|European Swallowtail, Papilio machaon gorganus|
Sussex born and bred
Today was one of those memorable butterfly days when it all came together. I had arranged to search sites around Chichester with Brian and our Swallowmeister, Neil. I peered through the fence of some allotments in hopeful anticipation of seeing the European Swallowtail, Papilio machaon gorganus, which is emerging in numbers in Sussex following last year’s influx from the continent. I then received a call from Neil who had spotted one on Steyning Rifle Range following his completion of a butterfly survey there. This was his second Swallowtail find in a few days and possibly the 12th in Sussex this year. I arrived on the slope in under an hour and joined Neil and Leigh who were watching a pristine female Swallowtail which had emerged this morning. It probably came from the nearby allotments. It was very cooperative and posed for numerous photos while it nectared. The wind made it tricky to get a still shot. Katrina and John also arrived to share this unique experience. This was a very good day!