Friday 24 April 2020

News: Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat along Roman Road

Friday 24th April 2020

The first Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat in the Abingtons this year were both heard along the Roman Road today by Andy M. There were numerous Common Whitethroat, at least 15-20, singing their scratchy song from prominent perches all the way along, and four Lesser Whitethroat, less frequently seen and singing their repeated notes from deeper inside the hedgerows. 

Whilst having very different songs, the two species are quite similar in appearance - both having distinctive white throats - but the Common Whitethroat has rufous-chestnut wings, a light grey head and slightly pinkish flanks, whereas the Lesser Whitethroat has duller earth-brown wings, a dull grey head with a darker-grey 'mask' around the eyes, and pale brown flanks.

Also of note along the Roman Road were two Wheatear - a passage migrant to this area - and singing Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer, Linnet and Willow Warbler, as well as two Swallow near Worsted Lodge.

Andy M went back to the Roman Road on Sunday (26th) and took these photos:
Common Whitethroat
Light grey head and ear covert, white eye-ring, chestnut-brown wings,
pinky-buff flanks, pale legs, stout bill

Common Whitethroat
note the white eye-ring, pink-tinge to the upper breast and flank, and stout bill

 Lesser Whitethroat
Dull grey head, darker ear-coverts, no eye-ring, grey-brown wings,
pale flanks, dark legs, and shorter finer bill

Lesser Whitethroat
Showing more clearly the grey-brown back and wings, dark grey ear covert and pale flanks.

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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:>

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 (