The 'Flying Guppy'Thursday 22nd June 2000
A HUMMINGBIRD HAWKMOTH hovers at our Honeysuckle, bringing an exotic touch to a grey morning. It looks more like a hummingbird than a regular moth. Although it is a southern European species, it generally turns up in Britain from June through to September, but it is usually a rare sight in Yorkshire - in fact it's years since I last saw one here, and then it was at the same honeysuckle by the window.
On Tuesday I had a phone call from a man in Horbury. He'd just been into his back garden and saw a creature that at first made him think 'it's a guppy! - the moth has orange underwings and what appears to be a stubby fish-like 'tail'. If you get close enough you're supposed to be able to hear the hum of its rapidly beating wings, which beat so fast you can barely see them, but that would probably be beyond the range of my own hearing. It's said that women are better at hearing the hum.'