Friday, 19 May 2017

Squeaking skull

I seem to have arrived at Dungeness at the same time as Hannibal Lecter's favourite moth - The Death-head's Hawk-moth (Acherontia atropos). It was found resting on the wall of one of the beach dwellings and brought along to the observatory for safe keeping. They are impressive beasts that carry with them a folklore and fear, mainly due to the obvious 'skull' like marking on the thorax (image to follow). I was lucky enough to have seen one here in the early 1990s that emitted a squeak when handled - this one has kept quiet, at rest on leaves, in a Tupperware box, awaiting release.

It was good to reacquaint myself with a number of plants, especially the shingle specialists and Dungeness notables, such as Yellow-vetch and Sea Pea. Up to 16 Hobbys hawked around the RSPB reserve between Dengemarsh and the Oppen Pits, with a host of accompanying 'mini-me' Swifts.


  1. 16 Hobbies! I wish. Swap for 16 Buzzards?

    1. They are the commonest raptor here Phil, followed by Peregrine and Marsh Harrier!