Sunday 24 December 2023

November 2023 - Summary of Sightings around the Abingtons

November 2023

Amphibians and Reptiles

No sightings this month.



This month a total of 53 species were reported in 346 records. Surprisingly, a single Swallow was seen along the Roman Rd – a very late report for this species! A Woodcock was spotted on GP, as were Ruddy Shelduck and Mandarin Duck. Both winter thrush species were spotted throughout the month, and the Tawny Owls were again hooting around the village. Nuthatch reappeared on garden feeders, although some commented there seemed to be fewer birds in general in their gardens, perhaps reflecting the generally milder weather this month.

A Swallow was spotted flying south over the Roman Rd on 6th, some six weeks after the last local report, and the latest Swallow reported in Cambs this year. Several small flocks of Fieldfare were seen, along the Roman Rd (see blog), on GP and along Church Lane, and there were two reports of Redwing, along the ORC and on GP.

A Woodcock was spotted roosting on GP on 29th, at the same location in amongst trees. Also on GP, a Little Grebe and a pair of Ruddy Shelduck were seen on the lake, alongside Moorhen and Mallard, and four Grey Heron and seven Mandarin Duck were seen along the river (see blog). Several Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit were also spotted on rough ground, and around 30 Chaffinch were spotted feeding on beech mast near the gym.

A Nuthatch made a welcome return to a garden on Cambridge Rd, and another was seen on North Rd. Up to 20 Goldfinch, 2-3 Greenfinch and Chaffinch were regular visitors to several gardens, as well as small flocks of Blue Tit, Great Tit and Long-tailed Tit, with a few Coal Tit sightings (see blog). Goldcrest were also spotted along the Roman Rd, on GP and in a few gardens (see blog). Blackbird were reported more often in some gardens, as were Robin, Dunnock and Wren, however, in other gardens there seemed to be fewer birds seen than normal.

Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker were both seen occasionally in Cambridge Rd, around Hall Farm and on GP, as well as on the Perse sports fields. Jay were also spotted at several locations, and a Song Thrush was seen along North Rd.

One of two Buzzard were spotted at various locations, as was a Red Kite. A Kestrel was reported three times, and a Sparrowhawk was seen around Hall Farm (see blog) and over the allotments. A Tawny Owl was heard calling twice, around Church Lane and Hall Farm.

Small flocks of Linnet, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and a few Yellowhammer were seen along the Roman Rd (see blog), on GP and along the ORC. Pheasant were spotted at several locations, and Red-legged Partridge were seen along the Roman Rd and adjacent to Cambridge Rd.

Larger flocks of Black-headed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull were on GP and the Roman Rd, respectively, as were 1-2 Herring Gull. Large mixed flocks of Rook and Jackdaw frequented rough ground on GP, as well as small numbers elsewhere, and a few Carrion Crow and Magpie were widely reported.

Collared Dove and Stock Dove were often seen in gardens on Lewis Cres, Cambridge Rd and Hall Farm, as well as occasionally elsewhere, with a few Woodpigeon being widely reported. Flocks of Starling were reported as gathering to roost on GP, and House Sparrow were regularly seen around Lewis Cres.



As expected in November, reports of insects were few and far between. In a Church Lane garden, a Red Admiral was seen on 18th, and again feeding on a dahlia flower on 23rd. A Common Carder Bee was seen on 12th in a Cambridge Rd garden. Otherwise, very quiet.



Fox – one seen on the GP side of the river in Sluice Wood on 30th.

Hare – up to seven were spotted in fields to the south side of the Roman Road on 6th (see blog)

Muntjac – one seen in Lewis Cres garden on 13th, another in a Cambridge Rd garden on 19th, and one more was seen in Lagdon’s Grove on GP also on 19th.



Just a few Parasol and Shaggy Inkcap fungi seen on GP (see blog)



Rainfall this month was 68mm, a little over the average for this area which is around 58 mm. Overall maximum daytime temperatures remained in double figures for most of the month, with the warmest day being 13th with a temperature of 15.5 degrees C - relatively tropical! The coldest was on 30th, at minus 6.7 degrees C, with frosty nights recorded for the last eight days. The first half of the month was quite breezy with winds generally in a west to south-west direction, changing to lighter more northerly winds for the second half.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for November 2023:
David & Gaynor Farrant, Len Mead, Andy & Polly Merryweather, Nancy Ockendon, Freda Orgee, Barbara Phippen, Gareth Rees, Gill Smith, Maggie & John Turner, Derek 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 (