On the morning of Saturday, April the 17th, 2004, a Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros was found on the north-eastern side of the Brielsegatdam, next to The Oostvoornsemeer, The Netherlands. The butterfly was quite worn and has probably been spending the winter in the country. Immediately after its discovery, the news has been spread through the Dutch Birding pager system.
Early in the morning, Swen Rijnbeek, Rob van Bemmelen, Wesley Overman and Kasper Hendriks spent the day watching birds at Roozenburg and The Maasvlakte. Birding was good, with a splendid Wryneck Jynx torquilla at The Maasvlakte being shown by fellow birders and a Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus present as well. Tens of Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe and Blue-headed Wagtails Motacilla flava had been migrating, too. After checking the regular sides, the decision was made to have a look at a spot known to be
quite good for Cettis Warbler Cettia cetti. Within just 10 minutes of birding, Swen noted an aberrant butterfly on the ground. Rob had a
quick view, and immediately recognised it as a Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros. All four of us had good views of the butterfly and pictures could be made. The news was immediately spread through the Dutch Birding pager system, and some fellow birders came to have a look. Unfortunately, the butterfly started to fly more and didn't show itself on the ground as pretty as before. A nice bonus was a second Wryneck Jynx torquilla showing very well at the same spot as the butterfly. This bird was also mildly vocal.
The Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros was mainly resting in the sun and out of the wind on the ground. The ground was littered with wooden litter and mud. Along the path that was most visited, the butterfly attained the nearby shrub.
The pictures to the are by Wesley Overman and Rob van Bemmelen.
Some pictures of the first Wryneck Jynx torquilla we observed, at The Maasvlakte, are shown here.
Pictures by Garry Bakker.