Our wildflower meadow is attracting new talent to the Unit. This morning a Lime Hawk Moth caterpillar was found on the wall just next to the front door of the Unit. Although this species normally feeds on the leaves of Lime trees (such as those on South Parks Road), it is known to feed on birch too, so probably grew up in our silver birches.
Its size and grey-purple colouring (rather than grey-green) suggests it is fully grown, and ready to pupate. Based on this assumption, it was relocated to a dry branch of the magnolia bush, from where it could easily reach the ground suitable for it to pupate in (the soil there is covered in loose bark chippings, and should be easy to dig into).
The last photo shows a pair of adult moths photographed by Ben Micklem in his garden. The lower moth is the male and is releasing scent (tail curled upwards), and the female is the larger one above.