Sunday 31 January 2021

If you have a pond, even a small one ... read on!

Gaynor F recently kindly agreed to be the new Amphibians and Reptiles recorder for Abington Nature Watch, so if you have a pond - however small - please keep a look out for the first signs of these lovely creatures coming out of hibernation.

Gaynor has included a hints of what to look for:

Now is the time to start looking for signs of frog and toad spawn, which can be found in ponds from late January, and into February and March. Frog spawn is always laid in clumps whereas toad spawn comes in long chains, usually draped over pond weed and submerged plants.

Also look out for the adults. Generally around the Abingtons, we could spot quite a number of amphibian species, including and two species of frog, one toad species, and two species of newt: 

Common Frog is about 9 cm (3.5 in) long, green or brown with irregular dark blotches on the back and behind the eye. 

Pool Frog is also about 9 cm (3.5 in) long, although the males are usually a little smaller, and are dark-brown with a yellow stripe down the middle of the back.  

Common Toad is about 8 cm (3 in) long with warty skin which is shades of brown, green or grey and the belly is often pale with dark speckles. 

Common Newt (or Smooth Newt) is about 8-11 cm (4 in) long, grey-brown on top with an orange belly, and black spots all over. Males have a smooth crest running down their body and tail, in the breeding season.

Great Crested Newt is larger, being up to 17cm (6-7 in) long, having almost black warty skin, with spotted flanks and a striking orange belly. Like the Common Newt, males also have a long wavy crest running along their body and tail during the breeding season.

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust has a useful website with more details: LINK

Please do let Gaynor know if you see any of these adults or spawn, or any other amphibians and reptiles, including where, when and how many you see.  

     Gaynor Farrant email:

Contact details for all ANW recorders can be found here: ANW CONTACTS

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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 (