Saturday 24 September 2011

River Sampling 24th September 2011

We met at the ford at 11 am and sampled above the ford only. The river was lower than any of us could remember, the brick standing of an old pump exposed as never before. Water carts would be pulled by horses into the ford and filled using the pump. The water was used for cattle on the higher farms such as Grange Farm, which had a very limited water supply from a well, and also perhaps for traction engines.

[We heard a few days later that the Gunner’s Hall pond had dried out, something not known since 1975.]

Diversity was moderate, size and numbers generally rather poor. There were a few mayfly nymphs of quite good size. Live pea mussels were abundant, reminding us of the large numbers we found further upstream in the Lodge’s reach last year. The reappearance of several mites (Acari), our only known arachnid, was also welcome.

We had two good single finds. A little way from the bridge we found a small (3 cm) but smart, Three-spined Stickleback, thought to be only the second we have netted.

Nearer the bridge, we had a fine Crayfish, larger than any we got in June, certainly an alien Signal (white patch in the claws clearly visible). We have since been told by experts that we should not have put it back but eaten it...

Monday 12 September 2011

Dragonflies - September 2011

Jennifer found a Common Darter in her garden in the afternoon of 11th September.

Audrey took this photo in her garden recently - it looks as if the dragon fly is just emerging.

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 (