur-yellow males in fifteen minutes during a drive through rural Surrey.

Pond skaters are performing and fish are on the move. Bumble bees fuss around pussy willow catkins and search for nesting holes in the ground as queen wasps chew pence posts for pulp making. Skylarks sing, green woodpeckers 'yaffle', nuthatches utter loud piping calls and birds are hyper-active.

Suddenly there are emerging vibrant colours of blossom and an increase in natural sounds and sights as spring finally, if belatedly arrives to cheers us.