Saturday, 30 May 2020

Hare-ing around!

Andy M watched three Hare, chasing each other around the lovely flower meadow on Granta Park early one morning recently.





Young Goldfinch being feed

A family of Goldfinch have recently fledged in Andy M's garden, and the young have been hanging around the adults, and begging - hoping for a meal!





Young, recently fledged birds around the village

A number of fledged young birds have been seen around the village over the last week or two, and Andy M has taken a few pictures of some of them.

Young House Sparrow -
very like the adult female, but keeps the yellow gape

 Young Starling
drab brown colour with some streaks, and a yellow gape

Young Goldfinch 
Young Goldfinch
Black, white and yellow pattern on wings similar to adults, but
lacking the adult's red, black and white colour on the face and head.

 Young Blue Tit - peeping out. This family fledged the next day.
Similar pattern to adult, but colours more yellowy and muted, as if 'washed-out'

Young Great Tit
Similar pattern to adult, including white cheek patch and black breast strip,
but colours more yellowy and muted.

 Young Rook - 
Very similar to adult, but lacking the white bill - making it seem similar to a Carrion Crow.  
Young Rooks still have the characteristic 'dagger-shaped' bill though.

 Young Blackbird

 Young Blackbird 
Similar to female, but often with a shorter tail.  More speckled, particularly on the breast.

 Young Blackbird - sunbathing!

  Young Canada Goose goslings with adult - 
Goslings remain 'fluffy' for some time 
before turning pale grey-brown like the adult, but with a brown neck for the first year.


Various Geese on Granta Park

There have been three species of geese on Granta Park recently, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, and Barnacle Goose, and Andy M took a few photos to show the differences.

 Greylag Goose 
Large (length ~80cm), mostly grey-brown,   
brown neck with obvious striations, large orange bill, pink/orange legs.
The only 'grey goose' seen in large numbers in UK in summer.

Greylag Goose

 Canada Goose 
Largest UK goose (length ~90cm), body mostly grey-brown,
long black neck, black head with white 'chin-strap', black bill, dark legs.
Introduced from N America, now breeds widely in UK.

Barnacle Goose
Medium-sized (length ~65cm), body mostly grey with darker bars on back,
shorter black neck, head mostly white with black cap, small black bill, dark legs.
Mostly a winter visitor to UK (breeds in Arctic), but a few birds remain and breed in the UK.

Abington Bird Survey May 2020 - Summary

Friday 22nd to Monday 25th May 2020

There were 17 reports and a total of 63 species

Species
Maximum Count
Number of Reports
Barnacle Goose
2
1
Blackbird
7
17
Black-headed Gull
1
1
Blackcap
3
8
Blue Tit
10
15
Bullfinch
2
2
Buzzard
3
7
Canada Goose
10
3
Carrion Crow
6
8
Chaffinch
2
5
Chiffchaff
2
6
Coal Tit
10
3
Collared Dove
4
12
Corn Bunting
2
2
Cuckoo
1
5
Dunnock
8
10
Feral Pigeon
1
1
Goldcrest
2
3
Goldfinch
10
11
Great Spotted Woodpecker
2
6
Great Tit
6
10
Green Woodpecker
2
5
Greenfinch
3
10
Grey Heron
1
2
Greylag Goose
8
2
Herring Gull
3
1
House Martin
8
6
House Sparrow
14
12
Jackdaw
16
15
Jay
1
4
Kestrel
1
3
Lesser Whitethroat
2
2
Linnet
10
2
Little Owl
2
1
Long-tailed Tit
4
3
Magpie
2
11
Mallard
14
3
Mistle Thrush
10
1
Moorhen
2
3
Nuthatch
1
1
Pheasant
2
3
Pied Wagtail
3
5
Red Kite
1
2
Red-legged Partridge
3
2
Reed Bunting
2
2
Reed Warbler
1 (h)
1
Robin
4
14
Rook
12
14
Skylark
8
5
Song Thrush
4
11
Sparrowhawk
1
3
Starling
12
6
Stock Dove
4
3
Stonechat
1 (h) 
(p)
Swallow
6
7
Swift
14
6
Tawny Owl
1 (h)
2
Tufted Duck
1
1
Whitethroat
4
2
Willow Warbler
1
1
Woodpigeon
c50
17
Wren
4
7
Yellowhammer
5
2
T (h) = heard  (p) = possible

It is pleasing to see an increase in the number of reports this year up from 11 last year for example.
Also pleasing is the number of species found within our boundaries – again up from recent years which have hovered around 50.

It is probably not surprising that the species most frequently noted were Blackbird and Woodpigeon closely followed by Blue Tit, Jackdaw, Robin and Rook.

I am grateful to everyone who was able to take part. Many have said they enjoyed it. Perhaps this is one positive thing to come out of the coronavirus restrictions.

DLT
28.5.2020


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.

Contributions to our records should be sent to sector contacts or either of the above. Photographs may also be submitted to Andy Merryweather (amerryweather61@gmail.com)