Moth of the Moment – Hummingbird Hawk-moth
I’ve seen Hummingbird Hawk-moths, Macroglossum stellatarum, on a few occasions but previously when travelling abroad (specifically, Croatia (2017), Germany (2018), and Italy (2010), and if memory serves many years ago France, 1996). I’ve only ever got awkward, blurry, and low-resolution photos. Earlier in the summer, a friend gave me some red valerian plants, which are a favourite of this species; same friend who donated the snails for our newly resurrected pond, #pondlife. That was back in early June. I had high hopes of seeing swarms of this bird-like Lep, which is an immigrant to the UK but occasionally seen in numbers when there’s an irruption. But, it seemed like it wasn’t to be, until this balmy September day (just 17 Celsius in the shade though). Finally, a HBHM has turned up. Initially, I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, but at least I saw it before it headed off over our roof. But, then twenty minutes later it was back, or perhaps it’s a second one. I was ready. Shutterspeed 1/4000th of a second, still not fast enough to freeze the moth’s wings in flight, but at least you get the gist.