Monarch on Portland

LArge orange butterfly with brown veins and white spots, in a shady area
Monarch. Photo: Roger Hewitt

Roger Hewitt tells us:

Myself and my friend Bruce turned up at Portland Observatory on the morning of Tuesday 25th September to look for migratory birds and after a fabulous two hours watching several thousand Swallows pass through we got a phone call from Martin Cade to say the Monarch was showing in the garden. So at bit of a jog we arrived to see it perched in a hedge. Took a few photos and after a while it flew around a few times and disappeared down the garden and, I don’t think it was seen again. So off we go to the top fields and it was soon clear that we were seeing as many butterflies as birds. There is plenty of ivy on the stone walls and it was obvious that there had been a small influx of Red Admirals, 22 in as many yards and it was not long before we were up to 38. We also had 6 Clouded Yellows which was good as up until then they were hard to find. As the day went on we had small numbers of the following species, Small Copper, Wall Brown, Speckled Wood, Common Blue, Small White, Large White, Small Heath, Painted Lady and Comma. Not bad for a day’s bird watching.

The Monarch photo shows that its had a bit of a battering with both wing tips worn.Is it a genuine migrant? It turned up after a period of gales from the right area. In my opinion most likely genuine, but who knows for sure?

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