Animals and insects

The comma and brimstone butterflies are out! We’ve been spotting them for a few weeks in the Millennium Country Park now but we’ve finally got some footage (see videos below) and we can see from Facebook that they’ve been spotted over at Ridgeway Woods as well, so you should be seeing them in your garden imminently.

We have frog spawn all over the place - impressively even in the bog pond (which is currently half under cover due to New Zealand pygmy weed). Just goes to show that nature carries on regardless! Obviously a disturbingly large chunk of it always gets eaten by the birds so make the most of the photo opportunity in your garden pond while you can (i'm saying this as someone who doesn't have any in their pond yet, sadly).

You’re likely to see chinese water deer and muntjacs roaming around if you’re near woodlands (see video below) - there’s a good article here about telling them apart if you need any tips (obviously they aren’t hugely similar if they stand still but it can be hard when they’re running past into a hedge!)


winter wildflower and celandine

Winter wildflower and celandine

Due to the lovely weather, you’ve probably seen a fair bit of celandine about - to quote Wordsworth ‘the first moment that the sun may shine, bright as the sun himself, tis out again.’ We’ve also spotted ground ivy and winter wildflower (a garden flower).

sweet violet and ground ivy

White sweet violet and ground ivy


Now that it’s spring you should see more oyster catchers around as well as our semi-resident little egrets on the Pillinge, and newly arriving red shanks, who will be breeding soon (see videos below).

You will hear lots of song thrushes, blackcaps and dunnocks out and about (see videos below for some lovely audio) as they get busy nesting; red kites have been spotted (over the Millennium Country Park) and very soon we should have the first willow warblers, swallows and house martins arriving so let us know if you see anything!

Make sure you share anything that you see this week in the comments below, and sign up to our newsletter to hear more from us in the coming weeks about the natural happenings in the Forest