This Privet Hawk moth (Sphinx ligustri) appeared while I was weeding in the vegetable garden. Excuses to stop weeding don’t come much better than that.
The poor creature was unlucky enough to fall into our hands but endured stoically our admiration and picture taking. There are no privets around us but lots of ash trees and elders and the caterpillars also use these tree leaves as their food.
The chrysalis remains underground during the winter and our moth had just emerged and was still pumping up its wings while we had the pleasure of examining it.
It was quickly placed in the shade of a tree and left to recover from the indignities it had suffered and I hope to see it soon feasting on the nectar from our honeysuckle flowers.
It is not my favourite hawk moth, my favourite is the humming bird hawk moth, Macroglossum stellatarum but I have not seen one yet this year.