Some wader-watching at the Willen Lake

OK, don’t expect a great abundance of waders at the Willen Lake (Milton Keynes). I just liked to find some as this day was a bit different from the usual forest birding. I enjoyed my time at the lakes despite getting there by public transport was a nightmare for me. Public transport is just a time wasting way of travelling. Anyway, after one and half an hour I left home I entered the south lake. I was a little bit disappointed by the low number of waterfowl there, as I expected better diversity and higher numbers. Songbird numbers were also low but that could probably be due to the strong wind. The best bird over the lake was the first Common Tern for 2013.

Mute Swan galore at the Southern Lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Mute Swan galore at the south lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I hope one day I will find the rare Cetti's Warbler in the reedbed of the north lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I hope one day I will find the rare Cetti’s Warbler in the reedbeds of the north lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The north lake was a bit more exciting and I hoped to find the previously reported Common Redstart around the Willen Hospice. Probably due to my never ending ride I dipped this superb songbird. However, I found several other birds which were new to the 2013 list, including Eurasian Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common House Martin and Eurasian Reed Warbler (sang at three locations). The mixed swallow flock was flying around the hospice house.

Little Ringed Plover. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Little Ringed Plover was at the Northern Lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Drake Mallard. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Drake Mallard. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Complete list of birds seen today (South Lake/North Lake):

Greylag Goose 19/29
Canada Goose 6/26
Mute Swan 78/3
Mallard 22/8
Northern Shoveler 0/2
Eurasian Teal 0/2

Tufted Duck 2/26
Great Crested Grebe 12/11
Great Cormorant 0/6
Little Egret 0/2
Common Moorhen 0/7
Eurasian Coot 29/18
Little Ringed Plover 0/1
Eurasian Oystercatcher 0/3
Dunlin 0/1
Black-headed Gull 4/3
European Herring Gull 2/0
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2/0
Common Tern 1/4
Stock Dove 0/3
Common Wood Pigeon 3/20
Eurasian Collared Dove 1/0
Great Spotted Woodpecker 0/1
Green Woodpecker 1/1
Common Magpie 0/4
Carrion Crow 6/2
Sand Martin 0/9
Barn Swallow 1/8
Common House Martin 0/25
Great Tit 0/2
Blue Tit 2/2
Eurasian Wren 1/3
Willow Warbler 0/5
Common Chiffchaff 1/3
Eurasian Reed Warbler 0/3
European Blackcap 0/1
European Robin 5/4
Eurasian Blackbird 0/6
Song Thrush 2/1
Dunnock 2/1
Common Starling 4/0
White Wagtail 1/0
Common Reed Bunting 0/2
Common Chaffinch 6/3
European Greenfinch 1/0
European Goldfinch 1/6
House Sparrow 0/3

Reference: Gill, F & D Donsker (Eds). 2013. IOC World Bird List (v 3.3). Available at [Accessed 16.04.2013].


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