Sunset on Friday coincided with the evening arrival of a congregation of Golden Plover. A circling flock of forty or so birds whistled in their plaintive way. Every year they gather on the parish – I have always assumed that it is a traditional stopping place on their way south, but their stay is often a prolonged one. It is of course impossible to be certain whether we see the same flock for a number of weeks or whether we sit on a migration route and thus see many flocks passing through.
The call is unmistakeable. They often fly by starlight and their contact calls drift down from unseen groups. Surprisingly they do not seem to favour low lying pasture land as a roosting site, instead they select higher (height being entirely relative) arable fields alongside the old roman road. I like to imagine that this location has been favoured for a
long time, perhaps centuries, as it is a site offering good views and resultant protection from predators.