March 2022

Spring arrived with a blast of sunshine this month in Bristol, with long spells of continuous sunny weather.

27th March 2022

March is really the last chance to make changes to the garden before wildlife returns on mass and the sunny weather offered opportunities to get a few jobs done. Weeding of the dandelions, bittercress and docks continued, whilst our second attempt at wildflower enhancement got underway (click HERE to view our progress).

As we head into spring, listing all the firsts of the year will probably become a bit onerous, however we will continue to update the species list with the first dates recorded as usual. However some highlights being the first flowering of Marsh Marigold (19th March), that hoverfly favourite Green Alkanet (24th March) and the Californian Lilac (26th March).

Marsh Marigold 23rd March 2022

Of course come the flowers, come the invertebrates. On the 22nd we recorded our first Red Admiral butterfly, followed on the 23rd by our first Peacock and the 26th by a very early Speckled Wood. But beating all of these was the Brimstone Butterfly, a regular visitor each year but somehow overlooked on our species list, so technically recorded for the first time on the 12th.

Brimstone Butterfly 12th March 2022

During the second half of the month we have been amazed with the numbers of Buff-tailed bumblebee queens searching for potential nesting sites. Our first record was on the 17th but from then on, at least until the weather turned grey on the 29th, we would see new individuals every half an hour or so.

Buff-tail bumblebee Queen 27th March 2022

Other inverts recorded included a solitary Rose Chafer, Common Wasps (at this time of year likely queens) and two moth species, Emmelina monodactyla and the larva of a Scarlet Tiger moth.

26th March 2022

We were also glad to see Flower Crab Spiders are still very much resident. In fact we’ve seen three or four this month and it was great to finally get a photo of the male (right below), which as you can see is totally different to the female (left below, taken in 2021).

We had great fun this month when for the first time in over a decade we ran a moth trap in the garden. Most of our moth records date back over 10 years, so it will be interesting to see what species are still about. Typically the first night we ran it, the 28th March, was the first night it rained significantly in nearly two weeks.

28th March 2022

The rain didn’t stop us recording four species of moth however, including E. monodactyla, a Light Brown Apple Moth and for the first time since 2008 the Early Grey and Brindled Beauty moths.

New species

As it turns out the Brimstone Butterfly wasn’t the only species our species list has overlooked. House Sparrow and Seven Spotted Ladybirds, both regularly seen in the garden had to be added to the species list. We also had that rare chance to record a new mammal, sadly one killed by a cat, the Common Wood Mouse.

Two more hoverflies have been added to the list of confirmed hoverfly species this month, with both Eristalis pertinax and Eupeodes luniger confirmed by the Hoverfly Recording Group. Another bee mimic, this time the Large Bee-fly was also recorded, and in good numbers.

We have a new spider species identified, well sort of!!! We have recorded a species as either Amaurobius similis OR Amaurobius fenestralis as its not really possible to tell.


In our February post, we noted concern at the relatively low numbers of male frogs calling during February and overall we still believe that numbers are down, despite there being more habitat suitable for them in the garden. However March saw plenty of loving going on and Frog spawn is now present in both the top fish pond and we are glad (and slightly worried) to see plenty in the new wetland pond.

Actually and sadly the first place we found frog spawn was on the dry concrete steps leading down to the bottom of the garden and can only assume this has been dropped by a bird or small mammal. We put it in a large water container but we are not hopeful. The white you can inside the spawn indicates the egg is unfortunately dead.

13th March 2022

DC 06/04/2022