Every week or so, I drive up to visit my Mum in the Cotswolds (about 60 miles) to help out in the garden. This last Monday, whilst taking a break from the weeding I decided to see what was supping on the fragrant nectar of her Buddleia. I was chuffed to discover this Hummingbird Hawkmoth dashing about frantically from bloom to bloom. This is only the second time I've seen one of these amazing creatures. It certainly didn't make it easy to get any decent photos, but below are some of the better ones I managed.
The Hummingbird Hawkmoth is an immigrant to Britain from southern Europe and north Africa, although it is believed that some do hibernate in the South West of Britain. They can be seen anytime from April through to December, though mainly during August and September. Apparently they have long been considered a messanger of good tidings in Italy and Malta. A small swarm was reported flying over the water in the English Channel headed to England from France on D-Day! I got this information from the excellent Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Paul Waring and Martin Townsend. The amazing illustrations are by Richard Lewington. I can't recommend the book highly enough.
There'll be more from Mum's Buddleia in my next post.