Saturday 1 December 2012

A day in the life...

Anne and Ross have a group of three Magpie Inkcaps (Coprinus picaceus) in damp leaf litter in their garden. They appear every year in October or November (they seem to be quite late this year).

The 3 pics show how much they change over 3 successive days (Day 3 was 30 Nov) -- the end stage is when the gills blacken and liquefy (hence the 'ink' in the name).

Saturday 17 November 2012

Little Egret visits River Granta

Derek and Jennifer both saw a Little Egret in the river downstream of the Millennium Bridge on the morning of 15 November. Neither had a camera to hand but Jennifer did have her phone:

Derek also reports that he has seen a Kestrel hovering above the field between Church Lane and Cambridge Road several times recently.

He asks us to keep reports coming in and would particularly like to hear about winter visitors: Redwings, Fieldfares, Siskins, Bramblings...

Friday 19 October 2012


This picture of a Heron was taken by Carolyn Hannah in Linton Road on 10th October:

Sunday 30 September 2012

Linton Road Stubble Field - 29 September

Pat Daunt led a walk around the field on Linton Road to view the flora growing in the stubble.

Looking East from a point close to the allotments
(towards Hildersham parish)

There was a good display of poppies immediately obvious and many other fine specimens apparent on a closer look. Among them, there were those shown below:

Field Madder

Fools Parsley

Speedwell and Scarlet Pimpernel

Dwarf Spurge

Black Bindweed

Field Poppy (dark)

Black Nightshade

Round-leaved Fluellen

Sharp-leaved Fluellen

Dense-flowered Fumitory

Field Pansy

Field Poppy

Cut-leaved Deadnettle

Night-flowering Catchfly

Field Poppy (pink)

Other plants seen included:
- Field Madder, one only seen, in flower.
- Groundsel, lots of it.
- Common Chickweed, occasional.
- Canadian Fleabane, plenty, scattered, v. variable.
- Scentless Mayweed, v. abundant, some flowers exceptionally large.
- Field Sowthistle, scattered, flowers impressive.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Red Admiral in the High Street

George took this fine picture of a Red Admiral, one of several by the church notice board on the High Street, while taking a dog for a walk on the afternoon of 21 September.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Silver Y moth

This photo of a Silver Y moth (Autographa gamma) was taken by Amanda Hutchings.

Friday 7 September 2012

Grass Snake eating Toad

Terry Tinkler of Church Close took these photos on 17 August in a High Street garden in Great Abington.

Common Blue

Jennifer too this photo of a Common Blue on the Roman Road on Little Abington section, east of Worsted Lodge, on 14th August. She has as yet seen no Chalkhill Blues on our side of the A11!

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Butterflies on the Roman Road

Jennifer led a butterfly and flower outing on the morning of Saturday 11 August.

On 14th August, she saw Common Blue butterflies up there:

Whiteletter Hairstreak on Cambridge Road

Derek has, for the third year running, seen - and this time photographed - a Whiteletter Hairstreak in his garden on 12th August. It was feeding for some time on Golden Rod.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

The Nobes family had a rather exciting visitor on the night of 6 August -- a Privet Hawk-moth (Sphinx ligustri).

Anne writes: The internet tells me that this is our largest resident hawk-moth and is widespread across southern Britain.

Photo by Jenny Nobes (Anne's fingers for scale!).

Thursday 2 August 2012

Bourn Bridge Road Verges, study walk, 31 July 2012

Patrick reports:

A good turn-out of 15 members. The bad effect of the mid-season mowing on the non-PRV sections was noted. Lady’s Bedstraw as well as the Campions were past their best but Greater Knapweed and Scabious were still at peak.

These plants were seen either then or that morning:


Common Ragwort
Hoary Ragwort
Milfoil (Yarrow)
Common Knapweed
Creeping Thistle
Greater Knapweed
Scentless Mayweed
Canadian Fleabane

Hop Trefoil

Hedge Mustard
Shepherd’s Purse

Black Horehound
Wild Basil


Rose family
Dog Rose

Hedge Parsley

Campion family
Bladder Campion
White Campion

Field Scabious (Teasel family)
Poppy (Poppy family)
Hedge Bedstraw (Bedstraw family)
Field Bindweed (Convolvulus family)
Lady’s Bedstraw (Bedstraw family)
Great Bindweed (Convolvulus family)
Broad-leaved Dock (Dock family)
Common Mallow (Mallow family)
Curled Dock (Dock family)
Perforate St John’s Wort (SJW family)
Stinging Nettle (Nettle family)
Knapweed Broomrape (Broomrape family)
Crow Garlic (Lily family)
Mignonette (Mignonette family)

Sunday 22 July 2012

Lizards on the Land Settlement

Anne has seen a common lizard sunning itself on a wooden sleeper beside her patio.

Anne also reports "incredible numbers of Ringlet butterflies in the garden and on grassy verges at the moment (I've disturbed 10 or more at a time when brushing through grassy wildflower areas). Must be making up for lost time! Other most numerous butterfly is the large white, with meadow browns coming in a distant third".

Green Woodpecker

Jennifer has managed to photograph this green woodpecker in her garden - she's seen it several times in the last three weeks:

Jennifer also took this photo of a Comma butterfly in her garden in the rain on 10 July:

Friday 13 July 2012

River Sampling - 12th July 2012 18:30

We sampled for 3 minutes (kick & sweep) in the river alongside the cricket field. We also looked for signs of life on some stones taken from the river.

Monday 2 July 2012

Naturewatch Study Walk, 30 June 2012

Coploe Chalk Pits
  • Common Valerian, widespread & abundant, in places dominant - Likes ‘wet & dry grassland’
  • Legumes: Kidney Vetch, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil, all in good numbers
  • Campions, both White and Bladder. Bedstraws, both Lady’s and Hedge
  • Composites: Rough Hawkbit (rich yellow flowers) and Mouse-ear Hawkweed (lemon-yellow flowers), both chalk-lovers
  • Calcicoles: Purging Flax (five petals) and Squinancywort (four petals) in fair numbers, sometimes growing together. And Milkwort abundant and often of exceptionally good size. As blue-flowered ones were growing together with pink-flowered ones they are probably all the Common rather than Chalk species
  • A good patch of Agrimony (Rose family) and some fine Eyebright (‘Scroph’ family)
  • At the entrance a big Spindle with plenty of (unripe) spindles
Roman snails were also robust & numerous.

Heydon High Meadows (going west from Heydon towards Great Chishill, soon after passing the Animal Shelter on your left, park on the right in the gap opposite the research centre with a security fence)

Outstanding species, in the right-hand meadow as you get towards the oak tree.

  • Grass Vetchling (Lathyrus nissolia), a very fine, sweetly scattered group, the grass-like leaves unique for a legume
  • Yellowwort (Blackstonia perfoliata; Gentian family), a few small but showy groups, all the plants of exceptionally good size, especially the flowers
  • Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis), a good number, just coming into full flower
Other legumes: Meadow Vetchling, some big masses; Common Vetch, scattered
Also: Red Bartsia (Scroph family), esp. one big patch. Common St John’s Wort and Rough Hawksbeard here and there. Cut-leaved Cranesbill, very smart, along the access path.

A Ringlet butterfly was also seen:

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 (