Migrant Hummingbird Hawk-moths arrive in the UK

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In the last few days the first main influx of Hummingbird Hawk-moths of the year have arrived in the British Isles.

These migrant moths are always a delight to watch as they hover at flowers like tiny hummingbirds.

A delight, that is, provided you are not trying to photograph them! They have an extraordinary turn of speed and a very irregular stop start flight pattern.

Only occasionally do these day flying moths stop and when they do they are easily over looked – see last years National Moth Day results.

The one pictured was one of two Hummingbird Hawk-moths that appeared amongst several Painted Lady butterflies nectaring at Red Valerian at Poldhu on the Lizard in Cornwall. All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

A couple of weeks earlier at the same coastal site the first main arrival of Painted Lady butterflies were all nectaring on a single bank of Thrift.

Already, the flowers on this bank of Thrift have withered and the migrant insects have turned their attention to the Red Valerian which is a plant that grows abundantly throughout much of Cornwall both in gardens and in the wild.

Other Moth Sightings

Moth Galleries

Illustrated Guide to British Moths