Saturday, 15 July 2017

A hummingbird visits Cambridgeshire

We had a very lovely visitor to the garden recently - a Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum). This is only the third one I've seen in six summers here (although it's likely that others have gone unnoticed).

Nature journal hummingbrid hawk-moth

It didn't hang around for long; for just a few minutes it zipped around from flower head to flower head, accessing the nectar from the tubular flowers (no, I don't know what they are!). I took many, many photos and managed to get half a dozen in focus. Thank goodness for digital photography!

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth is a smallish (wingspan about 2 inches) day-flying moth. They migrate to the UK in the summer from southern Europe and Africa, and it's thought that with a warming climate they may colonise the UK.

If you'd like to help monitor these amazing beasties, Butterfly Conservation is running a Migrant Watch Survey for Hummingbird Hawk-moths and Painted Lady butterflies -  it's easy to add your sightings and contribute to understanding the arrival, spread and departure of these migrant insects.

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