Orange Tip (photographed in May 2009) by Ian Hodgson

Orange Tip (photographed in May 2009) by Ian Hodgson

Despite a rather sluggish start (we’re talking about early March, after all) it turned out to be a notably early start to the season. Our first Comma appeared in the Elms on the 14th and on the 15th a Small White was seen near Royal St.George’s golf club; the earliest record at the Bay by four days. Despite a chill wind, 2 male Orange Tips were fluttering along the sheltered and warm southern edge of the Great Wood on Worth on the 21st; a remarkably early date for this species at the Bay, which has never previously been recorded before March 30th. As several days of cold easterlies finally abated on the 27th a Green-veined White was seen along the Green Wall and the next day a pristine Holly Blue was seen on Worth; the first ever March record at the Bay and the earliest by three days. Not long after on the same day, a Large White was seen in the Haven, which is the earliest at the Bay by nearly two weeks! 3 Speckled Woods were dancing about tin the Elms on the 29th.