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Lucie Vicentijevic, Conservation Ranger at Woburn Forest, is passionate about her job and keeping an eye on the wildlife spotted on village. She shares with us an update on her recent sighting of the Pied Wagtails and the best place to spot them – even as the light draws in!
“Some say dusk has a mystical, almost magical feeling, with the fading light allowing the evening to creep in then rolling into night. The village certainly has that feel at the moment, with the twinkling lights that decorate the village and come to life as the sun sets. For wildlife on village, it may be time to go to bed or time to stir. Sleeping wildlife may be hard to find and animals in the dark might prove elusive too, however there may in fact be wildlife to see where you least expect it, in the busy area in front of The Plaza.
Around dusk, Pied Wagtails can be spotted perched on The Plaza roof and swooping down to the planting around the water feature and bike park, all the time chattering away. The Pied Wagtail is one of the three native species of wagtail in this country and one of the two we have on village. They are a small bird, distinctive with its black, white and grey plumage and long tail. The long tail, as its name suggests, wags as it walks “pumping” up and down. These little insect eaters can be spotted in the daytime running across the ground, catching up insects to eat or feeding in the air around The Plaza and Village Square. With the main street lights coming on around The Plaza bike park, the wagtails show off their aerial agility, catching small insects that have been attracted to the lights. After this bedtime snack and as the sun light disappears the birds begin to find a spot to roost in the bushes. Roosting communally is common in winter and provides safety in numbers.
The Buddliea appears the plant of choice and provides cover and many perches for the flock. The larger surroundings of The Plaza provides a sheltered spot, away from wind. There will also be residual heat in the buildings, heat loss from the doors of Sports Café, the main doors of The Plaza and Starbucks that raises the ambient temperature a few degrees and helps to keep our wagtails cosy on the chilly nights.
If you have a little time, stop to watch as dusk rolls in, once the birds have settled down in the planting, you may be able to creep up and spot the sleepy birds preening and preparing for bed and get a closer look than usual at these sweet residents of our village.”
We would love to see your wildlife snaps, don’t forget to the share them using the hashtag #mycp.