Saturday 7 January 2023

December 2022 - Interesting Sightings from the Abingtons

December 2022


A total of 37 species were reported in 328 records this month. A Woodcock was spotted again, this time flying over GA village, and good numbers of garden birds were seen around feeders, particularly during the cold, snowy weather, but there remain very few reports of winter thrush.

A Woodcock was seen late afternoon flying over Lewis Cres, heading across the High Street (15th), presumably the same bird seen last month on Granta Park. Cold weather can force these normally quite secretive birds more out into the open in search of food. 

One report each of a single Fieldfare and a single Redwing, around Pampisford Rd and the ORC, and a pair of Blackcap was seen regularly in a village centre garden, with an occasional single bird being spotted elsewhere.

Both Tit and Finch species were generally seen in higher numbers than usual around garden feeders, including up to four Long-tailed Tit, and four Coal Tit in a Pampisford Rd garden. Similarly, up to 12 Chaffinch, 16-18 Goldfinch and 4-5 Greenfinch were seen in gardens during the cold snap, with numbers dropping somewhat once the snow thawed. Two pairs of Bullfinch were also seen feeding along the ORC during the frosty weather.

Similarly, 10-11 Blackbird were seen feeding together in a Lewis Cres garden when the weather was cold, and a Song Thrush was spotted in several gardens. Four Robin were seen ‘tolerating each other nicely’ around feeders on Cambridge Rd, and up to four Dunnock were seen together in a Pampisford Rd garden. A single Wren was also spotted along the ORC.

A dozen Starling were seen one evening congregating in trees behind Lewis Cres, and 10-12 House Sparrow were regularly spotted flying around their colony, also in Lewis Cres.

Both Collared Dove and Stock Dove, generally 2-3 but up to 8 of each, were regularly reported in a number of GA gardens, but interestingly seem not to be seen as commonly in gardens in LA.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in several gardens, and a Green Woodpecker visited a village centre garden on a couple of occasions. A Jay and 1-2 Magpie were both spotted in several gardens this month, and Pied Wagtail was seen on the Recreation Ground (10th).

A Buzzard was occasionally seen over the ORC and Sluice Wood, and 1-2 Red Kite were reported at several sites, often flying low down. A Kestrel was spotted on six occasions, a Sparrowhawk twice, and a Tawny Owl was heard regularly calling at night around the centre of GA.

A number of Black-headed Gull were seen feeding with corvids in one garden, and a Pheasant was seen on the ORC.



Three Hare seen in the field east of Chalk Rd, two boxing and another watching on.



Surprisingly, December was a somewhat dry month with only 34.25 mm of rain recorded. However, there was a week of proper snow on the ground, so not unexpectedly the lowest monthly temperature was minus 13.8 degrees C, recorded on 15th, and there were 15 days when the minimum temperature was below freezing. The highest temperature was 13.9 degrees C, on the the 19th, the day the snow thawed. The predominant wind direction was from the north and was generally light.


NatureWatch Winter Meeting

A reminder that on Friday January 20th, 7.30pm at the Institute we will have our NatureWatch Winter Meeting, with Iain Webb from the local Wildlife Trust, who will talk about the Wildlife he has seen during his 27 years of volunteering and working for the Wildlife Trust.

No reports or sightings this month for Amphibians/Reptiles, Butterflies/Insects, Flora or RiverCare.

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

Peter Brunning, David Farrant, Gaynor Farrant, Andy Merryweather, Joan Nevin, Nancy Ockendon, Gill Smith, 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 (