Trevor Theobald from Spittal in the far west of Wales reports to us frog spawn yesterday, the 5th Feb.
He’s certainly in the right place for it because south, west and mid Wales are traditionally amongst the earliest places in Britain for frogs to spawn.
UPDATE: Neil has pointed to another record, on the WildAboutBritain forum, from Cornwall, also yesterday here.
UPDATED AGAIN: And an even earlier one – here on Nature’s Calendar.
See the maps below: one produced by Maxwell Savage 50 years ago and a more recent one based on modern recording (which also indicates that spawning is getting a bit earlier too).
Contour maps (a) from Savage (1961) showing the date of first appearance (day of year) of frogspawn for the period 1938–1947, and in colour (the lower map) updated showing the date of first appearance (day of year) of frogspawn for the period 1998–2007. ‘Day number’ refers to the days after January 1st. The coloured map is from this paper. If you want a full copy of the paper, e-mail the authors who will (usually) send you one free of charge if its for a serious, non-profit use.
So, can anyone beat 5th February?