Worcestershire Record No. 22 April 2007 p. 29


Compiled by Harry Green

Hummingbird Hawk Moth nectaring at a snowdrop.

Solihull, 18th February 2007

Picture: © Roy Kesterton

This Hummingbird Hawk Moth is normally an immigrant from southern Europe reaching England between April and November each year. It “Over-winters as an adult, but rarely, if ever, in Britain” (Skinner 1998). And is “Suspected breeding resident in SW England where in over-winters in small numbers” (Waring & Townsend 2003). The number of immigrants arriving each year is very variable. Because of its habit of hovering at garden flowers to feed on nectar it is a well-known species.

In March Gary Farmer sent in the picture of a Hummingbird Hawk Moth nectaring at a snowdrop with the comment that it was a combinations of organisms he never expected to see! The picture was taken in Solihull by Roy Kesterton on 18th February 2007. In Worcestershire we received an unsubstantiated report of another in Worcester in February, and Ann Bowker saw another nectaring at Rosemary flowers on 27th March 2007 at Malvern Wells.

As far as we know these late winter/early spring records are unprecedented for the Midlands and probably indicate that of the many seen in the autumn 2006 some survived over winter and were able to fly in the mild weather of February and March 2007. Whether they have survived through the colder wet weather of April remain to be seen.

We should of course be very please to receive more records of this species.


SKINNER B 1998 Colour identification guide to the moths of the British Isles. Second Edition. Viking.
WARING P & TOWNSEND M. 2003. Field Guide to the Moths of Britain & Ireland. British Wildlife Publishing.
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