A humming-bird hawk-moth (Macrosglossum stellarum) made a welcome visit to the garden on Friday stopping on the marjoram and lavenders before zooming off again. These fantastic moths are largely continental immigrants who are most commonly seen this month. Ladies’ bedstraw is a favoured larval foodplant while viper’s bugloss attracts nectaring adults but doesn’t grow well on the clay here.
I was greatly surprised today to find a female purple emperor (Apatura iris) flying over Riddens Lane. It eventually perched on the top of my
neighbour’s hedge. As far as I’m aware, this species has not been recorded in the parish before. It is typically associated with large Wealden woodlands in West Sussex, although it is expanding its range. Its foodplant is goat willow, abundant locally so it might stay around. Keep your eyes open for this large beautiful butterfly in the village.