Tuesday 31 December 2019


Jennifer H spotted a Muntjac deer in her front garden on the High Street, Little Abington earlier this week.

Sunday 29 December 2019

Splashes of colour

On his walk along the Old Railway Cutting this morning, Andy M found some splashes of colour in amongst an otherwise rather drab scene.

Rosehips - still bright and plentiful


 Old Man's Beard seedheads - shining bright in the weak sun

 Old Man's Beard

 Tiny fruiting body structures of lichen

Ivy flower heads - bright in the gloom

Ivy berries

A tiny spider lurking in a cluster of shining Alder Buckthorn berries



A flock of Gulls heading into the sun

Monday 23 December 2019

Winter Moth

Gareth Rees, a colleague of Andy M's, reported seeing quite a number of Winter Moth over the last week or so.  Around 30-40 of them have been sheltering on the windows, on the north side of a building on Granta Park.

Photos Andy M

Sparrowhawk visitor

John and Maggie Turner were treated to a lovely closeup view of a Sparrowhawk recently. They frequently see them in their Great Abington garden, but this one spent quite some time lurking near their feeders, allowing them to take this fabulous photo.

Sunrise message

David F was up bright and earlier and took this lovely sunrise photo

as well as taking inspiration from a message left on an old tree in Lagden's Grove.

Saturday 21 December 2019

Such wet weather

Derek T took this photo of the river at the Millennium Bridge this week - after so much rain this week, the river was high enough to flood the meadows between the churches.

And David F took these two a day or so afterwards in Sluice Wood.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

ANW November Members Meeting - Photo-Identification Quiz

At the November meeting, Abington NatureWatch members tested their identification skills against twenty-two photo-ID questions, which drew inspiration from photographs or articles posted on the ANW Blog this year.

For those who would like to test their knowledge (or that of their family and friends), the quiz photo-questions can be downloaded here QUIZ, and a version with answers here ANSWERS.

Nov 2019. Interesting sightings around the Abingtons

November 2019
Amphibians and Reptiles
No sightings reported this month. 

Kingfisher – single bird seen around 1-2 ponds along Chalky Road in early November.
Bullfinch – pair feeding on fruits along Old Railway Cutting.
Goldfinch - (10-12) regularly on feeders, with a few Chaffinch and occasionally 1-2 Greenfinch.  Good numbers of Blue Tit (15-20 in one report) and Great Tit, with a few Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit also regularly seen.  Mixed Tit flocks also in Lagden’s Grove and Sluice Wood, including an occasional Goldcrest.
Sparrowhawk – many sightings from around the village, mostly attracted to flocks of small birds on garden feeders.
Red Kite – two reports of a bird over Sluice Wood, and a Buzzard regularly around Cook’s Meadow.
Tawny Owl – several reports of calling around Abington Wood, especially earlier in the month.
Redwing – c12 feeding on haws in Cook’s Meadow, up to c40 in Yew trees around Abington Hall, and a single bird in Cambridge Road garden.
Fieldfare – flock of c30 over Granta Park (9th), 8 flying over LSA, and 2 over great Abington.
Mistle Thrush – loud rattling alarm call heard from two on Chalky Road.
Song Thrush – 1-2 on Granta Park in amongst Redwing flock, so presumably also migrants.
Blackcap – over-wintering bird along Old Railway Cutting (9th)
Meadow Pipit – three on rough scrubby grassland on Granta Park (8th).
Grey Wagtail – single bird on leaf rafts downstream of sluice (6th).
Pied Wagtail – pair on the school roof, and a flock c15 feeding on Granta Park cricket green.
Great Spotted Woodpecker – regularly on Granta Park, and reported at several garden feeders.
Green Woodpecker – 1-2 on several garden lawns, and on Granta Park.
Nuthatch – one in fine breeding plumage on a garden feeder on the High Street.
Jay – 1-2 being seen again collecting food in several gardens, and in oak trees on Granta Park.
Barnacle Goose – flock of seven regularly on Granta Park until 20th.
Grey Heron – 1-3 in river around the sluice and in adjacent fields, and around Granta Park lake.
Lesser Black-backed Gull – large flock feeding in fields near A11. Great Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull in smaller numbers flying over Granta Park, especially in early morning. Large flock of c500 mostly Herring Gull seen wheeling high over Perse playing fields (25th).
Red-legged Partridge – around 20 in field near Old Railway Cutting.  Pheasant – a few starting to come into gardens.

Butterflies, Bees and other insects
A very quiet month due to the large number of wet days and some very cold nights. Only eight reports in the month, exactly the same number as last year.
Butterflies – two Red Admiral, one Comma and one Brimstone.
Bees - four bumblebees, the last on Mahonia in a short spell of sunshine on 24th.

Bat – late in the year, reported on 1st over gardens on Cambridge Road.
Badger – three or four on the track near Abington Park Farm, at night.
Roe Deer – adult and foal seen along Pampisford Road.
Fallow Deer – seven young deer at top of Chalky Road.
Grey Squirrel – more commonly in gardens again now, across the village.
Fox – young fox found in Granta Park lake, apparently having drowned.

Peter B attended very useful Riverfly refresher course at Babraham. 
Concerns regarding the ecological health of the River Cam, or lack of it, were expressed in the Cambridge Evening News (link to article).

Rainfall for November was 55.5mm.  Minimum temperature of minus 5.2ºC, with a high of 15.5ºC at the beginning of the month.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for November 2019:
Darren Bast, Barry Brooks, Peter Brunning, Mike and Lois Bull, Peter Dawson, Anne Dunbar-Nobes, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Robin Harman, Ros Hedge, Jennifer Hirsh, Andy Merryweather, Mr & Mrs Murphy, Brian Parris, Gareth Rees, Gill Smith, Derek Turnidge, Sally Turnidge,

Please email your sightings, within the Abington parishes, to the relevant ANW Recorder:
Amphibians and reptiles: Anne Dunbar Nobes       ac.dunbar.nobes@gmail.com
Birds:                               Derek Turnidge               derek@turnidges.com
Butterflies, Bees etc:       Jennifer Hirsh                  jennifer@hirsh.com
Mammals:                        Gill Smith                        richardandgill.smith@live.co.uk
Flora:   Currently vacant - if interested, please contact David Farrant for more details.

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: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

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 (amerryweather61@gmail.com)