Thursday 3 November 2022

Summary of sightings in the Abingtons - October 2022

October 2022

Amphibians and Reptiles

Common Frog – one seen in GA garden on 1st and 28th.


A total of 42 species were reported in a total of 223 records this month. As the last House Martin were being seen (on 5th), mixed flocks of Tit and Finch were starting to become more prevalent, as were Blackbird and winter thrush seeking out berries in gardens and hedgerows.

Unusually, three White Wagtail were spotted in amongst a flock of Pied Wagtail on the GP cricket field (3rd), the White Wagtail being more generally seen in Europe, with the Pied Wagtail being the UK race. Pied Wagtail were also seen at other sites around the village in smaller numbers, and a Grey Wagtail was spotted around Sluice Wood and the recreation ground.

A flock of 10-18 House Martin was reported on 3rd and 5th on GP, the last of the summer visitors.  As for winter visitors, a Redwing was seen along the ORC on 10th, and good numbers of Fieldfare were reported along the Roman Road on 28th, just west of Abington parish boundary.

Larger often mixed flocks of Blue Tit, Great Tit and Goldfinch and Greenfinch are being regularly seen on garden feeders, along with a few Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit and Chaffinch. Dunnock, Robin and Wren were also regularly reported, as were Collared Dove and Stock Dove under feeders on Lewis Cres. House Sparrow were also seen more often, especially on sunny days, and two Starling were spotted flying over Lewis Cres.

Blackbird are also being more regularly reported in gardens, as well as an occasional Song Thrush. A Mistle Thrush was also spotted on the Perse sports fields, and on a Cambridge Rd garden.

A Green Woodpecker was reported feeding on ants on a Bourn Bridge Rd lawn, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen regularly along Cambridge Rd, and a Treecreeper was spotted around the car park on GP (3rd).

Grey Heron and Little Egret were both reported twice, along the river as well as on Perse sports fields, where a flock of Black-headed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull were also seen.

Both Buzzard and Red Kite were reported regularly at a number of locations, and a Sparrowhawk was spotted being mobbed by corvids around the Perse sports fields. No reports of Kestrel.

A Jay was spotted along the ORC and in Cambridge Rd garden, and 1-4 Magpie were widely reported, as were mixed flocks of Jackdaw and Rook. Both Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge were seen along the ORC, as was a Yellowhammer (10th), and Skylark were occasionally heard singing there and behind Lewis Cres.


Butterflies and other insects

Not unexpectedly, there have been rather fewer insects are around of late, with only 20 reports this month, all of butterflies.

Butterflies: The mostly commonly reported species was the Small White (7 reports), with Brimstone (5 reports), Peacock Blue (4 reports), Red Admiral (3 reports), and Large White (1 report) also being seen. Most sightings were in the first half of the month, but some butterflies were still being seen on warmer days up until 26th.



Bat – several seen in a Bourn Bridge Rd garden throughout the month up until 28th, and one likely Pipistrelle along Cambridge Rd on 31st.

Fallow Deer – one large male with impressive antlers seen along the ORC on 13th, and five seen in field off Cambridge Road on 26th.

Fox – droppings were seen in a Cambridge Rd garden regularly throughout the month (blog link).

Muntjac – one on rough ground near Church Lane on 20th, and one in the field behind Lewis Cres on 28th. Also one in Sluice Wood on 29th.

Weasel -  one spotted running across Newmarket Rd, near North Rd junction.


Flora and Fungi

Relatively few reports of plants in flower: Hawksweed Oxtongue, Lesser Calamint (blog link), Scabious - largely along the Old Railway Cutting. An Earthball fungus (blog link) was reported, but the dry weather has meant a relatively poor year for fungi thus far.



The Rivercare team, lead by Nancy, undertook a river sampling survey on 17th, the last one planned for this year. Five of the target invertebrate species were identified, including gammarus, olives and caseless caddisfly, but the total tally was low, and only just above the trigger level for a resampling. A couple of Signal Crayfish were also found.



At last, a wet month with 76.75 mm of rain, but also extremely mild with temperatures frequently in the high teens and low twenties. The warmest was 22.5 degrees C on the 29th, with the lowest being 0.8 degrees C on the 9th, however this was rather exceptional with the average lowest temperature being around 10 degrees C. Winds have stayed predominantly south to southwest for the whole month and generally light.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for October 2022:
Mark Austin, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Andy Merryweather, Polly Merryweather, Nancy Ockendon, Gareth Rees, Gill Smith, Maggie and John Turner, Derek Turnidge.

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 (