Amphibians and Reptiles
Frogspawn - The first sighting in a LA pond on the
20th February (see
blog). Exactly the same date as last year’s first sighting! Clearly time to start checking in your ponds
and other likely places such as ditches.
A total of 44 species were
reported in 275 records this month. Tawny Owl were regularly heard all
around the village and a Barn Owl was spotted one evening. Winter thrush
continue to be seen, with both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush heard
singing early in the month. ‘Bruno’ the Macaw was reported taking a
short trip around Granta Park, giving a few of the staff there quite a surprise!
The collated results of the Abington BGBW are also in (see
spotted on four occasions, including a flock of about 30 in a field near Church
Lane, and smaller flock of Fieldfare
was seen along the Old Coach Rd. A Mistle Thrush was heard singing
regularly on Church Lane, as was a Song Thrush at several locations.
Good numbers (up to 6) Blackbird are also being seen in gardens, the males
being in fine plumage now.
A Blackcap was
spotted three times in gardens on Meadow Walk and Lewis Cres, these likely to
be over-wintering birds.
A Treecreeper was
spotted in a garden near Hall Farm, Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen
regularly in gardens, and a Green Woodpecker was heard calling near the Millennium
A Barn Owl was
seen flying over the fallow fields alongside Bourn Bridge Rd (17th), and Tawny
Owl have regularly been heard calling from several locations through out
the month. A Sparrowhawk was seen flying through a Lewis Cres garden, both
Kestrel and Red Kite were reported twice, and 1-2 Buzzard
were seen soaring over several locations.
Along the river, a Little Egret was
spotted near the Millennium Bridge (10th), and a Grey Heron was seen on
several occasions. Three Mute Swan, an adult and two juveniles, and two Canada
Goose were seen on GP lake, and a Greylag Goose was seen flying over
Lewis Cres. A Grey Wagtail was spotted
feeding along the river edge in Sluice Wood (5th), and several Pied Wagtail
are again being seen in the paddocks on the LSA. A flock of 30 Meadow Pipit
was also reported on GP (21st).
Good numbers of finch continue
to be reported, with up to 15 Goldfinch in gardens and around 30 feeding
on seedheads along Bourn Bridge Rd. Both Greenfinch (3-5) and Chaffinch
(2-8) were also regularly seen in gardens.
Similarly, both up to 4 Blue Tit are regularly spotted, as well
as 2-3 Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit, and more occasionally a
single Coal Tit.
A few Robin, Dunnock
and Wren were all regularly reported, and House Sparrow were also
seen more frequently. Small numbers of Starling were also reported occasionally.
Up to 8 Stock Dove
were regular visitors under the feeders on Lewis Cres, alongside 1-2 Collared
Dove and a few Woodpigeon. A Pheasant was occasionally seen
in a couple of gardens, and a Jay was seen around Cambridge Rd and
Church Lane, with 1-2 Magpie and several Jackdaw being reported
butterfly was spotted in gardens along both Bourn Bridge Road and Church Lane,
during the same warmer spell around 15th. These are the first reports of
non-hibernating butterflies this year. A number of Buff-Tailed Bumblebee
and Honeybee were also reported.
A Common Bloody-nosed
Beetle was spotted along the ORC – quite an unusual sighting (see
Badger – evidence
of setts along the footpath towards Grange Farm on 8th, and also along the ORC
on the 9th. A dead badger was found eviscerated on Newmarket Rd on 10th, and
another was found dead in Cutting Rd on the 12th.
Fox – one spotted
in a paddock on LSA on 11th.
Hare – two seen
along the footpath towards Grange Farm on 8th.
Muntjac – one along
the ORC on 11th and 12th, and one seen in a field off Cutting Rd on 12th.
Flora and Fungi
and Aconite continue to give a good display, in Sluice Wood, on GP and elsewhere,
and the fresh green leaves of Wild Arum are very much in evidence. A
good patch of Bee Orchid plants was spotted in leaf around one of the
buildings on Granta Park, which should hopefully give a good show of blooms
later in the year (see
A Giant Puffball
was spotted along the Old Coach Rd (see
An exceptionally dry
February with only 9mm of rainfall, the average being around 38mm. The highest
temperature recorded was 18.4 C on the 27th and the lowest minus 5.5 C on the 10th.
Winds were predominantly westerly for the first three weeks, swinging to the
north for the remainder of the month.
No summary this month for RiverCare.
Darren Bast, Barry Brooks, Alan Cooke, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Carole McCrae, Len Mead, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Joan Nevis, Gareth Rees, Marion Rusted, Jade Taylor-Salazar, Sally Simmons, Gill Smith, Maggie Turner, Derek Turnidge (and Janet).