Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Migrant watch

Over the last couple of days the number of butterflies and moths in the garden has increased dramatically. This seems to coincide with the flowering of our huge buddleia bush, which has been covered in lots of large whites (which have been noticeably absent until now) as well as commas, small tortoiseshells and meadow browns.

Early yesterday evening a humming-bird hawkmoth appeared in the garden feeding on the buddleia. They're wonderful moths that fly during the day, hovering in front of the flowers as they feed. They migrate to this country from Southern Europe and Africa and are a really delight to see in the garden. This was the first one I've seen this year and unfortunately I was too slow to get a picture. I'm hoping it may come back at the same time this evening in which case I'll be ready for it!

We've also had a painted lady feeding on the buddleia all afternoon. They're another migrant from Africa and this is only the second one I've seen this year (I saw the first one at Whiteleaf Hill in the middle of May). This one seemed quite happy to pose for photos!


I keep hearing that we're due a bumper year for painted ladies but there's no sign of it yet around here. Maybe this is the start of it though!

Both the humming-bird hawkmoth and the painted lady are being tracked by the Butterfly Conservation's migrant watch so I logged both sightings. You can log your sightings and see a map of the sightings for this year at http://butterfly-conservation.org/612/migrant-watch.html.

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