Monday 29 September 2014

Baby Grass Snake in Cambridge Road

Derek nearly stepped on this very small grass snake in their garden on 14 September.

Scale can be estimated from the leaves in the top corner (a small weed) and the blades of grass.

Sunday 28 September 2014

World Rivers Day - Display at Abington Woods Open Day 27th September 2014

This year we celebrated World Rivers Day (a day early) with a river inspection and litter pick-up and a display at the Abington Woods Open Day. Abington Woods is now open for business at the former scout camp site and is also the new home for Holme Court School. During our inspection, we saw and removed a Himalayan Balsam plant; this is an invasive species and can displace native plants, especially along river banks.

Himalayan Balsam - found during litter-pick and river inspection
Abington Woods Open Day

We showed the visitors some of the inhabitants of the River Granta that flows along its southern boundary. We had six crayfish (regrettably the invasive Signal variety), 4 small fish and various other small creatures, notably fly larvae and shrimps. We had a steady flow of 'customers' for most of the time (11:00 - 15:00). The (fairly large) crayfish were quite an attraction!

Young visitors inspecting river samples
Sticklebacks and Minnow

Larger fish are also in our river. We had several reports of brown trout, around 200 mm long, being seen. Kingfishers are also seen regularly along this stretch of the river.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Hibernating Peacock butterflies

Anne found 14 Peacock butterflies which had settled down for the winter on a plank of wood leaning against the wall in the darkest corner of their shed. They were in 3 distinct groups (5, 5 and 4), and all oriented facing down the vertical slope of the leaning plank.

For the second photo, the plank was briefly removed from the shed for better light

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Common darter dragonfly

Jennifer found this Common Darter (dragonfly) on the tip of her car radio aerial:

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 (