Sunday 3 January 2021

December 2020. Interesting sightings from around theAbingtons

December 2020

Amphibians and Reptiles

No sightings reported during December.



Fieldfare – 1-2 flying over Cambridge Road, and a flock of 12 seen near ORC.  Redwing – only one sighting on GP.

Barnacle Goose – 6 feeding on GP cricket field. Grey Heron – three seen in fields adjacent to GP. Mallard and Moorhen – single reports from GP, and three Cormorant seen flying over LA.

Red Kite – one report of a single bird over Lewis Crescent, with single Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard seen at several locations around the villages.  Tawny Owl – heard at several locations towards the end of the month.

Goldfinch – good numbers (up to 30) at several feeders, as were small numbers of Greenfinch and Chaffinch.  Blue Tit and Great Tit also reported widely, Long-tailed Tit more occasionally, and a Coal Tit and 1-3 Goldcrest seen regularly in a Cambridge Road garden.

Collared Dove – groups of 6-8 quite commonly seen under bird feeders, as are 1-2 Stock Dove, with 1-3 Jay and Magpie feeding in gardens at several locations.

Red-legged Partridge – three reports of groups of 25-40 seen on the LSA.  Skylark – small flocks, with some birds singing over fields near AbPkFm.

Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1-2 seen most days at some feeders, with 1-2 Green Woodpecker only more occasionally reported.

Yellowhammer – flock of 30 roosting in hedgerows near Hildersham Wood, and 1-2 Wren and Song Thrush seen along the ORC. Black-headed Gull – c100 seen in fields around Lewis Crescent.


Butterflies, Bees and other insects

Only two reports: a Bumblebee on the Mahonia on 22nd and a Peacock butterfly (indoors) on 25th.



Fallow deer – two spotted on ORC on 19th, and another 6 near Hildersham Wood on the same day.

Hare – one seen in GP on 6th.

Muntjac – one in Lagden’s Grove on 6th, one in Cambridge Road on 31st, and a young one seen frequently in a High St LA garden.

Roe deer – two seen in ORC on 19th.


Flora & Fungi

No sightings reported during December.



Further rain and high winds resulted in the river flooding for several days around Christmas. The resulting high flows brought a certain amount of debris and rubbish, but also removed some of ours further downstream.

The last litter-pick and river walk of the year took place on 29th. A tree was found to have fallen across the river by the cricket ground, but it didn’t respond to the grappling hook. Later the Smith team waded in (literally) and set about with a saw. A large section of tree was also found by the Millennium Bridge, which the intrepid duo also removed later in the day.


December was quite a wet month with 112.5 mm of rain. The coldest day was at the very end of the month, on 31st when it only reached 0.5 degrees C, with the lowest temperature being minus 4.5 degrees C, also on the 31st. It was overall a very calm month.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for December 2020:
Peter Brunning, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Jennifer Hirsh, Andy Merryweather, Brian Parris, Derek Turnidge.
Please email your sightings, within the Abington parishes, to the relevant ANW Recorder:
Birds:                               Derek Turnidge     
Butterflies, Bees etc:       Jennifer Hirsh        
Mammals:                        Gill Smith              
Amphibians & Reptiles, and Flora recorders currently vacant - if interested, please contact David Farrant for more details.

Abbreviations: GA – Great Abington, LA – Little Abington, LSA – Land Settlement Association, GP – Granta Park, ORC – Old Railway Cutting. AbPkFm – Abington Park Farm.

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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 (