Monday 30 May 2016

Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars

Whilst walking along the Roman Road to the north of Abington, Andy M spotted a number of bushes which were almost completely covered in what looked like cobwebs. Closer inspection revealed that the webs contained thousands of tiny spotted caterpillars. Jennifer later confirmed these to be Spindle Ermine Moth caterpillars, which spin the web as protection from the birds.

Visit to Beech Wood - June 1st

The Beechwoods nature reserve on the other side of the Gogs is a pleasant place to walk around, especially at this time of year. See for more information and a location map. Parking is available in a lay-by opposite the entrance.

Sally Turnidge says:

The Helleborines were opening last week and should be good by now.
Sorry about the short notice but Wednesday evening seems the best opportunity.
In view of the very short notice we should perhaps just meet there, if you need a lift, please ring me. 


Sunday 29 May 2016

Great Crested Grebe chicks

The two Great Crested Grebe chicks have grown, and were seen swimming around independently on Granta Park lake today by Andy M.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Wren and Robin in West Field

Peter Dawson noticed a Wren in his garden popping in and out of a bird box and managed to catch a couple of pictures of it. He doesn’t know if it has been nesting there or is just going in to look for insects.

There is a scruffy looking Robin that is a regular visitor. He's unsure if it is a youngster that hasn’t developed its feathers yet or a parent recovering from rearing its young. 

Sunday 22 May 2016

Baby grass snake at junction of Chalky Road and South Road

Anne met this very young grass snake crossing the junction of South Road and Chalky Road on 22 May – it was about 7 inches long but barely the thickness of a boot-lace!

Large Red Damselflies in High Street

Jennifer writes:

A few members have reported seeing large red damselflies in the last couple of weeks.

Here is a photo I took of a mating pair that I saw on my pond on the morning of 22 May on a curled up waterlily leaf; the one on the left is the male, brighter than the female.

If you see red damselflies they are almost certainly large red damselflies as the small ones are very rare and not likely to be seen in our part of the country. These large ones are about 5cms (2 inches) long. Please let me know if you see any, most likely on a pond.

The next damselflies we could be seeing at the end of this month are the Banded demoiselles, and a good place to see them is on the edge of the river just upstream of the Millennium footbridge.

Jennifer Hirsh
Naturewatch Insect recorder

Saturday 21 May 2016

Holly Blue Butterfly

This Holly Blue butterfly was seen flitting around in Andy M's garden today.  The iridescent bright blue upperside of the wings could be seen clearly when flying, but the butterfly seemed to rest mostly with its wings closed, or only slightly open as here.  Jennifer confirmed that lots of Holly Blues had been reported over the last couple of weeks.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Great Crested Grebe family on Granta Park lake

Andy M was watching the pair of Great Crested Grebe on Granta Park lake today, and saw the male bird feeding small fish to the two young being carried around on the back of the female.

Monday 2 May 2016

'What's That Bird?' - Summary sheets

Summary sheets from the recent 'What's That Bird?' talks by Andy M.

Click on the link below to open each summary sheet - to view, save or print as desired.

What's That Bird? - Warblers

What's That Bird? - LBJs - Buntings, Larks and Pipits

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 (