Wednesday 7 February 2024

January 2024 - Summary of Sightings in the Abingtons

January 2024


A total of 52 species were reported this month in an impressive 657 records, swelled in no small part by the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, full results from which are reported separately (see blog).

The Abington BGBW received 18 lists this year, with a total of 28 species and 168 separate reports. These included the first Reed Bunting reported this year, a species that frequents some garden feeders during the winter months.

A flock of five Golden Plover was spotted near AbPkFm on 7th. Flocks of up to 100 Fieldfare were also seen on the LSA around mid-month (see blog), with smaller numbers of Redwing being seen more regularly this month, both on the LSA and around Church Lane.

A Barn Owl had to be ‘encouraged’ to leave the nave of Gt Abington Church, and Tawny Owl have regularly been heard hooting nearby. A Buzzard was regularly reported, a Red Kite was seen more occasionally on the LSA, and a Kestrel was spotted along the ORC.

A Mistle Thrush was heard singing on GP early in the month, followed by singing from Song Thrush and Blackbird, as well as Robin, Dunnock and Great Tit from mid-month onwards.

Aside from the Blue Tit and Great Tit seen regularly in gardens, both Coal Tit and Long-tailed Tit were spotted by some, with 35 of the latter seen on North Rd. Similarly, whilst good numbers of Goldfinch were widely reported, a few Chaffinch and Greenfinch were also seen in some gardens, and more unusually a pair of Bullfinch was seen along the ORC on 29th.

A Nuthatch was spotted along Church Lane, as well as being heard near the Millennium Bridge, and Goldcrest were seen in Hall Farm and Cambridge Rd gardens. A Blackcap was also seen once around Hall Farm, and a Wren was seen regularly in a few gardens. Up to three Great Spotted Woodpecker were regular visitors to several garden feeders, with a Green Woodpecker also seen at several locations.

A Grey Wagtail was seen twice on the LSA, with Pied Wagtail (35) being seen on GP cricket, as well as on the flooded Hood’s Meadow (2nd), where 5 Grey Heron, 4 Little Egret and a flock of Black-headed Gull were also seen (see blog).

A pair of Egyptian Goose were quite frequent visitors on Grange Farm, and 10 Canada Goose were seen on GP lake, along with Mallard and Moorhen. Both Red-legged Partridge and Pheasant were spotted on the LSA, as were 20-40 Skylark, and a magnificently coloured male Yellowhammer, and a flock of Linnet were also seen on GP.

Butterflies and other Insects

A Buff-tailed Bumblebee was spotted on 29th, otherwise no records.


Flora and Fungi

Snowdrop and Aconite both showing in Granta Park around the sluice, as well as Hazel catkins (see blog). Small patches of toadstools were also seen alongside the newly cleared path to the Millennium Bridge (see blog).



Badger – evidence of activity along ORC on 14th.

Fox – one in Bourn Bridge Rd garden on 4th, and another in field by the hairdressers’ path on 14th (see blog).

Hare – one in field by the hairdressers’ path, and one in Lagden’s Grove GP, both on 14th.

Hedgehog – one crossing Church Lane on 2nd, and another in Bourn Bridge Rd garden on the 4th.

Muntjac – one in Sluice Wood on 2nd, and again on 14th. One in Lagden’s Grove GP on 14th, another in a Cambridge Rd garden on 18th and 19th, and one walking through a Church Lane garden on 20th.

Roe Deer – two seen south of Chalky Rd, and six seen near Hildersham Woods, both on 16th.



The first week was extremely wet, with the average rainfall for the whole month, falling in the first week – with the total for the month being 52mm, of which 43mm fell between the 1st and 5th, causing significant flooding (see blog). The middle two weeks were frosty, cold and dry, with the highest temperature being 14.1C on the 29th and the lowest being minus 10.4C on the 17th. Winds were predominantly from a northerly direction.


Amphibians and Reptiles - No sightings reported this month.

Many thanks to all those who contributed reports of their sightings for January 2024.
Barry Brooks, Tricia Cullimore, David & Gaynor Farrant, Colette Harkonen, Karen & Esme Langford, Carole McCrae, Len & Rosemary Mead, Andy & Polly Merryweather, Joan Nevin, Linda & Peter Page, Brian Parris, Barbara Phippen, Eddie Randall, Marion Rusted, Gill Smith, Suzan Stewart, Jade Taylor-Salazar, Beatrix Spencer, John & Maggie Turner, Derek Turnidge, John Webb, Di & Mervyn Wingfield.

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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 (