Sunny days in March can make you feel like spring is here and then suddenly the sky clouds over and leaves you feeling in the grip of winter. March is a time of change in Sussex, and with flowers blooming and birds nest building, we are right in the middle of the transition into spring.
Step out into woodland and you will hear a cacophony of song as male birds show off to females and defend the best territories. As the days get longer and the clocks spring forward this wonderful dawn chorus is boosted by summer migrants arriving from the continent.
Make the most of spring and by visiting Sussex’s wild places. Get out onto the South Downs and you might even be lucky enough to see some mad March hares leaping and ‘boxing’ in the fields. Or take a trip to your local pond and watch frog and toad spawn slowly hatch out into a black writhing mass of tadpoles.
What to spot this month includes
- Blackthorn in flower
- Big fuzzy queen bumblebee’s looking for nesting sites
- Frog and toad spawn
- Wild daffodils
- Bee fly
- Mad march hares
- Brimstone butterfly
- Lesser celandine & wood anemone
- Emerging ladybirds
- Rock pooling during one of the lowest tides of the year
Tell us what you've seen
There are many more species to be spotted this month. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to fill in our species recording form, so we can submit your sightings to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre.
Sussex Wildlife Trust nature reserve to visit this month
West Dean Woods is a great example of how properly managed woodland can benefit wildlife. Coppicing hazel on rotation creates a cycle of light and shade that benefits the ground flora and produces amazing displays of violets, bluebells, primroses and orchids. During March, West Dean Woods offers the ideal place to view woodland flowers and butterflies, but the main attraction is the fantastic colony of wild daffodils that bloom each spring.
West Dean Woods, two miles north east of West Dean village, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also a working woodland on a private estate, and access is restricted to those working the coppice or carrying out scientific research. However, a public bridleway runs along the western edge, and provides the best vantage point to view the daffodils that are at the northern end.
Sussex Wildlife Trust Courses
Fancy a half-day bird safari in Sussex or perhaps learning how to weave willow? Find out what events and courses Sussex Wildlife Trust are running this March.
Remember this month...
Have you seen some frog spawn? Take part in the PondNet Spawn Survey 2020.