Tuesday 30 May 2023

Green Woodpecker with an 'ant lunch' in mind

28th May 2023 - Andy M noticed a Green Woodpecker on the lawn, feeding by probing into the ant's nests around the rough grassy edge of the small meadow. The male Green Woodpecker can be distinguished by the small red patch under the eye which the otherwise similar female lacks.

Around the lake at Granta Park

28th May 2023 - there were a number of interesting birds around the lake on Granta Park this weekend. Both Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting could be heard singing from the reedbed, and Swallow and Swift were swooping low over the water to take a quick drink. Grey HeronGreylag and Mallard were seen along the edges, the latter with a number of ducklings, and a male Little Grebe was seen feeding, diving quite near the road-side bank.  Andy M

Male Reed Bunting

Greylag Goose

Male Mallard

Female Mallard and ducklings

Mallard ducklings

Grey Heron

Male Little Grebe

Visit to Kingfisher's Bridge

27th May 2023 - six NatureWatch members were taken on a fascinating visit around the privately-owned Kingfisher's Bridge Nature Reserve by the reserve warden, James Moss. Seeing the fantastic variety of wetland habitats there now, it was hard to believe that less than 30 years ago, Andrew Green, owner and then farmer, decided to turn 250 acres of his farm into a nature reserve. Using pioneering conservation techniques to create and maintain large areas of scrubby wetland, reedbed habitats and a large lake, as well as meadows and woodland, the reserve is now a sanctuary for many species, including a number of nationally rare plants, bats and other species.

James led the group through parts of the reserve normally closed to the public, pointing out the unusual plants, animals and birds that now live there, and explaining how the habitat was developed and maintained for maximum biodiversity by grazing with both Water Buffalo and Konik ponies, reflecting how such habitats would have been naturally 'maintained' in the past by species such as Auroch.

The group spotted or heard a total of 39 bird species, including Marsh Harrier, a booming Bittern, Cuckoo, and several nesting species including Sand Martin, Lapwing and Redshank, as well as large number of both Greylag and Canada Goose with young.

View over the wetland edge to the lake

Canada Goose with young on the lake

Rich variety of flora in the wetland areas around the lake

One of a number of Sand Martin nesting banks

Konik ponies helping maintain the wetland and meadows

The group and James Moss (warden, centre)

Canada Goose and young on the lake [photo David F]

Water Buffalo the meadow [photo David F]


27th May 2023 - John T was very pleased to spot this rather splendid male Yellowhammer singing from a perch along the Old Railway Cutting early in the morning.


28th May 2023 - Andy M was lucky to spot a Goldcrest hopping around the willow trees along the river in Granta Park, singing its quiet, squeaky song as it went.

Juvenile Robin out and about

26th May 2023 - Andy M was happy to see that the pair of Robin nesting in the garden had successfully fledged a couple of juveniles, which were hopping around the garden, exploring their new environment, under the watchful eye of the adult.

Juvenile Robin

Juvenile Robin

Adult Robin

A number of warblers

24th May 2023 - there have been a number of warbler species singing along the Old Railway Cutting recently. Quite a few Blackcap and Chiffchaff have been very much in evidence, as well as the more elusive Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat.

Male Blackcap


Rose Chafer Beetle

24th May 2023 -  a rather shiny and splendidly-coloured Rose Chafer Beetle dropped onto the garden furniture in Andy M's garden, and was just begging to have its photo taken!

Finches, and friends, on the feeders

13th May 2023 - Andy M is still getting a few Goldfinch and Greenfinch on the bird feeders, as well as the odd visit from a Robin and a Long-tailed Tit.



Male Greenfinch

Female Greenfinch - with paler plumage than the male

Male Greenfinch

Female Greenfinch, and a quick visit from a Robin

Long-tailed Tit

Small Heath and Red Admiral

24th May 2023 - Andy M spotted a couple of Small Heath butterflies along the Old Railway Cutting - the first ones he's seen this year - as well as a few rather tatty-looking Red Admiral.

Small Heath

Small Heath

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Flowers along the Old Railway Cutting

24th May 2023 - a few different flowers starting to show along the Old Railway Cutting recently. The last few Cowslip are still flowering in the more shady places, but being superseded by Cow Parsley, Germander Speedwell and Creeping Buttercup in the sunny spots, as well as Elderflower and Dog Rose in the hedges. A few Red Campion also in the more shady wooded area.  Andy M.


Cow Parsley

Germander Speedwell

Creeping Buttercup


Dog Rose

Dog Rose

Red Campion

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: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=213774935674882866424.00000111dca2be9f06ab8&z=13>

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 (amerryweather61@gmail.com)