The year often gets off to a slow start at Berrylands and 2012 was shaping up to follow that trend. Up until this morning just four species of macro have been logged and for the second year running no orthosias have put in an appearance. The fifth macro of the station year showed up this morning, a nice Herald, closely followed by the sixth, and I was astonished to see that it was a Small Dusty Wave. My earliest previous record of this common idaea was on April 29th 2010, a good month before it should be flying; this one must be some kind of record breaker, needless to say the CR has been informed.
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 .