Sunday 24 April 2022

Summary of Sightings from around Abington - March

March 2022

Amphibians and Reptiles

Two Common Frog reported in a pond in Pampisford Road. The Frogspawn reported earlier in the year has now hatched into tadpoles.

Grass Snake – an ~3 foot specimen spotted in a Cambridge Rd, LA garden.


As spring tentatively started to get underway more species were spotted and heard, totalling 50 species in 403 reports this month. A few winter visitors, such as Redwing, Brambling and Siskin remained, alongside the first singing Chiffchaff.

Two small flocks of Redwing were seen on 3rd/4th, but no Fieldfare reported. A female Brambling was spotted on feeders in a Cambridge Rd garden (6th), as were two Siskin (13th). Winter flocks of gulls were also seen, with 130+ Black-headed Gull and Common Gull seen on the Perse Sports fields (12th), as well as a few Great Black-backed Gull seen overhead.

Good numbers of Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Chaffinch (up to 6-7 each) still on feeders, with smaller numbers of Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit which were mostly paired up now.

Chiffchaff were first heard singing on 10th along Chalky Rd, and subsequently at several locations, and a Blackcap was reported feeding on fatballs, but not yet singing. Both Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush were also singing throughout the month, the latter especially during windy weather, and Dunnock, Wren, Robin and Great Tit also regularly heard.

A Little Egret was seen by the Millennium Bridge on 14th, as were several Mallard and a Moorhen. On GP lake, there were two Canada Goose, three Greylag, and a pair of Mute Swan.

Buzzard were well reported, with 5 being seen circling overhead on 21st, possibly migrating. Red Kite were also often seen over several sites around GA, with a Kestrel being occasionally spotted over the LSA, ORC and Cambridge Rd, and a Sparrowhawk reported once.

Pied Wagtail were seen feeding on the Perse Sports field and along the ORC, a Yellowhammer was spotted south of Chalky Rd, and 1-2 Reed Bunting were seen several times under feeders in Lewis Crescent.

A Pheasant, and more unusually 1-2 Red-legged Partridge, were reported in three LA gardens, and a Jay was seen several times in gardens on Lewis Crescent and Cambridge Rd.

A Nuthatch was spotted near the Millennium Bridge (14th), a pair of Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen regularly along Cambridge Rd, and a Green Woodpecker was seen unusually in a Lewis Crescent garden on 13th, as well as on GP.


Butterflies, Bees and other insects

During March there were a number of warm, sunny days, particularly around the third week, which brought out the insects. Consequently 98 reports were received containing 16 species.

Butterflies: from early in the month, Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell were frequently reported, followed by Peacock, Comma and Red Admiral from 11th onwards. These five species all over-winter as adults in the UK, and so emerge during sunny spells early in the year.

In the latter part of the month, these species were joined by Large White, Orange-tip and finally by Small White, all reported for the first time this year between 20th and 25th. These three species over-winter as a chrysalis, and therefore tend to emerge slightly later than those over-wintering as adults.

          76 reports: Brimstone 38; Peacock 12; Comma 11; Small Tortoiseshell 9; Others 1-2 each.

Bees: most reports were of Buff-tailed Bumblebee seen throughout the month, with Red-tailed Bumblebee first reported on 15th, White-tailed Bumblebee on 18th, and Hairy-footed Flower Bee seen after 21st. Honeybee were also seen.

          15 reports: Buff-tailed 9, Red-tailed 1, White-tailed 1, Hairy-footed 3, unspecified 1.

Other: Dark-edged Beefly were first spotted on 10th (4 reports), Seven-spot Ladybird (1 report) and Harlequin Ladybird (2 reports) were also seen.



Bat – one seen flying above Cambridge Road on 26th.

Fallow Deer – more than 20 seen in fields around Ley Rectory Farm on 31st.

Muntjac – one in a LA High St. garden eating the daffodils on 6th, one in a Cambridge Rd garden on 24th, one walked across the road by the Bowls Club on 26th, and one was seen regularly on ORC throughout March, probably living there.


The following species were reported in flower, largely from Sluice Wood, GP and the PRV on Bourn Bridge Rd: Snowdrop, Aconite, Wild Arum, Dog’s Mercury, Lesser Celandine, Sweet Violet, Ground Ivy, Blackthorn, Cherry-plum.



The total rainfall was 45.5 mm, which largely fell in the first two weeks, followed by a ‘mini heatwave’ only to again change to cold and very frosty. The highest temperature was 23.8 degrees C recorded on the 23rd and lowest was minus 1.9 degrees C for a couple of days around 21st. The whole month was calm.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for March 2022:

Barry Brooks, Peter Brunning, Judy Davies, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Robin Harman, Jennifer Hirst, Len Mead, Carole McCrae, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Marion Rusted, Gill Smith, Richard Smith, Jade Taylor-Salazar, John and Maggie Turner, Derek Turnidge, John Webb.

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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 (