June 2019 Page 4
Weekent treats continued......
The last two days and weekend of June were going to bring about another new species for the garden (30th) when a not totally unexpected possibility for the garden (location-wise), but nevertheless an absolute aesthetically-pleasing treat and privilege was seen.
After returning from collecting spent rose blooms from my neighbour’s garden, for the Rabbits, I turned around from delivering them to the rabbits in the kitchen to put the rest of the rose petals outside for later. There in front of me nectaring on the Catmint was a Swallowtail!
The butterfly was in absolutely pristine condition and after feeding on the catmint it turned to the Buddleia flowers and then back to the catmint. The Swallowtail, spent several minutes (was not really counting!) in the garden, before flying around the immediate area, before disappearing from view.
There had been a report of a Swallowtail being seen in a garden not far from mine, about 6-7 days previous and in 2018, a very fleeting glimpse of a butterfly speeding past, behind the garden I could not rule out it being a Swallowtail, but too brief a view to be certain, unlike on this occasion!
With many, somewhat ‘unusual’ insect species arriving in the UK recently e.g. Vagrant Emperor Dragonfly, the swallowtail photos were studied in detail, in order to rule out the Continental Swallowtail Papilio machaon gorganus. There are very subtle differences between P. m. gorganus and our ‘own’ Swallowtail P. m. britannicus, especially if you are not familiar with the continental form, from which britannicus is suspected to have evolved from. However, it was ‘one of our own’ (not Harry Kane this time!) a splendid Papilio machaon britannicus.
Painted Lady and Red Admiral (both very attractive butterflies in their own right, disregarding the ‘rarity value’ placed on some species) were also in the garden, mainly on the Buddleia, and a worker Tree Bumblebee was visiting the Catmint.
It is worth remembering that, so called ‘common species’ can very quickly become rare, indeed even extinct, of which the Passenger Pigeon is a classic example! Cherish all species that grace your garden.
The garden at the end of June 2019. Photos show the two 'parts' of the garden, either side of the path leading to the back gate.