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Spring

The first butterflies to be seen on the wing are those that have survived the winter, including Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone. Sometimes they can be seen on a sunny day as early as February. The first butterflies to emerge from their chrysalis, however, are Orange-tip and Holly Blue, both of which only occur in small numbers on the reserve. Later in the spring Common Blue butterflies emerge – they and the Holly Blue have two generations a year – as well as Small Heath, which populate the grasslands in large numbers, and Small Copper.

Silver-studded Blue caterpillars, which are green with a black stripe along its back, usually hatch in April/May and can be seen attended by ants if you are very observant.

March also sees the start of the arrival of migrant birds from overseas. One of the first to arrive here is the Chiff-chaff, which derives its name from its two-note song. Other migrants such as Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat arrive soon after. Wheatear may be seen as they pass through, but they don’t breed here. Resident songbirds which are common in gardens can also be heard as the males sing to attract a female, as well as less common species such as Yellowhammer and Linnet.

April is a good month to spot Common Lizards as they move around the reserve to find a mate.