Wildlife to watch in March
The Brimstone is usually found in open areas such as grasslands, woodland rides, gardens and waste places, usually in areas adjacent to woodland, scrub and hedgerows. It is often seen visiting suburban gardens in spring and late summer.
In early spring, the sulphur yellow males become particularly noticeable on warm sunny days as they quickly patrol along hedgerows in search of females awakening from hibernation. However, the moment the sun disappears behind a cloud and the ambient temperature falls, he quickly finds a place to shelter, often under a bramble or ivy leaf, only to emerge and continue his quest to find a mate the moment the sun reappears.
Also look out for
The Flitch Way has plenty of habitats perfect for hedgehogs – they nest and hibernate in quiet, secluded log and leaf piles over winter, and come out to feed in grassy areas, woodlands and wilderness areas in the spring.
Hedgehogs usually hibernate between November and mid March, so they’re waking up and looking for some food this month. Bushes and hedges provide the perfect day-time hideaway, and then at dusk, insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds. Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, bird’s eggs and anything else they can catch; they particularly like big, crunchy beetles, earthworms and slugs.
Found mainly in grassland and woodland edges, hares are similar to rabbits, but are noticeably bigger with longer, more powerful legs. They eat grass and other vegetation, as well as young bark, and dig a shallow scrape in the ground as a resting place. Look out for them bounding and zig-zagging across fields – they are fast, they can reach speeds of 45 mph when evading predators.
Brown hares are at their most visible in early spring when the breeding season encourages fighting or 'boxing'. If you spot brown hares 'boxing', it is most likely that you are watching a female warding off the advances of an amorous male, not two males fighting. If a fight does happen, the two hares will stand on their hind legs and attack each other with their front paws, pulling out fur. This gives the impression of two boxers in a ring. Females can produce three to four litters of two to four young (known as leverets) a year.
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