With the warmer weather, we have seen the first butterflies emerging in the woods, as well as the first dragonflies and damselflies. The first spotted on the wing were brimstones, but we now have good numbers of green-veined whites, orange-tip, speckled wood, large white and small white, as well as the rather dusty and ageing peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma which overwintered as adults.
The large red damselflies were the first to emerge, but in the last few days we have also seen azure damselflies coming out, and the first two female broad-bodied chaser dragonflies.
We are also delighted to report a good patch of violet growing in the woods, which we hope will be food plants for the caterpillars of silver-washed fritillary – this butterfly is moving our way, and we have ideal habitat for it. Fingers crossed!
The bluebells are also stunning at the moment – just past their peak, but still putting on a fantastic show. They look particularly wonderful when growing together with clumps of white stitchwort. Red campion is now in flower as well as the first ragged robin near our ponds, and the buttercups are just starting to come out.
The woods are in full leaf now, and the acid-green colours of spring are just wonderful to behold. It all looks quite magical in the evening light.