Monday, 4 November 2019

October 2019. Interesting sightings around The Abingtons

October 2019
Amphibians and Reptiles
No sightings reported this month. 

Hobby – further report of two raptors, believed to be Hobbies, being mobbed by crows near Sluice Wood (4th).
Swallow – three flying over Granta Park lake on 3rd – last report.
Winter thrush – small flock of Redwing (10-15) first seen on Granta Park on 9th and regularly since, and two Fieldfare seen in Gt Abington (on 31st). A Song Thrush also reported in Cambridge Road garden (24th).
Small flocks of birds return to garden feeders, particularly Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and occasionally Coal Tit at several locations. Greenfinch notable by its relative absence – only one report of a single bird.
Linnet – occasional small flock on waste ground in Granta Park.
Skylark – 2-3 singing high above stubble fields near Abington Park Farm, and one over Granta Park.
Goldcrest and Treecreeper – both as part of mixed flock in Lagden’s Grove, on several occasions.
Reed Bunting – two in reedbeds around Granta Park lake.
Cormorant – single bird fishing in Granta Park Lake throughout the month, alongside up to c80 Mallard, several Moorhen and a single female Mandarin Duck (9th).
Sparrowhawk – one (likely juvenile) chasing a Woodpigeon in Gt Abington garden.
Buzzard – three reports of a single bird over Cambridge Road, and Sluice Wood.
Kestrel – three heard calling to each other, over Granta Park (9th).
Red Kite – one over Gt Abington and regularly over South Road, and two over Sluice Wood (13th).
Tawny Owl – several reports of ‘hooting’ heard around the village. A Barn Owl also heard ‘screeching’ in Gt Abington (17th).
Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker – in several gardens, and on Granta Park.
Jay – often seen collecting acorns and flying between woodland areas on Granta Park.
Nuthatch – a single bird in a garden on High Street Lt Abington.
Grey Wagtail – one on the river in Sluice Wood, and another in a garden with a pond in Lt Abington.
Pied Wagtail - up to 25 feeding on Granta Park cricket field, and on Perse sports fields.
Grey Heron – two sightings of one juvenile bird near the river.
Little Egret – four reports of (presumably the same) single bird on the river near recreation ground.
Barnacle Goose – flock of seven regularly on Granta Park cricket green, and Perse sports fields.
Mute Swan – single juvenile on a new lake in a garden on South Road.

Butterflies, Bees and other insects
A very quiet month for butterfly reports, again due to the very variable weather and frosty nights in the last week.  Only 18 reports during the month.
Butterflies – Brimstone and Comma, 3 of each; Red Admiral, 2; Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White, 1 of each.
          The last Brimstone on 16th in the sunshine was a beautiful pristine male.
Bumblebees – two Buff-tailed bumblebees.
Dragonflies – one Hawker, one Emperor and one Darter.
Other reports: one Hummingbird Hawkmoth, several reports of Hornet.

Bat – reported over gardens on Cambridge Road and Bourn Bridge Road.
Hare – one on the Roman Road.
Muntjac – four reports; in gardens on the High Street, Bourn Bridge Road, and in Sluice Wood.
Mole – fresh molehills at various locations around the village, especially on the Recreation Ground and Perse sports fields.

The river continued to have low flow for most of the month. Further small patches of both Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed were reported and have been removed.  Further vigilance and reporting of these invasive plants is encouraged (contact Peter B). Further information can be found on the UK waterways website.

Rainfall for October was 66.5 mm. Average daytime temperature was 15ºC, with a high of 20.9ºC on the 1st, and the low being minus 2.3ºC on the 28th. Strong gusty winds in the first and last weeks of the month.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for October 2019:
Darren Bast, Audrey Bugg, Anne Dunbar-Nobes, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Jennifer Hirsh, Len Mead, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Joan Nevin, Pamela Parris, Gareth Rees, Marion Rusted, Gill Smith, Derek Turnidge.

Please email your sightings, within the Abington parishes, to the relevant ANW Recorder:
Amphibians and reptiles: Anne Dunbar Nobes
Birds:                               Derek Turnidge      
Butterflies, Bees etc:       Jennifer Hirsh         
Mammals:                       Gill Smith                
Rivercare:                       Peter Brunning       
Flora:   Currently vacant - if interested, please contact David Farrant for more details.

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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 or Peter Brunning via e-mail

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