Blown to England!
A monarch was discovered on an island in the English Channel on September 7, 2012. Martin Cade of Portland Bird Observatory suspects the butterfly was blown off course and carried across the Atlantic Ocean by Hurricane Isaac.
"We have seen a few monarchs here at Portland over the years —all after storms have swept across the Atlantic— but this is the first one for 5 years or so. I think the most likely bet is that this one originated in North America since there's been a large influx of American wading birds into the UK in the last 10 days. Very near to us, at Weymouth, there's been a Short-billed Dowitcher which is only the second time this species has reached the UK. I guess that the butterfly and birds were displaced from their normal migration routes by Hurricane Isaac."
Images: Martin Cade
Portland Bird Observatory is about 5 miles off the southern coast of England.
"'Our' Monarch has been a very popular visitor here," says Mr. Cade.
Notice the broken wing tips, probably damaged by the strong winds and 3,500 mile journey.
Images by Martin Cade