Sunday, 30 December 2018

Blue Tits inspect nest box - spring is coming!

Andy M heard birds calling insistently in the garden today, and tracked it down to a pair of Blue Tits inspecting a nest box on the side of the house.  One bird (possibly the male) was clearly very happy - blue crest up and blue tail spread - standing guard and calling to the world that this box was theirs, while the other spent ten minutes or so inspecting inside and out.  We'll see whether it passed muster!









Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Golden Plover over Roman Road

Andy M took a walk along the Roman Road east of Worsted Lodge on 16th Dec.  Besides seeing nice views of a Yellowhammer, and numerous Fieldfare and Redwing, he saw several loose V-shaped flocks of what looked like waders flying south over the fields towards Abington.  Probably 50-100 birds in total. One group came over low enough to get a few photos, allowing identification of the birds as Golden Plover.  

Anne D-N reported also seeing large flocks of Golden Plover on the fields near Abington Park Farm in previous years (last sightings Jan 2017). On that occasion, Anne reckoned the flock had 80+ birds and they flew in tight formation, all landing together and flying up together - and looked stunning in flight when the sun caught their wings.



Sunday, 25 November 2018

Abington birds this week

Jennifer H had some very colourful visitors to her garden this week - alongside her regular Nuthatch, was this Green Woodpecker with the brightest of red heads! Both male and female have this lovely colouring, with the male, as here, also having a red centre to the black patch under the eye.




Peter B was lucky enough to get a close-up view of a Goldcrest on his garden table today.  Maybe it was tired or hungry, or just fancied a rest - either way it stayed around long enough for Peter to get his camera.  This is probably a female, as the crown strip in the males often has a more orangy tinge.


Andy M finally managed to catch up with the Starling murmuration at dusk over the Granta Park lake, which has been going on for a couple of weeks now. Small flocks of Starlings start to gather and circle around, gradually building to this flock of around 1000-1500 birds, seen at 3:30pm, just before plunging into the reedbeds to roost.




Andy also took a short video (click on link below to view)
Starling Murmuration - Granta Park

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Fallow Deer

Andy M saw this herd of Fallow Deer in the fields below Abington Park Farm - trotting casually in the sun, into the small plantation at the top of Chalky Road.  Lovely views of the autumn colour across Abington too. (11th Nov).






Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Fox - enjoying the sun

Andy M spotted this (dog?) fox today, soaking up the afternoon sun on the meadow between Little Abington church and the river.  After a while, a couple of noisy Buzzards overhead seemed to disturb its relaxation, and it lolloped off toward the Sluice woods.



Sunday, 11 November 2018

Autumnal fruits of the hedgerow

A walk along the hedgerows reveals a bumper crop of autumnal fruits.  Andy M.


Yew 


 Pine 'flowers' 

 Ash keys

 Ivy 



 Sloe berries (with much lichen too!)


 Old Man's Beard

 Dogwood



 Hawthorn berries - with lichen too!

 Teasel 



Rosehips


Hazel catkin 'buds'


 Spindle tree berries



Holly



more 'fruiting bodies'!


Saturday, 10 November 2018

Butterfly Report

At the ANW autumn meeting today, Jennifer presented this summary of the butterflies and other insects reported in The Abingtons so far this year.
Note: red-lettering indicates species that are uncommon or infrequently reported in the Abingtons


Recent, and perhaps somewhat late, butterfly sightings include a Peacock in Granta Park (8th Nov, Andy M) and this Red Admiral in Derek's garden (13 Nov).


The Aims of Abington Naturewatch

At their meeting on 9 April 2005 the members approved this revised version of the aims of Abington Naturewatch:

  • To monitor and record the wildlife (fauna & flora) within the borders of the Abingtons;
  • To encourage protection of our wildlife, maintain its quality and foster its diversity;
  • To promote awareness of the richness, potential and problems of the natural environment of the Abingtons;
  • To cooperate in improving access to the local natural environment for the benefit of all Abington villagers.

Pat Daunt, Founder

The organisation is informal and communication is by email if possible; members are notified of events from time to time. Contact details are maintained by a small "project team". There is currently no membership fee as costs are covered by voluntary contributions at events.

Members are encouraged to report notable sightings of flora and fauna within the Abingtons to the appropriate sector coordinator and an illustrated record is published annually.

A map of the area covered, with some features noted, is available here: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871 or Peter Brunning via e-mail peter.brunning@cantab.net.