Saturday, 24 August 2013

European Swallowtail in East Sussex

European Swallowtail, Papilio machaon gorganus
I was alerted to this continental immigrant’s presence by Neil who posted an enticing photo of the butterfly. The weather forecast changed through today and at 1pm I drove to East Sussex and arrived at the car park an hour later. During the huff and puff uphill I met Bob and Nigel returning with satisfied smiles and they gave me the exact location of the Swallowtail. This has to be the easiest rare butterfly shoot I will ever make. It was exactly where described and roosted the whole time I was there. It opened its wings briefly once, but as I was at the side was unable to capture the moment. The weather drew in as I approached the site and I left when the rain got heavy. In spite of the wing damage, this Swallowtail was well worth the trip. Several have been reported in Sussex recently and I was pleased to be able to view one close-up. I was able to describe the location to another enthusiast who I met on the way down.


  1. Wow!!!! Great to see your photos. Really pleased you got to see such an unusual migrant. Whatever next??????

    Best wishes,


  2. Thanks Paul, it will still there and the forecast is good today. Let's hope for a Long-tailed Blue, Bath White or Queen of Spain Fritillary :)


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