Sunday 31 December 2017

Diseased Ash tree on Recreation Ground

The Abington Recreation Ground committee commissioned a survey of the trees and regrets to advise that the Ash tree behind the school pool is diseased and will have to be felled very soon. It has a bracket fungus growing on it which will feed on it and reduce it to pulp!

"This tree has, at the base, on the side facing the school boundary, brackets of Ganoderma wood decay fungus and along with that, considerable internal decay at the base of the ‘white rot’ type. This destroys lignin, leaving cellulose behind. The effect is to destroy the compressive strength of the wood, leaving behind a stringy, pulpy mass."

Take care if you wish to bid the tree farewell!

27 December 2017

3rd January 2018

Saturday 30 December 2017

Snowdrops in December - early?

Walking around Granta Park today, Andy M saw a few Snowdrops already in flower - first signs of an early Spring?!!   The catkins were well advanced too.

On the cricket green, a flock of around thirty Fieldfare and Redwing was feeding, alongside a good number of Starling, Black-headed Gull and Pied Wagtail.  I had hoped to see the Starlings murmurating - but alas not today - although around twenty Reed Bunting were seen dropping into the reeds to roost.  And there were around 130 Mallard on the lake in the sunset! 


Mallards in the sunset!

Wednesday 25 October 2017

Birds visiting Lewis Crescent garden

Jean Gwynne took these photos in her garden on 24/25 October.



Sparrow Hawk

Sparrow Hawk

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Lizard in West Field

Kevin Dalton spotted this lizard on his patio on the evening of 23rd October:

Saturday 21 October 2017

Green Woodpecker

Andy M had a most welcome visitor to his garden today - a female Green Woodpecker - which spend quite some time probing the lawn, digging out a number of large grubs - possibly leatherjacket or cockchaffer.

Friday 20 October 2017

Great Abington Primary School - bird watching

Naturewatch recently provided new bird feeders and a supply of bird food to the school.

Class 1 and the School thanked us; they have been feeding and observing the birds which visit the school grounds. The children are taking care in monitoring the feeders, to see when they need replenishing and noting the different birds they have seen.

Sunday 3 September 2017

Bumblebees - up close and personal!

Andy M had some fun trying to get close-up pictures of Bumblebee workers in the garden - not sure whether these are Buff-tailed or White-tailed.  I particularly like the pollen all over the head, and the casual 'side kick' one bee resorted to when another bee approached the same flower.


Friday 1 September 2017

Dragonfly in Cambridge Road garden

Derek took this photo of a dragonfly on 31 August.

Darren Bast (at Granta Park) identified it as a female Common darter, explaining:
  • Key diagnostic to this species is a pale coloured leg stripe which you can see in the photo.
  • The red T shaped mark at section S2 is clearly visible, as are dark pterastigma or wing spots.
  • The only 2 darters seen in this area really are ruddy and common darters. Ruddy darters have jet black legs with no leg stripe.

Monday 21 August 2017

Micro-fungi !

Whilst clearing out an old log heap in my garden, I spotted these tiny 'fungi' on a dead fruit wood branch.  Closer inspection, using my camera, revealed a whole new landscape, in miniature.

 These bowl-shaped discs, only 2-8mm (around 1/4 inch) across, I believe to be the 
somewhat dried fruiting bodies of the 'Variable Oysterling' (Crepidotus variabilis) fungus. 

Whilst less certain about these structures that look like a copse of 'miniature trees' - only 2-3mm tall! - they could be the fruiting bodies or sporocarps of a slime mould, such as Comatricha nigra.

Thursday 17 August 2017

Fungi popping up everywhere

There seem to be toadstools popping up everywhere at the moment - in the lawn, in the flowerbeds and in the woods.  Andy M has taken a few pictures, and hazarded a guess at identifying some of them - suggestions welcome !

Sprouting en masse from an old tree stump on Granta Park. 
Cap about 1cm across.  (Coprinus disseninatus)

Growing in the lawn at home - cap about 3-4cm across. 
Gills white and well spaced. Stipe streaked pink. (Hebeloma spp?)

Hard and scaly, eventually splitting to release black spore-mass inside.
Growing in the soil, about 4-5cm across. Common Earthball (Scleroderma aurantium)

Crazed, reddish-brown cap and red stipe, about 7-8cm across, with characteristic 
tube-shaped 'gills'. Growing on woodland edge at home. (Boletus pulverulentus)

Large fleshy cap with brownish scales and splitting edges 
- around 12cm across. Pinkish-white gills and chunky white stipe. 
In the mown grass on Granta Park.  (???)

Moths in the bathroom!

Having accidentally left the light on in the bathroom, Andy M had number of 'mothy' visitors yesterday evening.
Brimstone moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

Willow Beauty moth (Peribatodes rhomboidaria)

Setaceous Hebrew Character moth (Xestia c-nigrum)

7-spot ladybird in Church Lane

Peter B found this ladybird (in the green bin) while pruning the shrubs on Sunday 13 August:

Butterflies on the LSA

Emma Jones took these photos of Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Red Admiral, and Peacock butterflies on the former LSA in July / August.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Brimstone Butterfly

Andy M took these pictures of a Brimstone butterfly in the lovely sunlight in his garden today.

Small Whites, Large Whites, a Gatekeeper and a Red Admiral were also seen, as well as a dragonfly - probably a Southern Hawker.

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 (