Walking through a patch of rough grassland one afternoon in the last week in May, I was very surprised to see a male meadow brown butterfly flutter past me.

In a normal year I would not expect to see one emerging from his chrysalis until about 16th June. However, courtesy of a prolonged warm spring this is no normal year so butterflies have been appearing much earlier than usual.

Reports from around the country tell of other species including the impressive silver washed fritillary, marbled white, (pictured), ringlet, white admiral, Essex skipper, and the day-flying burnet moth, all on the wing way ahead of schedule.

It is not only butterflies that have appeared early but hawthorn blossom, horse chestnut, dog rose, queen Anne's lace, bluebells, flag iris, ox-eye daisies, meadow buttercups, bramble and many others. But sadly, no doubt as a result of the warm dry conditions, their flowering period was transient, all too fleeting, almost a case of blink and we missed it!

Indeed, even blackberries began forming in late May and are well on the way to ripening.

Plane trees lining my road have been shedding many dry crisp leaves too and summer has only just begun!.

Fortunately much needed rain greeted early June and temporarily refreshed the parched earth.

As the nesting season draws to a close birdsong is fading away apart from my garden blackbird who continues to sing all day long serenading me with his lockdown lullaby!