Whilst at work back in July I found this pristine Small Tortoiseshell sunning itself on the side of a metal container, I managed one shot before it flew off but I think it's come out quite well. It seems that Small Tortoiseshells are making a comeback after a couple of years when they seemed to be in real trouble; the demise of the last few years has made me appreciate what a beautiful butterfly it is and that I should never take such a thing for granted.
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 .