Butterflies: March 2014
A Small Tortoiseshell was nectaring on dandelions in the Middle Field and a Peacock flew over the car park on the 5th and on the 9th the first Red Admiral of the season was at Restharrow and at least a dozen Small Tortoiseshells and four Peacocks testified to the warm, sunny conditions. On the 10th our first Comma of the year was nectaring on plum blossom on the Observatory track and another Red Admiral was on New Downs. As the warm weather continued at least 24 Small Tortoiseshells were counted on New Downs on the 18th, representing the largest early spring emergence since 1992, when over 30 were counted on the Estate in April, and the unusually large numbers of hibernated Red Admirals continued on the 19th when three were seen along the Green Wall, though a Comma along Worth track on the 24th was only the second of spring. Things became quieter until the end of the month when a Red Admiral flew strongly N across the North Stream on the 28th and a lovely spring day on the 30th brought our first Speckled Wood and 2 Small Whites.