Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Butterfly Stunner in Kent

After dropping the family off in Meopham today for a karate tournamernt I made my way back towards Reculver for a while where not long after news broke that the Monarch butterfly located yesterday at Ruckinge near Hamstreet was still present today. After speaking to Dave Brown who kindly organised permission for access, I made my way down there where on the way the clouds thickened and the skies darkened. As I approached Ashford I drove through some of the worst rain I have ever seen and driving was a challenge as the road looked more like a river. I arrived in Ruckinge eventually where it was pouring down and met Dave who took me to Bernard Boothroyd's house where the Monarch was. As we got out of the car it was absolutely pouring still and we ran for the house to get some cover. Thankfully we dried off for a bit and had a cup of tea before the rain showed signs of easing. Andy Appleton had now arrived and along with Bernard we made our way to the eucalyptus tree where it was last seen and started scanning. Remarkably after a few seconds I found the MONARCH at rest about 10 metres up and for the next hour it didn't really move at all and I had to be content with a few record shots of this new British butterfly species for me.

Monarch Butterfly 

It did stop raining briefly where we hoped it would open up its wings for us but despite the odd teasing movement, it stayed where it was. The sky started to darken again and we left it in peace and after saying out many thanks to Bernard, we left for home.


Monarch Butterfly

Whenever a Monarch is seen in Britain, it naturally raises questions about its origin. I would like to think that with the recent stormy weather and winds that maybe it has been blown up from the south. One thing I do know is that this species has been happily added to my British butterfly list.


Monarch Butterfly

6 comments:

  1. In the circumstances - and forgetting the questions about its origins - your efforts have resulted in some excellent shots of the Monarch butterfly Marc.

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    1. Cheers Pete. Under normal circumstances the camera would never have made it out of the bag in these conditions but.... this was a little different!

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  2. A nice Butterfly Marc, whether a Visitor or escapee. No one truly knows so in my opinion it is pointless speculating and makes a bit of a mockery sitting on a committee and giving a ruling. (Hark at me I sound a little "Non Conformist" lol). I would like to see one, but maybe in better weather.

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  3. Well Marc,
    That's the last Butterfly species I would have guessed at :-)

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  4. Unbelievable to see this monarch in Britain!
    But the Junior Anax from the US has been spotted in Brittany some years ago, it was also obviously blown in with high altitude winds...
    Fantastic shots, although they show the difficulty to take them!

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