With just three moths recorded at the station so far this year, It was with some anticipation that I headed for Perivale Wood at the obscenely early hour of 5 a m on Good Friday. Andy and David have been trapping in the wood for some time and were running four traps; we met up at 6:30 along with Fiona and Max from Birdguides and Steve Spooner, another relative novice moth-er like myself, but armed with bags of enthusiasm. It turned into a bit of an orthosia fest with 143 moths of five species recorded, broken down as follows: 69 Common Quaker, 56 Small Quaker, 12 Hebrew Character, 4 Clouded Drab and 2 Twin-spotted Quaker. The rest of the haul was 2 Brindled Beauty (a new moth for me), 1 Satellite, 2 Chestnut, 2 Brindled Pug and 2 Grey Shoulder-knot. All in all a fine haul and more that enough to keep me going until the moths start to appear at Berrylands.
A greenhorn lepidopterist at large in suburban London
Berrylands Station is on the London Waterloo to Hampton Court line between New Malden and Surbiton, a 25 minute train journey from central London. I became aware of its potential for attracting moths in late August 2008. The station is situated on an embankment with the Hogsmill Sewage Farm directly to the north and a typical mix of suburban houses and gardens to the south. The elevated aspect of the station and the comparative lack of domestic and street lighting in the immediate area mean that it acts like a huge moth trap, there are white-painted covered waiting areas and staircases on both platforms, these are illuminated at night and most of the moths are found in these areas. What follows is my attempt as a novice lepidopterist to record and catalogue all the macro moths I encounter on my daily commute to work along with the occasional "awayday" in search of other British lepidoptera .