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 .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Awayday: Box Hill, June 25th 2011

Pretty Chalk Carpet, Box Hill, June 25th 2011

Small Yellow Wave, Box Hill, June 25th 2011

Lace Border, Box Hill, June 25th 2011

V-Pug, Box Hill, June 25th 2011

I was invited by the Horsenden Hill lads to attend an all night moth trapping session at Box Hill tonight and a I jumped at the chance of encountering some chalk specialities at this historic site right on the edge of the London Natural History Society recording area. In the event I saw 13 new macro moth species, the stand-outs for me being the pristine Pretty Chalk Carpet in the photo and my first Small Elephant Hawkmoth. There were many other good moths, some of them in very good numbers including V-Pug, Fern, Small Yellow Wave (very smart), Beautiful Hook-tip (sublime), Short-cloaked Moth, Reddish Light Arches, Dark Umber, Shears, Clouded Brindle, July Highflyer, Lace Border and the nigra form of Satin Beauty which is something of a Box Hill speciality. Thanks to Andy Culshaw and David Howden for the invite and to Steve Spooner for the lift.

No comments:

Post a Comment