Nature Notes March 2021

Total monthly rainfall: 55.5 millimetres. Maximum daily rainfall: 18 millimetres (4th March).

Rain fell on eleven days of the month, and there were 20 days with 100% cloud cover for at least part of the day.

Maximum temperature on the warmest days was 23°C on March 30th and 31st. Maximum temperature on the coldest days was 7°C on 4th and 5th March. An unpleasant wind-chill occurred on the five days from the 7th to 12th March.


The cool cloudy weather meant that it was late in the month before spring wildflowers came into bloom. On the 25th cuckoo flower and marsh marigold appeared beside the lake, to be followed on the 29th by English bluebells in the wood and snake’s head fritillary by the garden pond. Ground ivy on the 31st completed our monthly tally of 5 flowers, bringing our 2021 total so far to 17.

Butterflies and moths were in short supply again this month. On March 29th Susan spotted a male brimstone butterfly in the garden, while on the 31st we found a peacock butterfly along the woodland edge. This is our second butterfly of the year. On the 15th we found a shoulder stripe moth indoors, bringing our yearly moth total to 5.

Other insects included a red-tailed bumblebee lakeside on the 15th, a bee-fly on lesser celandine (25th), and a 7-spot ladybird lakeside on the 27th.

Other creatures we recorded were many small black spiders among dead leaves beside a reptile shelter next to our back woodland pond (9th), plus 3 wood-mice and a common shrew beneath reptile shelters along the woodland ride (22nd March).


During the month there were many signs of the progress of spring among our trees and shrubs:

Buds started to open on some of the hawthorn on March 5th, dog rose on the 9th, hornbeam (25th), field maple and wild cherry (30th), and horse chestnut (31st).

New leaves started to appear on some elder on the 2nd, hawthorn and dog rose (14th).
Catkins were producing pollen by the 15th on goat willow, and by the 20th on poplar.

Blossom appeared on blackthorn by the 21st, and on wild cherry by the 31st.