What price to see a butterfly I’ve never seen before?
I found this one in the garden yesterday and believe it is the rare migrant, Camberwell Beauty. (Known as the ‘Mourning Cloak’ in the US).
UPDATE FROM COUNTY RECORDER, PAUL JOHNSON:
Many thanks for your email and the photo which I can confirm is a Camberwell Beauty. It’s a very rare migrant to Sussex and, by way of context, only one was seen during the entire atlas recording period between 2010 and 2014. The atlas Camberwell Beauty had most probably hibernated in Sussex but I’d say that yours had migrated very recently from northern Europe where they’re resident – the fine weather and northerly winds of the last few days certainly would have helped.
Thanks again for the great record which I’ll make sure is logged in the county database at the end of the season. I’ve also forwarded your mail on to Neil Hulme who co-authored the atlas as I’m sure he’ll be very interested.
Neil believes it to have migrated from Eastern Europe.
Colin Pratt is planning to include this sighting in his new butterfly book.