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Bucks/Beds Birding?

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 16:59   #1
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Bucks/Beds Birding?

Hi, can someone point me in the direction of really good spots in Bucks/Beds area? (Or towards a thread - I did a search but it didn't come up with anything)

I have found bits on the net but I was wondering if the more experienced people on this site could tip me off on some good spots as it is proving a bit daunting in a new area to begin with! I have a car, ideally it would be 20ish miles from Milton Keynes.

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 17:31   #2
Graham Howard Shortt
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Take a look at "Where to Watch Bird in Thames Valley and the Chilterns" ( It actually covers the whole of Beds and Bucks, despite the title, and this 2003 edition is more up to date than some others in the series.

In the immediate area I guess you've been to Willen which has hides but is perhaps losing the reputation it had some 20 years ago, and Linford NR is also good with 3 hides but is permit only. A little further afield I like Foxcote Reservoir near Buckingham and visited Calvert Lakes near Winslow for the first time recently and liked it. Out Bedford way you've got Stewartby and Brogborough Lakes among the many former brick pits although the most visitor-friendly is Millenium Vale CP, but avoid peak leisure times. South of you are Woburn Woods and the Stockgrove Park / Rammamere Heath area north of Leighton Buzzard. Tring Reservoirs, especially Wilstone, are worth a jaunt although a little further for you, and the Downs and Ashridge estate can be a good place to bird.

PM if you're going any place specific and I'll try to help - Although I live in Leeds I spend a lot of time in Leighton Buzzard where I grew up so know the area quite well and have had many pleasnt days birding there recently.

All the best,
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 18:24   #3
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Both counties are very well served by their respective birding Yahoogroups. I run the Beds one ( and it is a great way to get to know the best sites and perhaps more important initially, the birders. In fact Bucks has two yahoogroups. One, for north Bucks - pretty active today as three Spoonbills were found in MK this morning!


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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2007, 08:45   #4
Derek Polley
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Glad to see a beds thread. I was looking as well as i have a son there and needed some local info but could not find much. Priory Country Park is good for a walk but again avoid peak weekends and go early. Spent a fruitless evening at Wallington dovecote last summer hoping for Barn owls but no luck. Any ideas if they still breed there or not? Think we got nightingale nearby as well - how possible is this? Will get on the Yahoo site when we are over in August
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