Friday, 28 September 2018

Recent Abington Birds

Derek reports having the first Great Spotted Woodpecker for some time on his feeders today and later a male Sparrowhawk dispatching and then flying off with a Blackbird.  Anne has seen a Red Kite near Hildersham Wood - the first sighting for some weeks, and has regular visits to the garden by a Goldcrest.  Andy spotted a male Grey Wagtail on the edges of the river below the sluice (on 27th), and a female Mandarin Duck in amongst the multitudes of Mallard and Canada, Barnacle and Greylag geese on Granta Park lake.  A male Mandarin duck, in eclipse plumage, joined the female on 4th October.


 Male Sparrowhawk with a Blackbird as prey


Female Mandarin Duck with Mallard


Joined by a male Mandarin Duck (in eclipse plumage) on 4th October

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Spotted Flycatcher - just passing through

Andy M had a Spotted Flycatcher in his garden this week (28th), perching on the top-most twigs of the apple tree, and flitting out and back for insects in the evening light.  After an hour or so, it simply disappeared - just taking a few moments to refuel on its way south to warmer climes presumably.





Saturday, 25 August 2018

Young warblers and Sparrowhawk at South Road

Anne Dunbar-Nobes has spotted a number of young warblers in her garden recently (21st August).  The first was a young Willow Warbler – very greenish below, with clear eye-stripe and eyebrow.  The others were a small group of young Chiffchaff, seen siting the water fountain. Whilst the plumage of young birds can sometimes appear a little less distinctive and more 'fluffy' than the adult, the dark legs and feet are characteristic of Chiffchaff, and the plumage of the young has a slightly more greenish-yellow tinge compared to the adult. 

Anne also reports watching a Sparrowhawk with its prey - an unfortunate Collared Dove - on the lawn a week or so earlier (12th August). The female Sparrowhawk spent at least 20 minutes plucking the dove and eating some of the flesh before it was able to take off and carry the carcass away.




 Young Chffchaff


Female Sparrowhawk feeding on a collared dove

Sunday, 12 August 2018

White Letter Hairstreak

John Webb took this fine photo of a White Letter Hairstreak on 12 July


Friday, 3 August 2018

Spotted Flycatcher

Anne D-N has had a pair of Spotted Flycatchers nesting in her garden until recently.  These pictures were taken on 22nd July - one showing the adult with a fine beakful for a lucky chick.  The pair were nesting in an artificial swallow nest, and Anne believes that the young fledged in the last few days.

Michael Holdsworth, who studies these wonderful birds, indicated that Spotted Flycatchers are fairly nest site-faithful so, assuming they successfully make the journey to central Africa and back, they may return next year! 

Also see the interesting BTO article describing the work in which Michael is involved - BTO Spring newsletter - Spotted Flycatchers



BTO Spring newsletter - Spotted Flycatchers

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Swallows in Church Lane

Jennifer saw swallows congregating above 2 Church Lane on the afternoon of 2 August.



Saturday, 21 July 2018

Comma butterfly in High Street

Jennifer took this photo of a Comma butterfly, showing clearly the white 'comma' on the under-wing, in her garden on 21 July.


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.