Sunday 24 February 2019

Butterflies and Bees out and about in the warm sun

In recent days, Brimstone butterflies have been reported by several members, in gardens and on the Roman Road - with the first report being on 15th Feb. Since then, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies have also been seen, on 22nd and 24th, as well as the first Buff-tailed Bumblebees (16th) and Honey Bees.

 Comma butterfly (AM)

 Comma butterfly (AM)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee queen (AM)

Trip to Fen Drayton Lakes

In glorious spring sunshine, six ANW members enjoyed a walk around the RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes reserve on Saturday 23rd Feb. As well as seeing a good variety of bird species and large numbers of ducks, we were lucky enough to get great views of a Marsh Harrier hunting effortlessly above the reedbeds, and a Water Rail briefly, as it scuttered across the water between reedbeds just in front of us.  It was also heard making its strange 'grunting, squealing' call, known as 'sharming', from the reeds shortly afterwards.

A total of 39 bird species were seen.

The group also saw a few Brimstone butterflies, out in the gloriously warm sunshine, and broke out the sunhats in celebration!

A male Goldeneye - with striking white flanks and white cheek-spot (DLT)

 A male Tufted Duck - also with white flanks, but less prominent, 
with a plain dark head and obvious tuft (AM)

 A courting Great Crested Grebe pair - matching each other's head-shakes (AM)

David, Ross, Anne, Derek and Sally - taking a well-earned lunch in the sun! (AM)

 The team 'on the case' (DF)

What bird? Where? (DF)

Monday 11 February 2019

Abington's RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch 2019

Below is the collated list of birds recorded during this year's RSPB BGBW (26-28 January 2019).  A total of 15 reports were received, with both the number of bird species seen, and the number of reports, being greater than last year. Many thanks to everyone who was able to take part.   Derek

Sunday 10 February 2019

Carole McCrae regularly sees a "blackbird with diamond shaped white feathers in a sort of ring across his back. It is quite distinctive and our neighbour has also seen it." The photo is much enlarged but shows the pattern. She says that most years they have a male blackbird with a white feather somewhere on it. Others in the village have seen similar birds.

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 (