Mrs Giles of Clitheroe asks if anyone has seen the Hummingbird Hawk Moth (letters, July 7th).
Yes indeed, I am pleased to say I saw one a few days ago on lavender in my garden. I would also like to point out, however, these moths are not uncommon – I have seen them every year for many years, both in my garden and in places throughout the UK while on holiday.
They are generally migrants, but are now suspected as being resident in the South West of the country, where I once saw dozens on a single flowering bush. They fly in all weathers (but chiefly by day in the sunshine) from April to December, most frequently in August and September, feeding on a variety of tubular flowers, such as valerian, buddleia, lavender and lilac. They truly are fascinating to watch as they feed. I hope to see many more before the year is out.
ALAN R. MAYOR,
Whiteacre Lane, Barrow