As for finding the time to pen pieces like the above, Mary; most of the work I have to do on a computer is repetitive drudgery and it's a relief to spend an hour or so doing something a little bit creative. As for anyone reading it..........as I've mentioned before, this website has required a phenomenal effort to set up by Peter and it's a pity more people, members and non-members alike, don't use this part of it more to share their sightings.
As for this particular week, a huge high pressure system settled across the country, deflecting the jet stream to the north, the result being seven days of glorious sunshine and exceptional temperatures, the latter approaching twice the national average (10-12`C at this time of year) on several days. It seemed almost unnatural, my mind getting way ahead of itself by seeking out Cuckoos and Nightingales long before they are due. I had to keep dragging it back to reality - a reality, however, that did include a small number of spring butterflies - Peacock, Brimstone, Small Tortiseshell and Comma among them. Rob Smith, the butterfly recorder tells me that there have been a few sightings of Red Admiral, Small and Green-veined White in the past week and even an exceptionally early sighting of a Holly Blue in Cambridgeshire. The garden has been full of Dark-edged Bee Flies (to give them their proper name) and there have also been a few Drone and Marmalade Flies (the latter pictured) and the long-tongued bee Anthophora plumipes, the ♂♂ of which are brown and the ♀♀ black. A fourth bumblebee species also turned up,Bombus pratorum, known as the Early Bumblebee, only this one was late! Finally, the cold, clear nights that followed the warm days seem to have held the moths in check, though, but I did catch a fine Oak Beauty.
Elsewhere, 16- and 14-spot Ladybirds have been emerging from the rotting base of fence posts at Blue House, where they winter, often hundreds to a post, while Common Lizards were sunning themselves at Mill Green on 19th and a Grass Snake, still dopey from its winter sleep, at The Backwarden on 24th.