a somewhat occasional blog

Tales of the Railway Bank, July 11 – Bees and Moths

The railway bank at Greenwich station has thrown up a few surprises in the last few weeks.

Evening Primrose – Greenwich Railway Bank

Several Evening primrose flowers have been in bloom, which is the first year that I have seen them. In fact I have rarely seen this plant in the general neighbourhood and wonder if the seeds were brought back by some traveller returning form a beach along the Kent coast.


Burnet Campion moth – Greenwich Railway Bank

I tool a walk through the long grass and stands of herbs this week to count butterflies and I managed to ‘disturb’ a few day flying moths. Beautiful moths at that. It toke me a while to identify the species – they turned out to be Burnet Campion moths (Euclidia gylphica). The beautifully pattern brown forewing and orange underwing makes this a very attractive moth indeed and a new one for me.

The big butterfly count along the railway bank included Small whites, a couple of gatekeepers and my first Lesser tortoiseshell butterfly of the year.


Unidentified Bee on a brassica

The mustards and rapes have come to prominence over the last month. Although to many these are slightly straggly and messy looking ‘weeds’ they are a real bonanza for the local bees. Sweet pea and mallow were catering for the various bees feeding on the railway bank.


Bee on sweet pea
Bee on mallow

Although I have been spending more time on the heath this month, which is a largest area of green space in the area, I still find it rewarding and inspiring that even a small area of ‘wasteland’ and an informal and accidental nature spot can provide such an engaging wildlife experience.

And I hope that the mowers and the tidyers will be kept at bay for a month or so, so the railway bank can hopefully summon up a few more surprises.

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