Tuesday 2 March 2021

Walk around Granta Park

Andy M took the opportunity over the weekend to take a quiet walk around Granta Park in the spring sunshine.

Whilst the Aconite flowers were largely over, there were still good clumps of Snowdrop still in flower, and the lovely green glossy leaves of Wild Arum and Dog's Mercury were starting to appear.  
Wild Arum
Dog's Mercury starting to appear

Small clusters of red 'flowers' covering a Wych Elm tree were also starting to attract the early bees, and the Honey Bee were already very active in the beehives, arriving with pollen sacs loaded with dark yellow or silvery-grey pollen, the latter likely to come from Hazel catkins.  And clusters of Seven-spot Ladybird had emerged from their hiding places to bask in the warm sun.
Wych Elm flowers - appearing in Feb-Mar, before the leaves
Honey Bee returning to the hive with pollen sacs obviously filled with yellow and grey pollen

Seven-spot Ladybird emerging to warm up in the sun

Near the sluice, a pair of Muntjac deer were grazing, the male with small but obvious antlers.  They didn't stay around long, heading over the river and into Sluice Wood.
Muntjac Deer pair
Female Muntjac Deer
Female Muntjac Deer - heading off

Birdsong was very much in evidence, in particular a large number of Wren, noisily setting up their territories and attracting mates.  A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard drumming on a favorite hollow tree, and the elusive but highly colourful Green Woodpecker could be heard 'yaffling' high from the trees in Lagden's Grove.
Green Woodpecker

Around the lake, a small number of Mallard and Moorhen were resting, and Andy put up a Grey Heron that slowly flapped its way across the lake to the reeds, from which male Reed Bunting could be heard calling. 
Grey Heron
Grey Heron

On the way back, near Tom's Wood, a small flock of Meadow Pipit were seen resting on the power-lines, before dropping down onto the field below to feed.
Meadow Pipit

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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)