I think that spring has finally arrived when the chiffchaffs are calling, but this can be misleading.  However, once the butterflies are out, and, in particular, the ones that didn’t overwinter as adults, then I know spring is here.

There are a few butterflies that are due out in the first weeks of April.  One of the most distinctive (well, the males, anyway), is the orange tip.

orange tip

These butterflies are found along many lanes, and are particularly fond of garlic mustard (as shown above) and cuckoo flower which are amongst the food plants of the caterpillar.  The female orange tip looks like the male, but without the orange tips, so could be confused with some of the other whites.  But once the wings are folded it is again unmistakeable with green mottling on the underside.  Although they are usually seen in May, if the weather is warm they might be out in April.  However, blink and you will miss them – they will be more or less gone by the middle of June.