Nymphalis Antiopa in UK

Andrew Wood AndrewGWood at compuserve.com
Mon May 4 12:50:03 EDT 1998

After a pretty dreadful April in the UK I had a surprise in Regents Park
(TQ286826) in London today.  We were walking through the spring bedding in
the south east of the park when we saw a large dark butterfly fly up from
behind a bench, my son shouted camberwell! and it was a Camberwell Beauty
(Nymphalis Antiopa) , we were able to follow it for about 200m as it
settled briefly a couple of times before flying behind a shelter. A few
minutes later we were in the open area behind the shelter and it flew
across the grass again.  The weather was warm and sunny and the park busy.
Its the first I've seen after 15 years of active watching.  I notice that
the literature talks of most migration to the UK being late summer with
only 10% records in spring. Was this 
a) An overwintering specimen?, but I don't recall a large number of N
Antiopa in the UK last year
b) An early immigrant from Germany, Denmark, there have been strong NE
winds over the last few days 
c)A release or butterfly house escapee?

Hopeing for spring soon


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