Sunday 17 April 2022

Summer Visitors return

17th April 2022 - within the last week, a number of summer-visiting bird species have arrived back in the Abingtons.  

On 13th April, Brian and Pamela P reported the return of Swallow that regularly nest in their barn on the LSA. This first report of the year in the Abingtons is a week or two later than previous years - a finding consistent with the rest of southern England this year. The first reports of Swallow in the Abingtons over the past five years have all been between 2nd and 7th April, and it is likely that colder weather and adverse winds earlier in the month held them back this year.

On 17th April, along the Roman Road, Andy M spotted a number of both Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, singing from the hedgerows near Worsted Lodge. The Common Whitethroat often sings from a perch high up in the foliage, showing off its white throat, grey head, chestnut wing feathers and pinky tinge to the breast.  Whilst the Lesser Whitethroat also has a white throat and grey head, it has a darker grey patch behind the eye, dull grey-brown back and wings, and more often sings from deep within the thicket.  The Common Whitethroat has a short, scratchy, fast song, whilst the Lesser Whitethroat has a short warble followed by a loud series of five notes.

Common Whitethroat - note the chestnut wings and grey head

Common Whitethroat - note the chestnut wings

Common Whitethroat - note white throat and pinky tinge to upper breast

Common Whitethroat - often sings from a prominent perch

Lesser Whitethroat - note white throat and dull grey-brown wings. Skulking habit.

Lesser Whitethroat - note grey head and darker grey patch behind the eye

Lesser Whitethroat - lacks the pink tinge to the upper breast

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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 (