16 Jan 2015

16 Jan 15 - Is It Spring Yet?

Today, the forecast was for light, but steady, rain for most of the morning with it clearing up for the afternoon. About 09:00 it was overcast, but that cleared later into the morning to leave a great mild, sunny day & crucially little wind. So a lot better than forecast. It felt very Spring like from late morning onwards in the sun. Early afternoon saw me heading out to Greenlands Farm area of Studland in the hope of adding Fieldfare to the Studland/Ballard Down patch year list (which I did with a flock of 12). But as I walked along the track leading to Greenlands Farm, I bumped into my first Butterfly of the year, flying around & sitting in the sun.
Peacock: A regular overwintering species which can appear on the right conditions before resuming its hibernation
This was my second earliest UK Butterfly. My earliest is a Red Admiral in the nearby Rempstone Forest on 11 Jan 13 which is another regular over-wintering species. Unfortunately, about 2 hours later from seeing the Peacock, the weather started to change to overcast conditions with a cold wind getting up. Hopefully, the Peacock was back in a warm roost spot by that time.

This year has also seen my earliest Bumblebee, when I had a Bumblebee fly through the garden on the 6 Jan without stopping. This beat my earliest previous record of a Bumblebee sp at Swineham on 26 Jan 13 by nearly three weeks. Is it Spring yet?