Countryside Corner

A hawk moth
A hawk moth

If you have a flower bed or shrub in your garden which is a favourite of butterflies on sunny days, try taking a torch to check them for moths on warm nights.

I have never been one for reducing wildlife study to mere lists.

However, if I had listed all the species of moths found in my garden since I became interested in them a couple of years back, I’m sure it would be over a hundred.

This may sound a lot but most serious moth enthusiasts have garden lists around three hundred.

My photograph is of a Poplar Hawk Moth laying her eggs on my weeping willow one night recently.

She fluttered around my head in the lamp light like a small bat! You can tell by her girth how egg laden she was.

Her caterpillars are now half grown but so well camouflaged they are almost impossible to find!

As if to illustrate that garden wildlife study does not depend on the weather, I can enjoy my moths on warm dry nights and my frogs on wet nights. No doubt the frogs have a few of the moths but that is all part of the game.

So one way or another the torch I keep by the back door sees lots of fascinating stuff.

Hopefully, we are due a few hot butterfly filled days yet.

But don’t forget to check their favourite flowers by night!