|Common Buzzard, Wardington|
I recorded 31 species in my square, centred on the tiny hamlet of Plumpton tucked away in the south Northamptonshire countryside. Most prominent were thrushes - lots of Redwings (at least 200) and plenty of Fieldfares, feasting mostly on the remaining berry crop but sometimes dropping down onto the fields to search for worms and other invertebrates. Also good numbers of Skylarks and Yellowhammers, though raptors were is short supply, just a solitary Red Kite.
Driving out to the survey square I stopped off at a couple of places I used to see Tree Sparrows quite reliably, but couldn't find any - though there was a nice gathering of Lapwings and Golden Plover in a winter sown cereal field.
|Golden Plovers, near Weston, Northamptonshire|
I hope to see Tree Sparrows in my garden again over the winter, but at the moment the most interesting birds around the village are the Common Buzzards, which like last year, have gathered in the big arable field at Top Dawkins. My peak count so far is 19 birds. One was particularly confiding, feeding quite close to one of the gateways. They make short flights or a quick run, then pounce on their prey in the soil.