Poplar Hawkmoth from UK

What is this moth?
July 5, 2010
Hi. Could you please help me identify this moth. It fell out of a hedge when I was cutting it. We got a picture and put it back. It has fortunately survived. I initially thought it was a moth when I saw it. It was very docile when we pictured it. It measured approx 3 inches long by four inches wide. It has been pictured on my Grandmas hands. Thanks for your help
Thornton near Blackpool. Lancashire

Poplar Hawkmoth

Hi Jon,
According to the UK Moths website, the Poplar Hawkmoth,
Laothoe populi, is:  “Probably the commonest of our hawk-moths, it has a strange attitude when at rest, with the hindwings held forward of the forewings, and the abdomen curved upwards at the rear. If disturbed it can flash the hindwings, which have a contrasting rufous patch, normally hidden.  Distributed commonly throughout most of Britain, the adults are on the wing from May to July, when it is a frequent visitor to light.  The larvae feed on poplar (Poplar), aspen (P. tremula) and sallow (Salix).

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