Friday 23 August 2019

Lunchtime walk around Granta Park

Whilst on his lunchtime walk around Granta Park in the hot August sun, Andy M noted a few changes that seemed to be heralding the start of the transition from summer towards autumn.

With the meadows now all shades of brown - and many of the flowers, so bright just a few weeks ago, now turned to seed - a few flowers could still be found in sunny spots around the edges - such as Common MallowScarlet Pimpernell, Cotton Thistle, Agrinomy and Hawkbit. 

Cotton Thistle - running to seed (Onopordum acanthium)

A trio of Teasel heads (Dipsacus sylvestris)

 Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris)

 Scarlet Pimpernell (Anagallis arvensis)

 Cotton Thistle (Onopordium acanthium)

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

In some cases, these flowers were being actively sought out by the few remaining butterflies, such as the resplendent Painted Lady, while others such as Speckled Wood and Green-veined White chose to remain in the cool shade of the woods.

Painted Lady butterfly on Hawkbit flower

 Speckled Wood butterfly

  Speckled Wood butterfly (underwing)

Green-veined White butterfly

Loose flocks of small birds such as Great Tit, Blue Tit and Long-tailed Tit, were forming and moving through the woods, quietly feeding, 'chirruping' to keep together, and at their fringes the odd single Blackcap, Chiffchaff or Goldcrest.

Long-tailed Tit


The first berries and fruits, such as Elderberry, Hawthorn, Yew, HazelHorse Chestnut and Beechnut, were starting to appear, and the Ivy was covered in its strangely-shaped flower buds.
Fungi such as Boletus could also be found, starting to pop up through the leaf-litter.


Hawthorn berries

 Yew berries

Hazelnuts - more (or less!) expertly opened!

 Horse Chestnut



 Strangely-shaped flower buds of Common Ivy ....

... that the hoverflies and bees seem to love 
- Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)
Fruiting body of a Boletus fungi

 A Sycamore leaf - still green - in a shaft of sunlight.
'Tar spots' showing, but autumn colours not yet here!

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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 (