Saturday 25 May 2019

Holly Blue

Andy M had 4-5 Holly Blue butterflies in his garden today - one living up to its name and visiting the Holly tree!

Wednesday 22 May 2019

News. First Damselflies of the year

Wednesday 22nd May, 2019

Derek T reported seeing an Azure Damselfly around his pond this afternoon.  This first sighting of this species this year.
Azure Damselfly (Derek T)

Len M also reported seeing a Large Red Damselfly in his garden last week (15th May).

Large Red Damselfly (Len M)

Warblers on the Old Railway Cutting

Andy M took a walk along the Old Railway Cutting early on Sunday morning - in the mist!  It didn't stop the birds singing though - he was very happy to both see and hear a good variety of Warblers and other birds there - all within the Abington parish!

Warblers included at least two Chiffchaff still singing,  2-3 Blackcap mostly feeding, only occasionally singing, at least two Willow Warbler both singing from high up in the treetops, 
one Common Whitethroat singing and making display flights from the thick hedge, and a Lesser Whitethroat flitting between 'song posts' within the hedge on the Hildersham boundary.

Also Corn Bunting - 1 singing from the tree tops, which he also saw drop down into the field, so I suspect it has a nest there, and a Swallow flying low over the field feeding.

He took some photos of the Willow Warbler, which look very similar to Chiffchaff, but are easily told apart by their songs, which this one was very obligingly doing.  Close-up, the Willow Warbler also has slightly longer wings and lighter brown legs than the Chiffchaff (allegedly!).

Willow Warbler - note paler brown legs

Willow Warbler

 Willow Warbler - note long primary wing feathers

Willow Warbler

Chiffchaff - also on the Old Railway Cutting, but on a different day
Note darker legs and shorter wing tips

Flowers around the village

David F took a walk around the village the week and spotted a few flowers, mostly alongside the A1307 near the kennels.

 Funnel spider's webs on Sedum


White Campion

Red Campion

Large Red Damselfly, and other insects

Len M spotted a Large Red Damselfly in his garden last week, as well as Comma butterfly a few weeks ago (end March).  Jennifer H had an encounter with a very large (~4 cm) Hornet in her house this week too.

 Large Red Damselfly (Len M)

 Comma butterfly (Len M)

Hornet (Jennifer H)

A lunchtime walk around Granta Park

On his usual lunchtime walk, through Lagden's Grove and Sluice Wood on Granta Park in the lovely sunshine, Andy M took some photos of the wildlife - flowers, butterflies, birds, insects - that abounds there.

A profusion of Buttercups in the meadow near the entrance


Greylag geese getting some 'chill time' in the meadow flowers

Common Vetch

Hedgerow Cranesbill - out in the sun on rough ground

 Garlic Mustard - abundant in the shadier parts of the woods

 Germander Speedwell - also in the shadier woodland

White Dead-nettle


Herb Robert

Ground Ivy

Common Storksbill and Early Forget-me-not - in the sunny, rough ground


 Red-headed Cardinal Beetle

   Green-veined White butterfly

Seven-spot Ladybird on nettles

Harlequin Ladybirds - doing their thing!

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Insects - and a Garden Carpet!

Andy M took a few pictures of the insects seen in his garden over the last week or so.

The Ceanothus is in full flower, and has proved irresistible to the bees, which seem almost to be ecstatic as they bustled busily over the flowers. Mostly Buff-tailed Bumblebees and Honey Bees, but with a few Tree Bumblebees too.

A lovely Comma butterfly was seen soaking up the sun,  as well as a very boldly coloured parasitic wasp, and a Garden Carpet moth was seen resting in the shade on the ivy.

 Buff-tailed Bumblebee

 A pollen-laden Honey Bee

A Tree Bumblebee, with its characteristic ginger thorax and white tail

 A very striking parasitic wasp - probably Ichneumon xanthorius

A Comma butterfly

and .... a Garden Carpet moth

Saturday 18 May 2019

Young Starling

In the garden this morning, Andy M watched a young Starling, trailing around after its parents - like they do at weekends!!

'What's that?  Oo - pretty!'

 'Mum, can I eat this?'

'No? Shame!  OK, can I wear it Mum?'

 'Mum - I'm bored!'

'What're you doing down there Mum?

 'I'm hungry, Mum!

'MUM!  I'm really hungry!'

 'Thanks Mum!!'

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 (