Local birding after my successful twitching


Common Wood Pigeon. © Gyorgy Szimuly


Common Wood Pigeons landed on the trees of the Grove Farm. © Gyorgy Szimuly

On the way home from the successful Buff-bellied Pipit twitch I explored the wider region around Milton Keynes. At the Grove Farm near Toddington a massive 550 Common Wood Pigeons flew over the road. They were flushed by something from the nearby farmlands (mainly cabbage patches). I could not spot a Stock Dove among them.


The view to the flooded pastures near Thornborough. © Gyorgy Szimuly


The majority of Northern Lapwings where feeding on this arable land. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The next target was to visit the pastures and arable lands between Thornborough and Leckhampstead. I had one more hope for today to find and see waders in the middle of winter which is always a pleasure to my Hungarian eyes. As two weeks ago, I visited the pastures along the Great Ouse River at Thornborough. The flooding was over but the adjacent fields have been very soggy and wet providing good feeding habitats for the birds.

Birds seen on pastures south of the river:

Northern Lapwing 135,
Black-headed Gull 75,
Lesser Black-blacked Gull 32,
Common Wood Pigeon 25,
Redwing 28,
Fieldfare 47,
Rook 16,
Carrion Crow 10,
Western Jackdaw 12,
Common Starling 40,
European Goldfinch 3,
Common Redpoll 1.

The Common Redpoll was posing on the bush next to me and was flying over me while calling. As birds were quite scary many Northern Lapwings were flushed and they flew towards the pastures next to the A422 road where I found them for the last time. I followed them and suddenly found a large flock of Northern Lapwings on an arable land right to the junction of A422 and the Leckhampsted road. A nice flock of 750 birds were together but many more was coming from the opposite pasture. As a total of approximately 950 Northern Lapwings were present.


This pasture was full of wintering thrushes. © Gyorgy Szimuly

From Thornborough i drove to the Manor Farm in Old Wolverton. Time by time I revisit this area mainly for waders. Today there was no sign of any waders but the pasture was yet interesting. It was full of thrushes feeding in the grass. Black-headed Gulls were chasing Fieldfares and stole the earth worms from them. It was an interesting behaviour. The gravel pit was still filled by the river but many roosting sites have already been available. I saw a few waterbirds, like Eurasian Wigeon and Grey Heron there.

Birds seen on the pastures:

European Sparrowhawk 1,
Redwing 102,
Fieldfare 114,
Mistle Thrush 1,
Western Jackdaw 8,
Carrion Crow 15,
Common Magpie 6,
White Wagtail 3,
European Goldfinch 3.


European Goldfinch. © Gyorgy Szimuly


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