Village Wildlife Diary for November 2019

Long Buckby Green Spaces’ Christmas Tree
Laura Howard (local potter who uses the clay from C.E.P.) and Daniel Tabor, Chair of L.B.G.S.

Long Buckby Green Spaces has entered a Christmas tree in the exhibition at St Lawrence Church on 7th and 8th December. The message of our tree is ‘Plant a tree in 2020 and help to save the planet’.

Ring-necked Parakeet

27th November, Alan Webb sends a photo’ of a Ring-necked Parakeet that’s sitting on his bird feeder down at The Wharf. Keith sees a Kingfisher near the stream below St Lawrence’s. My farmer friend suggests it’s been the wettest November since 1963.

25th November, my wife gets up for her Ambulance shift at 0430hrs and I wake enough to register a calling Tawny Owl from the paddocks behind Lime Avenue or Berryfields.

24th November, a Carrion Crow is put out by a couple of Black-headed Gulls who have the cheek to grab at a worm in front of the Crow. The sky has Woodpigeons, Redwings, Gulls, Jackdaws and the odd Skylark.

23rd November, dull and wet, but a Blackbird utters a few notes of song in an effort to save the day. A Robin also issues a tune but it’s as melancholy as it is sweet. Jack Snipe again at CEP.

21st November, Brian finds Annual Mercury, an uncommon plant, near the Football Club.

Tawny Owl

18th November, loading the van on the drive is ceased as a Water Pipit goes over calling. Possibly the bird from the end of last month? This and the previous one flew over just above the roof tops which might suggest being local. Where to start looking with all this flood water is the big question.

16/17th November, as is traditional for this time of year we are up in a cage on a teleporter erecting Christmas lights for the Parish Council. I spend a lot of time looking upwards and shouting orders but am rewarded by views of Red Kite, Sparrowhawk with 30 Starlings, Lesser Black-backed, Common and Black-headed Gulls, Grey Wagtail, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Blackbird and Collared Dove, all over or at Market Place.

15th November, CEP has a vocal Meadow Pipit, a Green Woodpecker, winter Thrushes and a new visitor in the form of a Jack Snipe. A smaller cousin of the ‘Common’ Snipe.

14th November, rain in excess transforms Surney into a water-world, a scene from a Norfolk grazing marsh, with a hundred Black-headed Gulls feasting on drowned worms.

10th November, a Mistle Thrush sings tentatively, from behind Murcott, and a Starling also sits and attempts a bit of ‘song’ on a chimney in High Stack.


7th November, a Chiffchaff near the Castle site sings as if it’s March.

5th November, high over the village the blueness of the sky is clear and clean, and into view comes a skein of ‘grey’ Geese, perhaps a dozen birds. I am working so no Binoculars to hand. I strain hard and look at the ‘v’ formation, and l listen intensely but they’re too fast, and too high and I don’t get a positive identification. It was a pleasant few seconds of magic and I have learnt to just let these moments go.

2nd November, 60 odd Redwings, 15 Fieldfare, a dozen Blackbirds, and seemingly more Robins, and Goldcrests. Wrens are amongst the reeds and sedge grasses at the pond and an adult and immature Moorhen noted. CEP looks and feels autumnal. A dog walk on the parish boundary below Vanderplanks Covert is an afternoon treat and 2 Bumblebees look like queen Buff-tailed. A late Chiffchaff calls clearly and is easy to see with less leaves to hide amongst. A Female Kestrel is using the old, bare twigs on the tops of the half-dead Hawthorns to perch and stare downwards. The breeze playfully lifts and flicks her feathers but she is deadly serious. Suddenly she falls off into the wind and breaks into a frenzied hover, and then drops with half a spiral to bounce into the long grass with wings held high. I watch for a few seconds but no…She’s unlucky this time.

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