Saturday 23 March 2019

News - Goosander seen for first time in The Abingtons

Thursday 21st March - Andy M

female Goosander was seen flying low over Granta Park, heading east towards Great Abington.  Excitingly, this species of duck has not been reported before in the Abington parishes.

Goosander belong to the 'sawbill' family of diving ducks. Breeding mainly in Scandinavia and northern Russia (and occasionally in Northern Britain), Goosander migrate south in winter, which they spend in northern Europe including the UK, most often on inland lakes or along the coast.

Andy was unable to take a photograph of the bird seen on Thursday, but below is a female Goosander from BirdGuides - Sawbill Photo ID guide

The male and female Goosander appear very different. A large duck, some 60-70cm long, with a wing-span of around 80-90cm. The female has a long red bill, and a chestnut-brown head, sharply distinct from a long pale neck which is extended when in flight. Underparts of the long body are pale, with a darker back, and the long, narrow, pointed wings have a clearly visible block of white on the inner wing, contrasting with darker wingtips. The flight is fast and direct, on stiffly-held wings with a rapid, shallow wingbeat.

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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:>

For more information or to join, please contact David Farrant on (01223) 892871.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (