Thursday 7 July 2022

June 2022 - Summary of Interesting Sightings in the Abingtons

June 2022

Amphibians and Reptiles

Smooth Newt – still a good number being spotted in several ponds. A dead snake was found near Sluice Wood which, despite the unusual colouration, was presumed to be a Grass Snake.


A total of 59 species were seen or heard this month in a total of 362 reports, including 36 species reported during the Late Spring Bank Holiday Bird Survey on 2nd-5th (blog link). Fledglings and young birds of several species were starting to be seen this month including Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Goldfinch, Magpie, Mallard and Mandarin Duck.

A Cuckoo was heard calling along the Roman Road (4th), a Hobby was seen flying over a GA garden (20th) and a Kingfisher was spotted fishing by a shallow pool in the river near Sluice Wood (21st, blog link), all three being the first sightings this year.

Unusually, a Little Grebe was seen feeding in GP lake (26th, blog link) amongst a large number of Mallard in moult. A female Mandarin Duck and three young, and a female Mallard with five ducklings, were also seen on GP, as were five Barnacle Goose.

A Little Egret was reported several times along the river mid-month, as was a Grey Heron, and a Grey Wagtail was spotted feeding along the riverbank in Lagden’s Grove. Several Pied Wagtail were also reported from GP and the LSA.

A Barn Owl was seen silently gliding over the fields near Grange Farm one evening (13th), and a Tawny Owl was heard calling on 4th. Up to three Buzzard were widely reported, as were Red Kite with four seen soaring over the village centre on 17th. A Kestrel was spotted at a number of locations, and a Sparrowhawk was seen hunting in a GA garden and on the LSA.

A pair of House Martin finally returned to their nest on the shop early in the month, and young birds could be heard calling from inside by the 30th. Swift were regularly seen over much of the village, with 12 heard screaming over the recreation ground on 16th-17th, and 1-2 Swallow were spotted occasionally on the LSA, ORC and Roman Road.

A Reed Warbler was heard singing from the reeds on GP (13th, 26th), Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat were heard along the ORC and Roman Road, and both Chiffchaff and Blackcap were regularly heard at several sites, with a pair of Blackcap nesting in a North Road garden for the first time. A Wren was also nesting in the eaves of a LA house, with the young fledging on 12th.

A Bullfinch was spotted along the Roman Road, with Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch (including young) all regularly seen on feeders. Loose flocks of adult and young Blue Tit and Great Tit were also regularly spotted in gardens, with Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit being seen more occasionally. A male Blackbird was seen collecting food to feed later broods in the nest.

A Green Woodpecker was reported again on Granta Park, and 1-2 Great Spotted Woodpecker including a juvenile continued to be seen in a Cambridge Rd garden.

Skylark were regularly heard above both the ORC and Roman Road, with Yellowhammer, Linnet and Meadow Pipit also seen there. Jay and Goldcrest were also occasionally reported.

Butterflies and other insects

In June, five butterfly species were reported for first time this year, as the total number of reports increased again, after a dip last month. During June, a total of 148 records were received (butterflies 117, odonata 8, bees 8, other 15).

Butterflies: Butterfly species first reported this year during June: Marbled White (from 12th, 7 reports), Meadow Brown (from 14th, 13 reports), Small Skipper (15th, 1 report), Large Skipper (from 16th, 8 reports) and Ringlet (from 24th, 5 reports).

          Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown in particular were seen in good numbers, as were Ringlet and Large Skipper along the Roman Road and ORC. Reports of Comma and Small White were also up again. Conversely, the numbers seen of Holly Blue, Brimstone, Peacock and Green-veined White all dropped, as might be expected in June/July, when a gap between broods occurs for these species. There were no reports of Orange Tip or Peacock for the same reason. Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Small Heath and Painted Lady continued to be reported in similar numbers to May. Very few reports of Common Blue so far this year.

Numbers of Butterfly reports: Small Tortoiseshell 25, Meadow Brown 16, Small White 11, Comma 11, Large Skipper 10, Marbled White 8, Brimstone 7, Red Admiral 6, Ringlet 6, Painted Lady 5, Speckled Wood 5. Others: Green-veined White, Holly Blue, Large White, Small Heath, Small Skipper, all 1 or 2 reports.

Odonata: Emperor Dragonfly were reported from 11th (2 reports, ORC), several Azure Damselfly from 6th (3 reports, three sites), and both Large Red Damselfly (2 reports) and Broad-bodied Chaser (1 report) were seen in LA.

Other: Hummingbird Hawkmoth (7 reports), Red-tailed, White-tailed and Buff-tailed Bumblebee (8 reports in total), and Two-spot, Seven-spot, Fourteen-spot and Harlequin Ladybird (1-2 reports each) were all seen, as well as single reports of a number of beetle species.


Bat – regular sightings throughout the month over gardens in Cambridge Rd and Bourn Bridge Rd regularly, and one seen over Lewis Cres on 24th. 

         During the Bat Safari on 29th, run on GP by Iain Webb from the Wildlife Trust, Common Pipistrelle and three Serotine bats were seen above Lagden’s Grove, and single Noctule and Daubenton’s bats were spotted near the river and lake.

Fox – one heard regularly along the ORC, and one young female was recorded regularly on a trail camera in a Bourn Bridge Rd garden.

Hare – 3 to 4 young seen in a rough meadow on GP on 26th.

Hedgehog – two spotted in a Lewis Cres. garden on 20th, and two regularly seen in a Bourn Bridge Rd garden.

Muntjac – one in a Cambridge Rd garden during the afternoon of 9th, and one in Lagden’s Grove on GP on 26th.

Badger – one dead reported.


The Protected Road Verge along Bourn Bridge Rd was looking particularly splendid this month.

The following wildflower species were reported in bloom at various sites around the village this month: Greater Knapweed, Mullein, Hedge Bedstraw, Lady’s Bedstraw, Knapweed Broomrape, Scabious, Common Storksbill, Ragged Robin, Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Viper’s Bugloss, Field Poppy, Bladder Campion, Ragwort, Marjoram, Wild Mignonette, Wild Parsnip, Common St John’s Wort, Tufted Vetch, Red Dead-nettle, Creeping Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, Cow Parsley, Common Centaury, Pyramidal Orchid, Stonecrop, Himalayan Balsam, Mallow, Black Medick, Nodding Thistle, Buttercup, Lucerne, Bramble.


Yet another arid month with only 30.5 mm of rain, most of this (21.5 mm) falling in the first week! The highest temperature was 31.8 degrees C on the 19th, with the lowest being 4.1 degrees C on the 1st. Overall, temperatures were about average, but there were quite a few very breezy days with winds variable in direction.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for June 2022:
Darren Bast, Barry Brooks, Peter Brunning, Tricia Cullimore, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Carolyn Hannah, Jennifer Hirst, Carole McCrae, Mak Makwana, Len and Rosemary Mead, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Brian Parris, Helen Pimblett, Gill Smith, Jade Taylor-Salazar, Derek Turnidge and daughters, Maggie Turner.

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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 (