Tuesday 24 March 2020

News. First Bee-fly spotted

Monday 23rd March 2020

Derek T reported a Beefly in his front garden on Cambridge Road today (23rd).

Jennifer commented this was first sighting of a Beefly this year in the Abingtons, slightly earlier than previous years, the first sightings being on 24th March in 2019 and 2017, and on 5th April in 2018.

Since this first report, Derek has seen two more Beefly is his garden, and Andy M saw one near the Old Railway Cutting and two in his garden - all in sunny spots (24th).

Looking like a bee, Beefly have yellowy-brown hair on the body, long, spindly legs, and a long, straight proboscis that it uses to feed on nectar from spring flowers, such as primroses and violets. Beeflies are on the wing in the early spring, when they can often be seen in sunny patches. In flight, they are even more like a bee as they produce a high-pitched buzz. There are several species of beefly in the UK, which can be difficult to tell apart; the Dark-edged Bee-fly has a dark edge to the wing, while others have plainer, translucent wings.  [source Wildlife Trust website]

Dark-edged Beefly 

Dark-edged Beefly and Seven-spot Ladybird, for scale

photos Andy M 24th March 2020

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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)