Saturday 29 June 2019

Lackford Lakes visit

In spite of the heat today, 13 of us enjoyed an interesting visit to Lackford Lakes this morning. As well as several interesting birds, there was an abundance of damselflies, dragonflies and some butterflies.

Egyptian Goose -BB

 Egyptian Goose -BB

 Great Crested Grebe and juvenile -BB

 Grey Heron -BB

Grey Heron -BB

 Little Egret -BB

Cormorant trio -AM

 Mute Swan -AM

 Male Teal -AM

 Male Reed Bunting collecting food -AM

Egyptian Goose -AM

Male Tufted Duck -AM

'a Tufted Pochard' - Tufted Duck x Pochard hybrid -AM

Male Banded Demoiselle -BB

 Common Blue Damselfly mating -BB

 Common Blue Damselfly -AM

Common Blue Damselfly mating -AM

 Common Blue Damselfly mating -AM

Male Banded Damselfly -AM 

Four-spotted Chaser -AM 

 Ringlet butterfly -AM

The 'Good Guys'

Andy M has noticed a lot of different types of hoverfly in his garden recently (some of which can, it seems, be hard to identify!), as well as large numbers of ladybird larvae - the garden's 'Good Guys'


'Long Hoverfly' (Sphaerophoria scripta)

Hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus)

Hoverfly (Syrphus ribesii)

 Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens)

Ladybird larva

Ladybird 'chrysalis'

 Adult Ladybird

Jennifer H has also been seeing many hoverflies in her garden, including this one on lavender.

Orchids on Granta Park, including a rare Wasp Orchid

Darren Bast (who works on Granta Park) has been spotting orchids on site for a number of years now, and this year found around 76 Bee Orchid spikes. Unusually, amongst them this year, he identified a single flower spike of the rare Wasp Orchid.  

The Wasp Orchid (Ophrys apifera var trollii) is one of the six recognised variants of the Bee Orchid, looking similar but with longer thinner petals, giving the flowers a 'Wasp like' appearance.  A large Common Spotted Orchid spike and  Pyramidal Orchid were also seen. Darren kindly showed these flowers to a small group of ANW folks on Thursday, before they faded.

Photo credits: Darren Bast
Bee Orchid
Bee Orchid

Wasp Orchid
 Wasp Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid - Andy M

Pyramidal Orchid - Andy M

Wednesday 26 June 2019


David F saw Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on the Roman Road on Sunday, and Anne D-N reported finding a thriving group of Peacock caterpillars (all different sizes) eating their way through a patch of nettles just above the gate leading up the hill from Chalky Road, and Andy M saw a Small Heath on Granta Park.

Speckled Wood butterfly - DF

 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly - DF

Peacock butterfly caterpillar - ADN

Small Heath butterfly - AM

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Impressive 'Dryad Saddle' toadstool

Andy M spotted this very impressive flat toadstool growing on a tree stump on Granta Park. The scaly caps are each about 25-30cm across, and the white underside of the cap has tubular (polypore) structures, rather than gills.  He believes this to be Dryad Saddle (Polyporus squamous).

Monday 24 June 2019

News - Hummingbird Hawk Moth - first of the year

Sunday 23rd June, 2019

Lois B reported seeing a Hummingbird Hawk Moth at the weekend - the first record this year.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Painted Lady butterfly - could be an influx year?

There have been quite a number of Painted Lady butterflies seen across the village (and beyond) in the last week or so. Polly M saw a very 'pristine' one in Lewis Crescent (19th), along with another this morning.  Derek T had one in his garden, and several were seen by David F along the Roman Road this morning. Further afield, Andy M saw two in Yorkshire on 15th, and Anne D-N also reported seeing them in Norfolk on 21st.

So keep an eye out, and let Jennifer know if you spot one!  It could be that this year will be an 'influx year', when large numbers of these long-distance migrants find their way to the UK from the edge of the desert in North Africa where they over-winter.

Photos: Derek T, Andy M

Monday 17 June 2019

Pyramidal Orchid - Old Railway Cutting

Andy M spotted this Pyramidal Orchid alongside the Old Railway Cutting this evening, as well as the usual pink form of Common Mallow, as well as a possible white variant.

Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)

Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris)

White variant of Common Mallow ??

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 (