Hummingbird Hawk Moth Macroglossum stellatarum

This migrant daytime flying moth arrives in Britain from southern Europe and northern Africa from April onwards. It can be seen hovering in front of flowers from which it feeds with its long proboscis. Eggs are laid on Ladies Bedstraw, Madder and Hedge Bedstraw and caterpillars may be found between June and October. Mick Farmer did well to capture this photograph of the moth feeding.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth, Bewdley, 2 June 2017 ©Mick Farmer

 

 

Painted Lady Venessa cardui

This strong-flying immigrant butterfly has flown into Britain from further south. The main breeding grounds are along the edges of deserts in North Africa and Arabia. They arrive in the UK when weather conditions are favourable, generally in May and June, when they breed, laying their eggs on thistles. There is a southwards reverse migration to Africa from September onwards. What an amazing journey for a butterfly! Thanks to Mick Farmer for sending his excellent photograph of this Painted Lady feeding on Pyracantha in his garden.

Painted Lady, Bewdley garden, 6 Jun 2016 ©Mick Farmer

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

In some years this long distance migrant moth from southern Europe and north Africa is recorded in the Wyre area when it can be spotted feeding on plant such as bramble and thistles, But it is most often recorded in gardens where it is attracted to Red Valerian as seen here, as well as other flowers. It hovers like a hummingbird whilst feeding and flits rapidly between plants. It is active mainly by day when it flies in sunshine, but is occasionally seen feeding after dark on sultry nights. Its large size and unusual behaviour makes it noteworthy.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Bliss Gate, 18 June 2025 ©Rosemary Winnall