Sunday 31 August 2014

Puffball fungi

Audrey has some fine puffballs, probably giant puffballs or Calvatia gigantea, in her meadow...

Photos by Peter B 30/9/2014

Monday 25 August 2014

Abington Shoal project

On Thursday 21st August, intrepid NatureWatch / RiverCare volunteers (Peter, Richard, Stan, Barry, Robin) helped to create a shoal in the river near the footbridge from Church Lane to the Recreation Ground.

This was designed by the South Cambs Ecology Officer, Rob Mungovan, to improve the habitat for river life and allow people to get closer to the river. Cambridge Water kindly provided the digger/driver and South Cambs district council provided half of the gravel. Both came to help on the day as did the Wildlife Trust.

For more details, please see the village web-site:
and the Cambridge News:

Sunday 17 August 2014

River Sampling - 12 August 2014

We met at 18:30 to sample at our usual site near the cricket nets.

This is what we recorded:

Organisation: Abington Naturewatch
Site name: Cricket Pitch Reach, Abington, Cambridge
River: Granta
Grid ref:
Monitoring Group Coordinator: Rob Mungovan
Date: 12 August 2014
Recorded by: Anne Dunbar-Nobes and Peter Brunning
Cased caddisfly:  Nil
Caseless caddisfly:  Nil
Mayfly Ephemeridae:  Nil
Blue-winged olive: Category B, Estimated number 20
Flat bodied up-wings:  Nil
Olives: Category C, Estimated number 120 (all very small)
Stoneflies: Nil
Gammarus (Freshwater shrimp): Category B, Estimated number 35

River low; overcast, windy, cool evening (6.30pm); three kick-shuffles undertaken within the allotted 3 minutes
  1. stones/rocks on bottom, small amount of weed; 
  2. large stones/gravel shallow area;
  3. in main river flow over stoney bottom.
Note: now the reach is so shady, and recent heavy rainfall has increased the flow and removed the weed and riffles, there is very little variation within our 30 metre stretch – no silty areas or  thick weed beds.
Hatches seen: none
Other fauna: Signal crayfish (5); tiny leech, red hairworms (2)

Non-catches: water snails, fish, beetle larvae


Shrimp (Gammarus)

Signal Crayfish

Moth trapping - 16/17 August 2014

David and Jennifer kindly set up a moth trap in Audrey's garden. We met to inspect the results at 08:00 on Saturday, 16 August.

With the assistance of local expert, John Dawson, we identified over 20 different moths, most of which are shown below.

Macro Moths (Noctuidae unless noted)

Straw Dot

Flounced Rustic

Setaceous Hebrew Character

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Copper Underwing

Copper Underwing

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Large Yellow Underwing



Cabbage Moth

Large Yellow Underwing

Square-spotted Clay

Flounced Rustic

Flame Shoulder

Straw Underwing

Square Spotted Clay

Small Square-spot

Vine's Rustic

Setaceous Hebrew Character

Shuttle-shaped Dart

Setaceous Hebrew Character

Willow Beauty (Geometridae)

Micro Moths

Mother of Pearl (Pyralidae)

Mother of Pearl (Pyralidae)

Common Plume (Pterophoridae)

Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix (Tortricidae)

Greylag Geese on Granta Park lake

George took this photo of Greylag Geese on 17 August:

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on the Roman Road

Jennifer saw this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly on the Roman Road on the morning.of 12 August.

Monday 11 August 2014

Dragonfly - Southern Hawker female

Jennifer had a Dragonfly - Southern Hawker female - visit her High Street garden on the afternoon of 11 August. It's shown here on a pine tree (bush):

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Bullfinch in West Field

Mike Bull writes:
This bullfinch flew into our window in mid August, in spite of our raptor silhouettes.
We watched him for 30 mins then he looked up and flew off !

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 (