Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

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.

7 comments:

Roy said...

You got some really great shots Jen. They are nearly impossible at the best of times. I did see some in Tuscany earlier in the year, but just couldn't get a decent shot. Very well done.

Chris said...

Wow well done Jen!! This nice little thing is not that easy to see and to get pictures off... Excellent!

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, I wish I'd had more time to try some different shutter speed settings, but it didn't hang around long enough unfortunately.

Hi Chris, I will definitely be keeping more of an eye out for them in future!

Rural Rambler said...

Jen I can't believe you got a shot. We had one, ONE, at the beginning of Spring around the Petunias and I have never seen it again. They are so quick and quick to move on! Very cool shots :) I am looking forward to more from your Mum's garden!

Caroline Gill said...

How lovely to see these pix. We tried so hard to photograph this moth on a castle wall recently, but it was too fast for us (and we were balanced too precariously to make sudden movements!).

Mary said...

Wow..great photos of it! Love that first one. I've seen more of them this year than any other year. They are such an interesting little "bug"....look like they are made up of several other bugs :-)

Eve said...

Yes Jenny, you did a brilliant job on photographing these beautiful moths! I just love them and I've had a couple here that I've had the honor of seeing this year. I'm so glad you got to see them again!