Actually,there is nothing unusual about a cold end to March. Only a couple of years ago the Easter weekend in late March was marked by a hefty snowfall that produced a winter wonderland. This cold spell was so common in the past that it used to be called the “blackthorn winter”, when ancient folklore described how the blossom of blackthorn bushes appeared during mild weather, only to be destroyed by a cold snap at the end of March. The cold closing days of March were also known as borrowed days.
anemone, cuckoo flower, violets and wood sorrel.
If my diaries are anything to go by, then the spring insects and bugs are late this year locally.By this same date last year for instance, I had already seen around 5 species of butterfly,as well as weevils, rhopalid bugs, numerous bee species, bee-flies and wasps, and the ever present bumble-bees.
Friends 'up-country' have been seeing all of these for a while now, but there must be an exclusion zone in effect around West Kent, either that or they're avoiding me!
The daffodils that are in full swing now do attract some insects, and although their main source of pollen seems to be pussy willow at present, the honey bees are most prevalent.
'Thomisidae' or Crab Spiders, so called because they resemble crabs with their flat bodies and angled-out legs (they can also walk sideways and backwards like crabs) do seem to be coming out of hiding now and I've seen several of late sitting in the sunshine atop fence-posts.
Shield bugs are also returning now that winter seems to have relinquished it's grip. Some, like the Green Shield-bug are still in their winter colours (brown mostly), others are already in full refinery and add a real splash of colour to the otherwise still pretty bare hedgerows.
The fairly large Juniper Shield-bug (Cyphostethus tristriatus) spends the winter as an adult, emerging in early spring. The species is common across southern and central England.