Monday 14 March 2022

Summary of Sightings from around The Abingtons - February 2022

February 2022

Amphibians and Reptiles

Reports of Smooth Newt from two ponds in LA, and Frogspawn seen in another LA pond.



A quieter month, with a total of 313 reports received containing 36 different species. Winter visitors such as Fieldfare and Redwing continue to be seen, as well as the first Brambling of the year.

A female Brambling was spotted amongst Chaffinch under feeders on Lewis Crescent, first seen on 2nd and then twice more. This finch is a winter visitor to the UK, most commonly seen in gardens early in the year, before migrating north in April (see blog link).

The winter thrush continued to be seen regularly, with small flocks of 5-10 Redwing and 4-5 Fieldfare seen on Church Lane and the LSA, as well as a larger mixed flock of around 90 birds on the Perse sport fields on 12th.

Blackcap were spotted towards the end of the month, with a pair visiting the feeders on Lewis Crescent, and a male regularly visiting a garden in the village centre. Interestingly, this month a Reed Bunting was also seen under garden feeders in both Bourn Bridge Rd and Meadow Walk.

Goldfinch and Greenfinch were regularly seen in flocks of up to 10-11 on feeders around the village, as were smaller numbers of Chaffinch (generally 2-5). Small groups of Blue Tit,  Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit were also frequently reported, along with 1-2 Coal Tit in some gardens.

Song Thrush and Dunnock were regularly heard singing in several gardens throughout the month, as were 2-3 Robin and an occasional Wren, and groups of House Sparrow could be heard chirping on sunny days. A few Starling were seen, as were 2-3 Pied Wagtail particularly in the paddocks on the LSA.

A Green Woodpecker was seen in a Cambridge Rd garden, with 1-2 Great Spotted Woodpecker more regularly spotted at several garden feeders. One of two Jay and Magpie were also frequently visitors to some gardens, with up to five Magpie seen on the LSA.

Of the raptors, Red Kite was the most frequently reported from sites all around the villages with up to three being seen over Church Lane, and up to five Buzzard were spotted riding the thermals.  Three reports of a Kestrel and one of a Sparrowhawk were received, and a Barn Owl was heard screeching from the trees behind Lewis Crescent on 22nd.


Butterflies, Bees and other insects

This month saw the first Brimstone butterflies appearing on 14th, with the first (and only) Small Tortoiseshell being spotted on 26th.

Four reports of Buff-tailed Bumblebee, and a good number of Seven-spot Ladybird seen emerging from foliage in the warm sunshine.



Badger – two tracks seen in mud along the Old Carriage Road, suggesting a regularly used route.

Flora and Fungi

Wild Arum foliage showing well, and the first shoots of Dog’s Mercury appearing in Sluice Wood and Lagden’s Grove, GP. Snowdrop and Aconite continue to flower well at several sites around the villages, with the first Lesser Celandine and Sweet Violet flowers seen at the end of the month in Sluice Wood.


No reports this month.



In summary – February was stormy and wet. The worst of the storms came in the middle and end of the month with storms Eugene and Franklin, when wind speeds gusted to over 70 mph at times. The total rainfall was 59mm, so above average, and as a result the river has been running high but with no flooding. The highest temperature was 16 degrees C on the 1st, and the lowest being minus 2.6 degrees on the 11th.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for February 2022:
Mike Bull, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Jennifer Hirst, Len Mead, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Freda Orgee, Brian Parris, Gill Smith, Richard Smith, Jade Taylor-Salazar, John and Maggie Turner, Derek Turnidge, Sally Turnidge.

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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 (