Sunday, 27 September 2015

Elephant Hawk-Moth, Wildflowers and eccentric Grasshoppers!

This week had an excellent garden find: an Elephant Hawk Moth larvae!
These caterpillars are up to 10cm long, and are described by Chris Packham as "one of Britain's super bugs" and "every child's dream!" A high accolade indeed from the often scathing man!
Anyway, once they have metamorphosed, the adult moth is often mistaken for a slow bat in flight, with a wingspan between 7 and 10cm.
They usually take a bit of searching for, but this stood out on the lawn like a sore first mistaken for hedgehog droppings until I saw it moving!
 This was a very confiding caterpillar, with a therapeutic thump in my hand. Soon after these photos, I moved it to cover to protect it from avian predation...there are plenty more caterpillars for the Dunnocks!

 Although these chunky chaps aren't mega rare, they are scarce enough to celebrate, and I shall now be on the lookout (next year) for some pink and beige-green Elephant Hawk-Moths.

 To the left, you can see a cornflower, a successful one of six others this year in my garden. I took part in the GrowWildUK free seed planting, and got some great results. More the ten bees benefited (despite late flowering) and over twenty hoverflies. You can see a poppy below...

My final photo is that of a fairly eccentric grasshopper which seemed intent on climbing the window. The frankly bizarre reflection on double glazing gave me a great photo opportunity.

More next post, which may include some Badger activity in the garden!

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