Sunday 19 March 2017

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Andy M saw this somewhat 'sleepy' Red-tailed Bumblebee in his garden this weekend - first one he has seen this year.

Nesting birds on Granta Park

David F got a picture of the Great Crested Grebe pair, nesting in the reeds edging the lake on Granta Park, as well as a Grey Heron making a nest in one of the trees along the river.

Saturday 18 March 2017

Partridges in Church Lane

A pair of partridges have left the Pear Tree and are foraging in a couple of Church Lane front gardens.

Monday 6 March 2017

Birds around The Abingtons

Anne D-N has been watching Stock Doves in her garden recently.  A single bird was heard calling all through February, and Anne now reports that a pair have begun to visit her garden daily! Very dainty birds compared with the bolder and more chunky Woodpigeon.

Peter Dawson got this fabulous view of a female Sparrowhawk feeding on a Pigeon or Collared Dove in his garden recently.

Jennifer H spotted a Little Egret on the river behind the cricket club shed from the road bridge.

and Andy M reported what he believes to be a male Merlin - a small, slim falcon with a slate-grey back and narrow, sharply pointed wings - at the top of the hill south of the Land Settlements. Sadly there was no time to take a picture before it flew off.

Sunday 5 March 2017

Trip to WWT Welney

Visit to WWT Welney - Sunday 4th March 2017

Eight Abington Naturewatch members attended the trip to WWT Welney on the morning of 4th March 2017.  The weather was kind, being dry with a little sunshine, and thirty-nine bird species were seen.  Among the highlights were a Great White Egret, a large flock of Golden Plover seen on Lady Fen, as well as the Whooper Swan and a flock of Black-tailed Godwit seen from the main observatory.
Thanks go to Derek for organising, and to David and Jennifer for the photographs.

 Whooper Swans (DF)

Black-tailed Godwit (DF)

Male Wigeon (DF)

Great White Egret (JH)

 Pochard (DF)

 Male Gadwall (DF)

Egyptian Goose (DF) 

Common Earthball fungus

Andy found what appeared to be small spherical fungi under some yew trees in Granta Park. About 3 to 5cm across, and with a somewhat scaly appearance, he believes these are probably the fruiting bodies of the Common Earthball fungus (Scleroderma spp).  Apparently, the light-brown scaly fruiting bodies appear in late autumn/early winter and rupture to release the spores - the empty cases persisting for some months afterwards.

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 (