05 September 2005

The amazing Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Spotted at the weekend in the garden (though I confess I took this photo 2 years ago when I first spotted one of these), the beautiful Hummingbird Hawk Moth. When I saw one of these for the first time, I couldn't believe it. It looks EXACTLY like a Hummingbird (well to a non-ornithologist), except a really miniature version. It even seems to have adopted it's feeding method (look closely at the picture) - though again I am no expert. However, it's just about 2.5cm long or so, and when looked at closer, it is clearly more like a moth. It's certainly a case where an appropriate commmon name has been chosen for it.

I found what it was with the help of Google (of course). Turned out that year, there had been a large number of UK sightings due to the warm summer (they arrive here on warm air currents from more southerly Europe). That photo was taken in late September (sorry it's poor - it was all I could do with my little Sony). This time they're a bit earlier, so the lavender wasn't ready, and my visitor didn't hang around for quite so long - so I couldn't blog it straight from the cameraphone.

Has anyone else seen one in the UK this year?

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