Thursday 5 December 2013

Granta Park Fungi Foray - 8 November

Peter Walker, a volunteer at The Wildlife Trust identified the fungi found and prepared this list:

Auricularia auricula-judae Wood Jelly Ear on dead branches
Auricularia mesenterica Tripe fungus on stumps & logs
Agrocybe molesta = dura Bearded field cap In soil among grass in wood
Collybia cirrhata Piggyback Shanklet Tiny on old Inonotus hispidus
Coniophora puteana Wet Rot Resupinate on dead branch
Coprinus atramentarius Common Ink Cap On grassy bank
Coprinus disseminatus Crumble Cap /Fairy InkCcap Masses on stumps & buried roots
Coprinus flocculosus?? On rotten log (not Sure)
Coprinus micaceus Glistening Ink Cap In litter in woodland
Crepidotus cesatii ? Oysterling On twig
Daldinia concentrica King Alfred's Cake On fallen Ash branch
Entoloma serceum var cinereopacum Silky Pink Gill Dark brown in grass
Galerina laevis ?? Small grooved & orange in grass
Galerina marginata = autumnalis Funeral Bell On dead wood
Hebeloma crustuliniforme Poison Pie In grass
Lepiota castanea Chestnut Dapperling Small with brown scales & ring on stem
Lipista nuda Wood Blewit Violet blue very small specimen
Meripilus giganteus Giant Polypore Base of dead stump tufted brackets
Mycena acicula Orange Bonnet Tiny  orange bonnet in mosses on stump
Mycena flavo-alba Ivory Bonnet Small white on logs in moss
Mycena galericulata Common Bonnet Trooping on logs
Mycena hiemalis Tiny tan colour in moss on trees & logs
Mycena olida Rancid bonnet Tiny white in moss on tree trunks
Mycena vitilis Snapping Bonnet Greyish in litter
Nectria cinnabarina Coral Spot Pink blobs on twig
Pluteus leoninus Lion Shield Yellow cap pink spores on wood
Pluteus umbrosus Velvet Shield Dark crinkled velvety cap on wood
Polyporus squamosus Dryads Saddle Tan bracket on stump
Psathyrella conopilus Conical Brittle-stem In grass in wood
Rhytisma acerinum Sycamore Tar Spot On leaves
Trametes vesicolor Turkey Tail On dead wood
Clitocybe truncicola  decaying log

Some photos of fungi from Granta Park are included at: (number 16-107) and we hope to put a few of them here.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Male Shoveler at Granta Park

Andy M reports that a single male Shoveler is still around on Granta Park Lake. It seems to spend most of the time hidden in the reeds at one end of the lake but appears in open water occasionally:

Andy has also seen a Goldcrest in Granta Park a couple of times this month.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Chiffchaffs in Great Abington

These pictures were taken by Andy Merryweather in his garden on 13th October.
The dark legs differentiate the Chiffchaff from the Willow Warbler.

Sunday 29 September 2013

World Rivers Day

World Rivers Day ( is celebrated each year all round the world. This year it was officially on 29th September but we celebrated it on Saturday 28th September, while the Abington Institute was open for Jeremiah's Café.

We had a steady stream of young visitors between 10:00 and 12;00, some of whom went off with nets to add to our collection of specimens to examine. We had fish, shrimp and signal crayfish as well as a few insects.

Examining and sorting the specimens

These crayfish were cooked - very tasty!

Lots of crayfish found!

Pine Hawk-Moth caterpillar

This photo of a Pine Hawk-Moth caterpillar was taken by Ali Nobes. The caterpillar, measuring 5 cm in length, was found dead in their garden pond and was identified by looking at

Its food plant is the native Scots pine, and they have a large tree growing close to the pond. The adult moth is grey in colour, so the caterpillar is its more glamorous stage!

Friday 23 August 2013

Small Tortoiseshell on the Roman Road - 11 August

Jennifer reports:
I saw the two Clouded yellows on the Roman Road again this morning.

Also a beautiful Small Tortoiseshell on the path that posed for this photo!

Insect Life in Church Lane

Len Mead reports:
Over the past week we have had 6 Brimstones in the garden at one time, feeding on Zinnias. We have also had several types of dragonfly including 8 Common Sympetrum, several of whom were mating and depositing eggs in our pond, and a Golden-ringed dragonfly which was also depositing eggs in the pond..

Brimstone on a Zinnia

Sunday 18 August 2013

Blue tit in Church Lane

On Friday, this juvenile Blue Tit flew in out of the rain to see us... and seemed strangely reluctant to fly away!

Saturday 10 August 2013

Butterflies on the Roman Road - 10 August 2013

Jennifer took these photos on a Naturewatch outing on the Roman Road on Saturday 10th August.

Common blue

Common blue


Painted lady

Clouded yellow

Saturday 27 July 2013

Botany & Butterflies - Fleam Dyke - 27 July 2013

Jennifer organised an outing to observe the flora and fauna on the Fleam Dyke just to the east of the A11. Ten of us started from the A11 at 09:30 and walked eastwards to Bedford Gap.

Walking towards Bedford Gap

These are the butterflies and flowers that we recorded.
Flowers (in no particular order)
Large white
Small white
Horseshoe vetch (seed pods)
Small tortoiseshell
Small skipper
Dropwort (gone to seed)
Meadow brown
Lady’s bedstraw
Hedge bedstraw
Greater knapweed
Black Knapweed
Marbled white (2)
Dwarf thistle (‘Picnic’ thistle)
Chalkhill blue (perhaps 200 or more?)
Tuberous thistle

Carline thistle
5 spot Burnet moth
Kidney vetch

Quaking grass

Common milkwort



Small scabious

Field scabious


Wild parsnip




Wild mignonette (or weld?)

Dark mullein

Goatsbeard (Jack go to bed at noon)

Oxeye daisy

Salad burnet


Sweet briar



Burnet Moth (photo JH)

Chalkhill Blue (photo JH)

Chalkhill Blues (photo JH)


Small White


White-tailed Bumble Bee
(photos PB unless noted)

Sunday 21 July 2013

Field mouse in High Street garden

Jennifer regularly sees this field mouse on her bird nut feeder  

Ringlet butterfly on Roman Road

Jennifer took this photo of a Ringlet butterfly, showing the underside of its wings

Thursday 11 July 2013

Mullein Moth Caterpillar

Jennifer took a photo of this Mullein moth caterpillar near the Bourn Bridge Road fields


Sunday 7 July 2013

Egyptian Goose at Granta Park

Andy Merryweather reports that whilst walking around Granta Park at lunchtime on 24th June, he spotted an Egyptian Goose among the 20 or so Canada Geese on the lake. He has only seen an Egyptian goose a couple of times before...

Sunday 16 June 2013

Spotted Woodpecker

Jennifer saw a young Greater Spotted Woodpecker eating ants on her patio!

Monday 20 May 2013

Granta Park (from George)

Jennifer saw these caterpillars on 11 May in the new hedge alongside the footpath from the hairdressers to the Park.

The park is looking good with the trees in bloom along the avenue approaching the cricket pitch:

and there are cowslips still in bloom

and marsh marigolds at the edge of the lake

Friday 3 May 2013

Grass snakes on Cambridge Road

Derek spotted these 2 Grass Snakes on top of a conifer by their pond, on 19th April.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Kestrel in Granta Park

Riani Wells took this photo on 22 April 2013 at 9:00 am, in Granta Park gardens near Abington Hall.

Saturday 27 April 2013

River Sampling - 27 April

River Granta at Abington, 27 April 2013

10.30—11.30am, cool and overcast with rain showers, river level = medium-high and fast-flowing
Stretch surveyed = 30m stretch beside Cricket Meadow (as approved by Rob Mungovan)

3-minute kick-shuffle sampling technique:
(a) 1 minute in riffle area with dark green mossy weed and large stones;
(b) 1 minute in fast-flowing stony area with light green weed;
(c) 1 minute in shallower gravel area

The following were identified from the sample:

Riverfly Partnership species (abundance code B = 10-99)
Freshwater shrimps – c. 20-30, all similar size of about 1 cm (B)
Mayfly ephemeridae 0
Blue-winged olive mayfly 25 (B)
Olive mayfly 50 (B)
Flat-bodied mayfly 0
Stoneflies 0
Caddisfly (cased and caseless) 0

Other species
Brown trout 1 – c. about 7 cm long, netted at (a) above
Beetle larvae 30
Leech 1
Snails 0
Dragonfly larvae 0
Damselfly larvae 0

Sunday 21 April 2013

Red Kite over Abington

Andy M was sitting outside on April 20 having lunch and what should come over but a Red Kite!
Initially it was quite low, being closely mobbed by a Crow/Rook.
By the time he got his camera, the corvid had chased it way up...

Great Abington birds

Andy Merryweather took these pictures on 31 March



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 (