A midsummer’s day surprise

Last week we saw this beautiful and surprising creature, a hummingbird-hawk moth, feeding from the red valerian that grows so profusely in Totnes.

Here are two more photos I managed before it flew away.

moth 4

moth 3

The wing span is about 5cm to give some scale.  These day flying moths come into the UK from southern Europe in the summer.

Seeing this insect was all the more surprising as I have recently had several conversations with people about how few moths they see nowadays and that is my experience as well. If you want to read about the general decline of insects in the UK here is an interesting article from the Observer.

14 thoughts on “A midsummer’s day surprise”

  1. Why a fascinating little creature, Philip! I’ve never seen one…it really is a moth, not a hummingbird? In the photos, which I’ve stared at for several minutes, I can distinguish the difference, but only barely! Very, very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As others have said, good ‘gets’. These are notoriously hard to photograph and I have never managed to get a shot I was entirely satisfied with. But then again, I’m not a perfectionist so what the heck… RH

    Liked by 1 person

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