I was so nearly back from my short walk from home today when I spotted this Tortoiseshell butterfly in the undergrowth just by the footpath.
As I haven't seen a Tortoiseshell yet this year I looked a little harder than usual, and it became clear very quickly that this wasn't a Small Tortoiseshell, but the extremely rare Large Tortoiseshell.
This is the first one that I have seen in Britain. Currently it is still classed as extinct as a resident butterfly, but in recent years a few have started to show up. Whether this butterfly will be re-classed in the future is difficult to say, I must confess, I have wondered if I would shortly have to say I haven't seen all of the British butterfly species after all if this was the case, but I guess now I don't have to worry about that happening anymore.
Okay, this isn't the most pristine specimen ever seen, and it isn't in the most photographic location, but with such a rarity, that doesn't really matter!!
To think, it was only about 200 metres away from being a garden tick of epic proportions.
Tags: Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros Tortoiseshell Nymphalidae Butterfly 2020 Lepidoptera Seaford South Downs National Park Sussex East Sussex