Walking out in what I considered to be too cold for any early butterflies yesterday (air temperature 11 celsius) I was surprised to see two Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) feeding on dandelion flowers. Not a colonising species the Small Tortoiseshell flies freely across the countryside and can be found in a number of habitats.
These I photographed have emerged from hibernation and although it was cold, there was the odd showing of the sun through thick haze. I couldn't get a very good angle on these two as I was shooting through the small portal of a bird hide on to flowers in front of the hide.
This is the second batch of this species I have seen so far this Spring, which is very encouraging as the year before last the population was decimated due to the poor weather conditions and I only observed a few throughout last year.