Tuesday 2 March 2021

News: More birdsong this week, and first warblers heard singing

Wednesday, 24th February 2021

A Chiffchaff was first heard singing its characteristic song this week, on 24th.  Tentative and quiet at first and only singing in short bursts, but building in confidence over the next few days, to reach its full loudness by the end of the week. Many Chiffchaff that over-winter here also breed here, so this bird may well have been setting up a territory, and aiming to attract a mate.

Both a male and a female Blackcap have also been around Andy M's garden for most of this month, largely ignoring each other and getting on with the important business of feeding. Blackcap are largely insectivorous during spring and summer, but are happy to take seeds during the winter.  On 25th however, a male Blackcap (presumably the same one?) was heard singing quietly and fairly briefly from a thicket at the end of the garden. Generally speaking, individual Blackcap that spend the winter here migrate east to breed in mainland Europe, with the Blackcap that breed here tending to arrive later in the spring from southern Europe. So presumably this bird was just 'quietly practicing' prior to heading east.

Skylark could also be heard singing about the fields during the last week of the month, with Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush, Wren and Great Tit all being very vocal too, especially early in the morning.  

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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)