Saturday, 26 May 2018
Strumpshaw Fen Swallowtail and Hawkmothfest
On Saturday 26th May, having to stay in for a delivery of a brace of artificial House Martin nests at home, meant I wasn't able to get out until the early afternoon. I went straight to Strumpshaw in the hope of seeing a Lime Hawkmoth seen by Steve S in the morning by reception. Finding a space in the carpal (amazingly, but it was 2.30pm) a small cluster of people including Dick F were gathered round the hedgerow opposite nearer the overflow car park. Sure enough, a Swallowtail was seen flying about, it was in active feeding flight but on one occasion it settled and posed beautifully for around 3 minutes and I took full advantage. It even showed so close I had to step back on one occasion. Asking at reception, they weren't sure of the Lime Hawkmoth but pointed me in the direction of the tent. Wasn't exactly sure which tent, but I eventually found one in the woods and couldn't see any Hawkmoths here at all, maybe they'd all flown off. I asked several people and they had no idea either and was unable reach Steve on the mobile to clarify exactly where he had seen his. I did see 5 caged Common Twayblades. I walked around the Fen walk, just before the cottage, a Brimstone seen. By the cottage in the rough meadow area left to seed to the right (great habitat!) a further 2 Brimstones seen plus 2 briefly mating pair of Orange Tips the male showed well but flew off when I tried to get a pic. Taking the Fen walk, by the boardwalk, a Poplar Hawkmoth seen on a reed. At the end, a further 5 seen in one bush 3 perched along a thick branch and 2 in foliage nearby together with an Elephant Hawkmoth plus 2 in another bush. Also seen with the 2 in another bush on a branch stump a resplendent Privet Hawkmoth. Along the boardwalk up to 5 Viviparous Common Lizards seen on the walk back, 1 posed well for the camera.