Tuesday 29 December 2015

Starling murmuration in Granta Park

The performance is still occurring... these photos were taken by David Farrant on 28 December.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Murmuration of Starlings on Granta Park on Saturday 19th Dec.

Andy took these pictures of the fabulous mini-murmuration of Starlings on Granta Park. He says that photos really don't do justice to the beauty of the spectacle. 

The show started at around 3:40pm with just a few birds, but as small flocks continually joined the group, the numbers swelled to over 800!  This larger flock swirled and wheeled around over the TWI buildings for about 20 minutes, starting off as a more diffuse, spread-out flock, but slowly the Starlings flew in ever-tighter formation, until a 'tight ball' of birds finally descended as one into the reeds, just as it got dark. Truly spectacular!

Lesser Redpoll in Lewis Crescent

A small group of up to seven Lesser Redpoll has made a welcome return to Andy's garden on 20 December, after an absence of almost three years.  The group seems to comprise 1 male (bright red forehead, small black bib and distinctive diffuse red breast patches), 3-4 females (red forehead and black bib) and 2-3 juveniles (black bib, but no red). They are moving around with a flock of Goldfinch. All are noticeably smaller and slimmer than the Goldfinches, and seem to have a strong preference for feeding on the Niger seed.

Saturday 19 December 2015

Green Woodpecker and Pheasant in West Field

Peter Dawson took these photos of his regular garden visitors - a Green Woodpecker (16 Dec.) and a male Pheasant (6 Nov.), who sweeps up the seeds dropped by the other birds. Peter has also noticed that there have been many more Coal Tits around this year.

Other reports on 19 December:

We have had a Song Thrush singing as though it was spring and we have twice seen Goldcrests on conifers in the garden recently.
A Grey Wagtail visited our garden on 7 December and Andy saw one near the sluice on 14 December.

Starling murmuration still going strong - 300+ circling around Granta Park lake for about 30 minutes yesterday - 3:40-4:10pm.  

Sunday 6 December 2015

Starling murmurations

During Andy Merryweather's talk on Friday 27 November, one of the audience asked whether there were any Starling flocks or more properly Starling murmurations near Abington. 

Soon after that, Andy was walking between buildings on Granta Park at around 3:45pm, and noticed on more than one day a nice mini-murmuration of around 200-300 Starling over the cricket green and lake on Granta Park. The flock did its thing, wheeled around for about 10-15 min before finally dropping out of view to roost.

Since then, a couple of other people have seen this local mini-spectacle. If anyone else is interested, it could probably be seen on other afternoons at the moment at around 3:30 - 4:00pm - the picnic tables by the lake might be a good place to sit and watch.

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: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

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 (amerryweather61@gmail.com)