Getting familiar of a woodcock site

This spring I wanna see something I have never seen before. Being a great fan of waders it is a bit weird that I have never seen a Eurasian Woodcock roding over its breeding site. I have got some guidance via the local birding mail list where to try to see it. Thanks for it!

Today I spent almost two hours in the Little Linford Wood which is just outside of the city of Milton Keynes. This tiny reserve looks to be a great place for many birds in the breeding season including the elusive Eurasian Woodcock. Large part of the forest is very wet which is a key requirement in the habitat selection of the woodcock. By this fact suitable clothing (rubber boots) is needed to explore the remote muddy patches of the forest, which I apparently haven’t got.

One of the numerous wet patches in the forest. © Gyorgy Szimuly

One of the numerous wet patches in the forest. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Little Linford Wood Nature Reserve. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Little Linford Wood Nature Reserve. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Little Linford Wood Nature Reserve. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Little Linford Wood Nature Reserve. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I did not see the woodcock today but I will give it some try by visiting the area at dusk and twilight. Walking in the awaking forest was really pleasant as most of the bird species sang. As it is getting to be a daily routine I started eBirding straight from the field.

A Common Buzzard was chased by Carrion Crows. © Gyorgy Szimuly

A Common Buzzard was chased by Carrion Crows. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Here is the list of species I could see and hear:

Common Buzzard 1
Common Wood-Pigeon 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 3
Green Woodpecker 1 (heard only again)
Eurasian Jay 3
Common Magpie 3
Eurasian Jackdaw 3
Carrion Crow 3
Marsh Tit 1
Coal Tit 2
Great Tit 11
Blue Tit 14
Long-tailed Tit 9
Eurasian Nuthatch 3
Eurasian Treecreeper 1
Eurasian Wren 5
European Robin 12
Eurasian Blackbird 11
Fieldfare 15
Redwing 3
Song Thrush 1
European Starling 30
Dunnock 1
European Goldfinch 4

Fieldfares and Redwings were flying over the area but I had a feeling they stopped somewhere around the car park. Just outside the forest I saw and heard my first European Skylark singing over the arable lands off Haversham. Three species was added to the year list: #69 European Skylark, #70 Coal Tit, #71 Marsh Tit.

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