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Colourful visitor flutters in from states
12:30pm Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
Another rare visitor to Dorset has been making heads turn.
A North American monarch butterfly has appeared on Portland, blown thousands of miles off course from its winter migration to Mexico by Hurricane Isaac.
It follows the appearance of the short billed dowitcher bird spotted at the RSPB’s Lodmoor reserve.
The monarch, which has a four-inch wingspan, has made a park off Park Estate Road at Easton its home for the past few days and has been drawing a crowd of enthusiasts to the area.
Monitors at Portland Bird Observatory described the creature as ‘tropical’ and ‘exotic’.
It is understood the creature has lost part of its left wing so will not be able to return overseas – but experts believe it will be able to survive here.
The appearance comes after the wettest summer for a century which saw the number of many common butterflies reduce.
A survey by Dorset-based Butterfly Conservation revealed the numbers of 15 of the 21 species studied fell compared with last year.
The charity is concerned the wet summer could put some already threatened species at risk.