Category Archives: wildlife

Abbey Fish Ponds – April 2021

Today was another sunny day in the current warm spell that follows a cool start to April.

Looking down from the earth mounds, at the centre of the Abbey Fishponds nature reserve, the fenland below is half green where the sedges have been cut back and are growing back fresh, and a straw colour where last year’s dry stems have been left.

Sedges can be seen growing from the edge of the boggy ground.

The pools are also being surrounded by green leaves.

Round the edges of the nature reserve new trees are growing from their protective sheaths.

From the woodland areas lots of Lords and Ladies can be developing their male flowers, the so called Cuckoo-pint.

There are a lot of birds singing and fighting for space, particularly in the wooded areas.

There are also early insects such as this Orange-tip Butterfly.

At the entrances to the Nature Reserve are notices warning of ticks. Ticks can transmit microbes that cause illnesses like Lyme disease.

Abbey Fish Ponds – March 2021

Today was the first sunny day since the start of Spring. Hawthorn leaves are growing from buds around the Abbey Fish Ponds Nature Reserve in Abingdon.

Blackthorn blossoms appears before the leaves.

At the north edge of the Abbey Fish Ponds a whicker fence provides a barrier to the slope down to the reedbeds. Young trees have been planted with plastic guards and will replace the fence in time.

A north-south path crosses over a brook and forms a cross roads with the main east-west path that follows the brook.

The banks of the brook are green with new vegetation.

Fresh reeds (or sedges) are pointing up from the shallow ponds beside the main path.

That main path goes from the Radley Road to Audlett Drive.

Many birds can be heard. Fewer can be seen. As the nature reserve is close to houses there are domestic cats prowling near the edges and so birds are best to be wary.

Blossoms and Bees

After a couple of months of remote learning, schools welcomed children and students back  for the start of lockdown easing.
Blossoms and Bees
It was a lovely day and blossoms lit up the walk by the almshouses in Abingdon.
Blossoms and Bees
From the blossoms I heard my first gathering of bees of the year.
Blossoms and Bees
After hibernating over the winter, some bees have woken.

We also saw our first ants exploring our house.

Abbey Fishponds – February

Abbey Fishponds
I returned to the Abbey Fishponds this morning for the monthly visit and it was below zero. Our garden thermometer showed -4 °C when I set out
Abbey Fishponds
The are plenty of birds and bird song despite the cold. They not only have the wild life area but there are also lots of surrounding gardens. I think this is a Dunnock (Hedge Sparrow) but am happy to be corrected.
Abbey Fishponds
An area of sedge appeared to have been cleared and piled up since my last visit. Small streams crossed the area.
Abbey Fishponds
Crows were looking for food in the ground where it was not too hard.
Abbey Fishponds
Most of the ponds were frozen, and today the ice was solid enough to stand on.
Abbey Fishponds
The ice had embedded leaves and twigs.
Abbey Fishponds
There were quite a few blackbirds together on the ice near the bottom entrance and some of the males were squabbling. Why don’t they conserve their energy?

There were lots of chopped up trees and branches that could provide some cavities and shelter from the cold, possibly insects and food stores too.
Abbey Fishponds
Robins fluff up their feathers to keep themselves warm.

I was glad to get home with the modern convenience of central heating and warm up.