David Trevor Jones writes:
On 17 November (crikey, nearly a month ago – how did that happen?!!!) I walked down to Tunworth and saw on Tunworth Down the biggest flock of lapwings that I’ve seen in our area for a good few years. I was watching them, entranced as they’re just about my favourite bird and I’ve missed them dreadfully as they’ve vanished – when I was a teenaged bird-watcher over the other side of Basingstoke in the 1970s we occasionally even had them in the garden! As I watched I became aware of a large flock of some kind of wader. Waders? In Tunworth? Yes, golden plovers! I’ve occasionally seen golden plover with lapwing but only the odd one or two. Here the goldens out-numbered the greens by a huge margin. I tried counting and reckon the golden plover flock – one main and several smaller subsidiaries, plus a few birds in among the lapwings – must have been a couple of hundred at least. That’s by far the biggest flock of golden plovers I have ever seen.
Maybe they’re around in Tunworth every year and I’ve just not spotted them before or maybe they were passing through. I’ve not been back to check. But on that gloriously bright, sunlit afternoon they made an unforgettable sight!