What to look for - Nature's calendar > Spring > What to look for in May (167) More files...
May is for many the most glorious month in the British countryside. Majestic oak trees are now in full leaf, the hawthorn is a riot of blossom (inspiring the "darling buds of May" of Shakespeare's sonnet), and cow parsley flowers in hedgerows and meadows. Many butterflies and dragonflies are on the wing, mayflies live their brief day of adult life and the maybug or cockchafer is also on the wing at dusk. This year the bluebells have been spectacular in May after a very cool April held them back. Birds - including the nightingale - are in full song, displaying and feeding young. Wood warblers and pied flycatchers can be seen in upland oakwoods, waders and grouse are breeding on moorlands, and seabird colonies are at their busiest, with huge numbers of terns, gulls, gannets and auks flying to and from their nests. Roe deer fawns are born during this month, while foxes are feeding their cubs on the healthy populations of young rabbits. Dolphins may be seen frolicking in the surf of the Moray Firth and Cardigan Bay, while cuttlefish lay their eggs in the warm waters along the English Channel.
RF- Backlit Fern (Philotum) growing among bluebells (Endymion nonscriptus). Lanhydrock, Cornwall, UK. May. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty free.) - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / RF- Backlit Fern (Philotum) growing among bluebells (Endymion nonscriptus). Lanhydrock, Cornwall, UK. May. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty free.)
Badger (Meles meles) foraging in bark. Scotland, May. - Peter Cairns
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Peter Cairns / Badger (Meles meles) foraging in bark. Scotland, May.
A couple relaxing amongst bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) in springtime woodland, Upper Soudley, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, May. - Nick Turner
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Nick Turner / A couple relaxing amongst bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) in springtime woodland, Upper Soudley, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, May.
European Badger (Meles meles) in bluebells. UK, Europe, May. - Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / European Badger (Meles meles) in bluebells. UK, Europe, May.
RF- Bluebell carpet (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) among beech trees (Fagus sylvatica). West Woods, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK. May. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty f... - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / RF- Bluebell carpet (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) among beech trees (Fagus sylvatica). West Woods, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK. May. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty f...
Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) flowering in oakwood, Perthshire, Scotland, UK, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) flowering in oakwood, Perthshire, Scotland, UK, May
Bluebells (Endymion non-scriptus) flowering, Perthshire, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Bluebells (Endymion non-scriptus) flowering, Perthshire, Scotland, May
Green-veined white butterfly (Artogeia / Pieris napi) with wings closed, resting on bluebell. Lanhydrock, Cornwall, UK, May - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / Green-veined white butterfly (Artogeia / Pieris napi) with wings closed, resting on bluebell. Lanhydrock, Cornwall, UK, May
Orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) resting on bramble leaf, Ross-shire, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) resting on bramble leaf, Ross-shire, Scotland, May
Mayfly (Ephemera danica) newly emerged adult. Surrey, England, May. - Adrian Davies
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Adrian Davies / Mayfly (Ephemera danica) newly emerged adult. Surrey, England, May.
Mayfly (Ephemera danica). Cast case of subimago, or dun. Surrey, England, May. - Adrian Davies
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Adrian Davies / Mayfly (Ephemera danica). Cast case of subimago, or dun. Surrey, England, May.
Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly (Libellula depressa) male resting on reeds Cornwall, UK, May - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / Broad-bodied chaser dragonfly (Libellula depressa) male resting on reeds Cornwall, UK, May
Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) on Cowslip (Primula veris) in flower. Surrey, UK, May. - Kim Taylor
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Kim Taylor / Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages) on Cowslip (Primula veris) in flower. Surrey, UK, May.
Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) male displaying at a lek. UK, Europe, May. - Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) male displaying at a lek. UK, Europe, May.
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) male preening, UK, May - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) male preening, UK, May
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) male bathing, UK, May - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) male bathing, UK, May
Puffins (Fratercula arctica) pair take off together to go fishing. Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Puffins (Fratercula arctica) pair take off together to go fishing. Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, May.
Puffin (Fratercula arctica) looking above grass bank. Skomer Island, Wales, UK, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Puffin (Fratercula arctica) looking above grass bank. Skomer Island, Wales, UK, May.
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) pair mating. Hertfordshire, England, May. - Andy Sands
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Andy Sands / Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) pair mating. Hertfordshire, England, May.
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima) male bathing in pool, Lincolnshire, UK, May - Andy Sands
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Andy Sands / Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima) male bathing in pool, Lincolnshire, UK, May
Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) singing portrait, Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May. - Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) singing portrait, Saltee Islands, Republic of Ireland, May.
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citinella) male in flight, Norfolk, UK, May - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Yellowhammer (Emberiza citinella) male in flight, Norfolk, UK, May
Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) male singing in willow tree, Roxburghshire, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) male singing in willow tree, Roxburghshire, Scotland, May
Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) male singing. Wales, May. Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use. - Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) male singing. Wales, May. Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.
Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) perched on top of hawthorn hedge, Berwickshire, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) perched on top of hawthorn hedge, Berwickshire, Scotland, May
Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) feeding in a garden. Perthshire, Scotland, May . - Fergus Gill
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Fergus Gill / Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) feeding in a garden. Perthshire, Scotland, May .
Common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) adult perched, singing, Cambridgeshire, UK, April. Photographer quote: 'Nightingales are more renowned for the beauty of their song than their looks. You are... - Chris Gomersall / 2020VISION
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Chris Gomersall / 2020VISION / Common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) adult perched, singing, Cambridgeshire, UK, April. Photographer quote: 'Nightingales are more renowned for the beauty of their song than their looks. You are...
Adult female Eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) raising wings in breeding habitat on upland plateau of Grampian mountains, Cairngorms NP, Scotland, UK, May 2011 - Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION
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Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION / Adult female Eurasian dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) raising wings in breeding habitat on upland plateau of Grampian mountains, Cairngorms NP, Scotland, UK, May 2011
Avocet (Recurvirostra avocetta) in flight over reedbed. Norfolk, UK, May. - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Avocet (Recurvirostra avocetta) in flight over reedbed. Norfolk, UK, May.
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) perched on branch stretching wing, Dorset, UK, May. - Colin Varndell
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Colin Varndell / Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) perched on branch stretching wing, Dorset, UK, May.
Greylag goose (Anser anser) adult landing on water, Scotland, UK, May 2010 - Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION
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Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION / Greylag goose (Anser anser) adult landing on water, Scotland, UK, May 2010
Reedbeds at dawn with Coot (Fulica atra) in mist, Lakenheath Fen RSPB Reserve, Suffolk, UK, May. 2020VISION Book Plate. - Terry Whittaker / 2020VISION
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Terry Whittaker / 2020VISION / Reedbeds at dawn with Coot (Fulica atra) in mist, Lakenheath Fen RSPB Reserve, Suffolk, UK, May. 2020VISION Book Plate.
Mute swan (Cygnus olor) female with newly hatched cygnet, Yetholm Loch Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve, Roxburghshire, Scotland, May 2008 - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) female with newly hatched cygnet, Yetholm Loch Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve, Roxburghshire, Scotland, May 2008
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) vixen walking in the morning light (captive). Lifton, Devon, UK, May - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) vixen walking in the morning light (captive). Lifton, Devon, UK, May
European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) adult stretching on fringes of a field of rapeseed. Hope Farm RSPB reserve, Cambridgeshire, UK, May, sequence 4/4. Did you know? Brown hares are not native to Bri... - Andrew Parkinson / 2020VISION
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Andrew Parkinson / 2020VISION / European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) adult stretching on fringes of a field of rapeseed. Hope Farm RSPB reserve, Cambridgeshire, UK, May, sequence 4/4. Did you know? Brown hares are not native to Bri...
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) cub amongst Buttercups (Ranunculus sp) UK, May. Captive - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) cub amongst Buttercups (Ranunculus sp) UK, May. Captive
Juveniles European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Midlothian, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Juveniles European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Midlothian, Scotland, May
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) vixen, portrait in the morning light (captive). Lifton, Devon, UK, May - Ross Hoddinott
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Ross Hoddinott / Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) vixen, portrait in the morning light (captive). Lifton, Devon, UK, May
Brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in an arable field, Scotland, UK, May 2010. Did you know? The European brown hare is the fastest land mammal in the UK. - Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION
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Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION / Brown hare (Lepus europaeus) in an arable field, Scotland, UK, May 2010. Did you know? The European brown hare is the fastest land mammal in the UK.
Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) buck jumping high through field of wheat (Triticum sp.) at sunset, Berkshire, England, UK, May - Bertie Gregory / 2020VISION
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Bertie Gregory / 2020VISION / Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) buck jumping high through field of wheat (Triticum sp.) at sunset, Berkshire, England, UK, May
Semi habituated female Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) lying on favourite scatching log, living wild in native oakwood,~Lochaber, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Semi habituated female Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) lying on favourite scatching log, living wild in native oakwood,~Lochaber, Scotland, May
Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (Geranium molle) in flower. Sussex, UK, May. - Simon Colmer
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Simon Colmer / Dove's-foot Crane's-bill (Geranium molle) in flower. Sussex, UK, May.
Common dog violet (Viola riviniana) flowers, Argyll, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Common dog violet (Viola riviniana) flowers, Argyll, Scotland, May
Wild garlic / Ramsons (Allium ursinum) flowering, Berwickshire, Scotland, May - Laurie Campbell
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Laurie Campbell / Wild garlic / Ramsons (Allium ursinum) flowering, Berwickshire, Scotland, May
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) flowering in farm hedgerow, UK, May - Ernie Janes
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Ernie Janes / Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) flowering in farm hedgerow, UK, May
Harestail cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum) growing on bog moorland, Scotland, UK, May - Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION
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Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION / Harestail cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum) growing on bog moorland, Scotland, UK, May
Ragged robin (Silene flos-cuculi) flowers in meadow, UK, May - Steve Nicholls
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Steve Nicholls / Ragged robin (Silene flos-cuculi) flowers in meadow, UK, May
Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula) flowering, ~Hollingbury Ring, Brighton, Sussex, UK, May - Simon Colmer
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Simon Colmer / Early Purple Orchids (Orchis mascula) flowering, ~Hollingbury Ring, Brighton, Sussex, UK, May
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