There was frost on the ground first thing, but at this moment, I'm sitting in the conservatory, looking out at Jess the dog lying on the patio, listening to the sounds of urban traffic rumbling by. Sparrows, starlings and a robin are making their noises, AND ... a red admiral is resting on the kitchen window-sill having been doing a tour of the garden.
Not much nectar available at the moment, I'm afraid, just a few winter pansies and some primulas. It must have come out of hibernation, I reckon, and must be a toughie to have survived our 'coldest winter for thirty years'. Most, though not all, of our red admirals are summer migrants, arriving in May and June, and they like brambles, ivy and buddleia for their nectar, I see, while their caterpillars eat nettles, which is why you should leave some in your garden.... Normally the first butterflies of the spring are yellow brimstones, those sulphur yellow ones with rounded wings, but they're a good deal later. Still, 2nd March, the first butterfly of the year: is Spring sprung at last?