What can you expect to see in March in the Claise Valley and the Brenne? Spring comes early to this area, so flowers will be blooming and as a consequence early emerging bees will be foraging. Look out for frogspawn on ponds and in ditches. Even a few hardy butterflies who managed to survive the big February freeze tucked away under the ivy or in your barn will flit about if the days are warm.
The most anticipated wildflower at this time must surely be the Cowslip Primula veris, and the first flowers normally open in March, on roadsides, meadows and woodland clearings. If you are in the Brenne, keep an eye out for the earliest orchid species, the Tongue Orchid Serapias lingua. Wild Pansy Viola tricolor is common on waste ground and almost always has a few flowers at this time of year. The first of the Common Dog Violets V. riviniana will be out too, in the grass under trees. I noticed the first one in our orchard at the end of February, under the sour cherries.
If you are digging in the garden you may well disturb larval or even adult ground beetles and chafers which are semi-active. The adults dig themselves into the earth and emerge on sunny days for a bit of foraging.
Expect the weather to be cool and changeable, with lots of windy rainy episodes interspersed with sun which brings out the insects.
Happy early spring wildlife watching!