Why are we seeing so many Hummingbird Hawkmoths?

Hummingbird Hawkmoth 2017

It’s the wind what done it!

Hummingbird Hawkmoths migrate to the UK every year from southern Europe and north Africa. If you’ve ever seen one you’ll know why they get their name. In fact, so closely do they resemble a Hummingbird the RSPB gets phone calls every summer from bewildered gardeners reporting actual sitings of Hummingbirds!

I love them. In fact I intentionally grow Red Valerian in the garden because I know if there’s one thing guaranteed to get Hummingbird Hawkmoths outside your window it’s the nectar from Red Valerian. I can’t think of any other reason to grow Red Valerian, and these day flying moths literally travel miles for it!

Why are we seeing so many Hummingbird Hawkmoths this year?

No two years are alike, and some years we get very few Hummingbird Hawkmoths. But 2017 was just right with temperatures soaring in June and a perfect breeze which helped carry many thousands of these moths to our shores on a draught of warm air from the continent.

I can’t wait to see what happens next year. And just in case I need them, I’ve got a few more Red Valerians on their way!

Red Valerian seedlings

P.S. And before anyone tells me – yes I know that the flower in my photo of the Hummingbird Hawkmoth is actually a Verbena!

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