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 .

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moth magic

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) 13: 04: 2010

I arrived at Waterloo station this morning to find that my usual train was delayed so I decided to take a different route, more convoluted, but better than hanging around in commuter hell. I could have alighted at any one of five stations to make my connection but I decided on Earlsfield, probably subconsciously because it delivered a cracking Small Ranunculus last year. As the doors opened I instantly saw the pictured Oak Beauty just resting on the platform right in front of me; I had a pot in my pocket and it was the work of seconds to secure the prize, a new moth for me and a godsmackingly gorgeous one, but I just can't get over the series of events that led me to this moth, I'm not complaining, it just feels a bit odd that's all.

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