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Monday, 7 August 2017

An unexpected but happy encounter

You find wildlife in the most unusual places, sometimes by accident. I was walking home from my morning swim today and in the gutter of Maybrook Road I could see a familiar flash of pink. Close inspection revealed it to be just what I thought it was a Small Elephant Hawk Moth.

I assumed it was dead as that tends to be the only way I get to see them these days but it was on its legs so I picked it up for a closer inspection and it slowly began to revive with the warmth of my hand. I expect it had been batted aside by the down-draught from a passing motor and had  sat there stunned waiting to be run over? There was a happy ending though, I left it perched on the leaf of a Rosebay Willow Herb where its bright pink colours would be less conspicuous.

Hawk Moths were always a bit of a passion of mine and my big regret was not going to see a Deaths-Head Hawk Moth that had been caught at Longstones during one trip to the Scillies. I was even assaulted by one! During a Moth Trapping exercise a disorientated Large Elephant Hawk Moth hit me in the forehead at some speed - Trust me, it stung! (although I don’t expect that impacting with my thick head did it much good either)? - Chaz