25 August, 2015

Esher Common

It's amazing how long a day feels when you cut out the lie-in, which is exactly what I've had to do since starting a dissertation based around moth-trapping. 05:00 is never going to be a nice time to be interrupted mid-dream (no matter how soothing the alarm sounds when you set it the night before) but it does mean that after driving to each reserve and emptying the traps I feel awake and ready to the start the day; and all before 7am. This is a level of productiveness/organisation that I rarely feel during the summer holidays, and especially not before midday. Hell, I've even been remembering to take those 'one-a-day' vitamin supplement tablets things that you buy at the start of the year, swear by for a week or so and then completely forget about.

After packing up the traps in Nower Wood last Friday during one such productive 'phase', I decided to pop in to one of my nearest and dearest local patches - Esher Common - for an early morning stroll in the sun.

It's no secret that the boggy areas around Black Pond rank amongst the top spots in the UK for watching dragonflies, and it didn't take long for this to show through. A bulky pair of Brown Hawkers were patrolling the pools whilst lower down nearer the water's surface, smaller species like Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly and Small Red Damselfly were holding onto tiny territories of their own - the latter species being particularly confiding. Around the outskirts of the pond, the scarce moth Crambus hamella could be disturbed from heather, whilst Woodland Grasshoppers were absolutely everywhere. A Hummingbird Hawk-moth stopped to rest briefly along the main path heading back to the car park, rounding off a fantastic late summer session on the patch!

Small Red Damselfly

Small Red Damselfly

Black Darter

Woodland Grasshopper

Crambus hamella

Hummingbird Hawk-moth

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