Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Do you recall me mentioning Hummingbird Hawk Moths a couple of posts ago?

Well, by coincidence, on my return from shopping this morning, I noticed something large flitting about in the red valerian of the front garden. I’m pleased about this as we didn’t see any last year.

You don’t see much red valerian in Nottingham, and I’m not sure where this came from. The nearest patch is about 400 yards away, around the corner. After that the nearest is over a mile away, and I don’t know where the next lot is. Ours just started growing one spring, sprouting from cracks between the paving in the garden.

In Northamptonshire it sometimes seems to take over entire villages, but the south seems to suit it better. Despite being here since the 1600s it is really a Mediterranean plant. Ours has shifted colour over the years – it was all a deep wine red originally but about half of it is now a lighter red. I’m told it can be invasive, but it hasn’t been a problem so far. I’ve been expecting to see more of it in the street over the years, but ours doesn’t seem to have much in the way of territorial ambition.

I may have to help it along.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

The pictures are not good, but they give the general idea.

The bees and hoverflies were about too, though not easy to photograph as the flowers were in the way.

Later, having got the food in the fridge I went shopping again, and sat in the car watching the wildlife when two butterflies came by. The Small White dawdled a bit, sampling flowers, but the small blue one hardly paused. I’m tentatively identifying it as a Holly Blue as there’s holly and ivy around in the gardens. The Common Blue likes grassland and there’s not much of that around here.


Bee on Red Valerian

It’s not going to solve the problems of Global Warming or bring about World Peace, but it was nice to see and cheered me up.

28 thoughts on “Hummingbird Hawk Moth

  1. Pingback: Open Gardens | quercuscommunity

  2. Pingback: And Again! | quercuscommunity

  3. Pingback: A Painted Lady Comes to Call | quercuscommunity

  4. Clare Pooley

    I haven’t seen a hummingbird hawkmoth for a couple of years now. They are super moths and it’s cheering to me to know you have seen one this year.

      1. Clare Pooley

        I always think that too! We have been away from home and I am sure the garden has been full of wonderful things, all unobserved by me 🙂

  5. jodierichelle

    Love the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. We get them most years, although I haven’t seen any this year yet. I always have to stop and watch/photograph them. I find them fascinating.

    1. jodierichelle

      I went out to my butterfly bush right after I wrote that and looked for the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. There were 3 or 4 I saw right away – didn’t have my camera so you’ll have to believe me. They were smaller than I had remembered – closer to 2 inches long than the 3 inches I was expecting.

  6. Laurie Graves

    Perhaps not as cheering as treacle scones—which I must admit I’ve never had—but cheering nonetheless.

  7. jfwknifton

    In Cornwall years ago, I noticed how much Red Valerian attracted butterflies, so I carefully collected up the seeds and went to huge lengths to get it to grow in our front qarden. A few weeks later I found it growing all round the car park at work! It is very invasive, and I presume a plant to be careful with because it is used as a poison and to treat heart conditions, or so I was told.


Leave a Reply