Monday 11 May 2020

Wildlife along the Old Railway Cutting

Andy M took one of his (now regular) early morning walks along the Old Railway Cutting on Saturday, and took a few photos of the wildlife he saw along the way.  Of the birds, only a Magpie and Jay caught his eye, although there were Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Song Thrush singing in the hedgerows, as well as both Common and Lesser Whitethroat.

Early morning sun and shade at the entrance to the cutting
 An ever watchful Magpie, surveying the landscape from on-high
 and a shy Jay, beating a hasty retreat

Being early in the day, Andy startled a male Muntjac out in the sun, which rapidly headed for cover before bellowing its annoyance at being disturbed!

As the morning warmed up, a few more insects started to appear. Of the butterflies, one or two Small White, Holly Blue and Red Admiral were around, and a number of small bees - both Hairy-footed Flower Bee and White-tailed Bumblebee - were busy collecting nectar and pollen from the Cowslip flowers.
 Holly Blue
Red Admiral
 Red Admiral
 Hairy-footed Flower Bee
Hairy-footed Flower Bee 
 Hairy-footed Flower Bee - with large sacs of yellow pollen
White-tailed Bumblebee - which had seemingly already been busy visiting flowers with very orange pollen!

There were a good number of flowers out, including a few of the first Elderflower, Dog RoseWild Strawberry and Bugle starting to show.

 Hawthorn (or May) in full splendor
 Wild Strawberry
 Bugle - with a more unusual pink variant
 Germander Speedwell
 Rough Hawkbit
 Dog Rose
 White Dead-nettle
 Cow Parsley 
 Red Campion
Common Yellow Rocket
Dandelion 'clock' seedhead
Cowslips along the path

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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 (