Tuesday 30 June 2020

Moths - Ermine, Elephant Hawk and Box Tree!

John W took these rather pleasing photos of an Ermine Moth that he spotted recently, and Valerie S had an excellent view of an Elephant Hawk Moth which recently alighted on her curtains. 
Both Derek T and Polly M spotted the striking, but also rather unwelcome, Box Tree Moth this week, an non-native moth, the caterpillars of which are wreaking havoc in many a garden.

Ermine Moth [JW]
Ermine Moth [JW]

Elephant Hawk Moth [VS]

Box Tree Moth [DLT]
 Box Tree Moth [AM]
Box Tree Moth [AM]

News: First Banded Demoiselle reported

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Derek T reported seeing two male Banded Demoiselle near the Millennium Bridge today - this first reported this year.

[photo British Dragonfly Society - Mike Smethurst]

Sunday 28 June 2020

More Damselflies and Dragonflies

Andy M spend few hours patiently getting up close and personal with the Odonata around the edge of the lake on Granta Park last week. There were a surprising number of species identified (subsequently with the help of the photos and books), including Common Blue Damselfly, many pairs of which were mating, Blue-tailed Damselfly, and Red-eyed Damselfly, as well as Emperor Dragonfly (which rarely seem to stop patrolling) and Black-tailed Skimmer.

 Male Common Blue Damselfly
  Common Blue Damselfly pair, mating
 Common Blue Damselfly 'in tandem'
 Male Common Blue Damselfly
   Common Blue Damselfly pair mating
  Common Blue Damselfly pair mating
 Common Blue Damselfly mating pair
 Common Blue Damselflies - two males 'in tandem'

 Male Blue-tailed Damselfly
Mating pair of Blue-tailed Damselflies

Water Lilies

Red-eyed Damselfly - typically resting on a lily pad

Emperor Dragonfly - patrolling its patch!

 Black-tailed Skimmer
  Black-tailed Skimmer

Friday 26 June 2020

News: First Ringlet and Small Copper butterflies seen

Thursday, 25th June 2020 

Anne D-N reported seeing a Ringlet butterfly in her garden (24th June), as well as a Small Copper butterfly the following day.  Both firsts this year for Anne, and Jennifer confirmed that were indeed also the first report fr both species this year in the parishes.

Anne commented "The Small Copper is very small indeed — that’s a lawn daisy flower it’s on, not an Ox-eye Daisy!"

Small Copper butterfly, on a lawn daisy!

Richard S also reported on 21st June, that he saw a large Fritillary butterfly on Linton Road. Whilst not completely sure of the species, it was most likely to be either a Silver-washed Fritillary, or a Dark Green Fritillary.  

Both Green-veined White, Small Skipper and Large Skipper have also be reported this week (DF and AM).

Thursday 25 June 2020

Bee Orchids and other Granta Park wildlife

Andy M spotted that the Bee Orchids were in flower again around Granta Park lake last weekend, and a number of Canada Goose families were gathering on the lake, along with a Moorhen
There was Viper's Bugloss in flower, and Small Tortoiseshell and the last few Common Blue butterflies in the nearby rough meadow.

Bee Orchid
 Bee Orchid

A Canada Goose pair, with a young gosling
 another Canada Goose family with three young
 Adult Canada Goose


 Small Tortoiseshell

 Common Blue
 Common Blue

Viper's Bugloss

Recent wildlife along the Old Railway Cutting

Some photos from Andy M's recent walks along the Old Railway Cutting.

A misty early morning view of the two churches I hadn't noticed before

 Finely-divided leaves of the very all Hemlock

A young Wren, skulking in the bushes

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker -
easily distinguished from the adult by its fine red cap!

Red Campion

 White Campion

Lesser Whitethroat 
A pair of Lesser Whitethroat displaying

 Common Whitethroat - with brown back, chestnut primary feathers and greyer cheeks

 Greater Broomrape - a plant that parasitises other plants

 A Hare, lurking in the middle of the field of flax

 Tree Bumbleebee, on bramble flowers

 Small Heath butterfly -
showing the pale patch and blotches on the hind wing 

 Meadow Brown butterfly -
larger than the Small heath, and lacking the paler patch on the hind underwing 
Meadow Brown butterfly, the more uniformly dark brown male
 Meadow Brown butterfly, the female, with brighter orange patches

 A fly-past by a Cormorant

Fabulously red Poppy

 A young Blue Tit, learning how to forage
 A young Blue Tit
 A young Blue Tit, just looking cute!

 Small White butterfly

 Large Skipper - with the pale yellow blotches on the underwing
  Large Skipper - showing the larger dark 'sex brand' on the wing
 Large Skipper - with a distinctive curl to the tips of the antennae

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)