The recent rapid transition from deep freeze winter to warm sunny springlike weather triggered a wealth of activity from wildlife seemingly waiting in the wings for such an event.

Burgeoning birdsong serenaded us with dunnocks, chaffinches, goldcrests and thrushes especially vocal.

Blue and great tits busily explored nest boxes; a pair of crows began repairing their nest a hundred yards from my garden and black headed gulls were regaining their chocolate brown heads.

I was treated to a fascinating short sharp few minutes of great spotted woodpecker territorial dispute and courtship ritual.

Five woodpeckers flew rapidly around a tree belt chasing one another then stopping to drum on tree trunks of varying hollow structure, with each tree resonating in a range of echoes from high-pitched to low, sounding like a wooden xylophone being played in an orchestra.

One day there was no sign of frogs then as temperatures rapidly rose and a little rain fell, there they were, croaking, thrashing about, the males grabbing females as they returned to my pond.

Crocus and daffodils flowered almost overnight along with silvery, silken pussy willow (pictured) while buds on trees began to swell and take on a green tint.

Brimstone, red admiral, comma and peacock butterflies emerged from hibernation to explore nectar sources and I saw my first butterfly, a small tortoiseshell, very scarce these days feeding from snowdrops.