|Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
Today's blog post is split into two parts, the first our morning family walk just after breakfast (Wolverton House the nearby pub does a great one, all you can eat for £3.99, and is now our regular Sunday morning treat), and then a second walk (just me) over to check out Manor Farm for waders this evening. But first I must just get the exciting news off my chest of a bird I heard calling, so I guess it is actually a three part post.
Now as much as I'm sure no one needs to read this at around 05:45 this morning I needed a wee\pee\toilet whatever you want to call it, and so into the en-suite I went, I quickly discovered a visiting cricket of some kind, but without wanting to disturb my other half with the fan, ignored that and sat down (dark, I didn't want to miss way too much info I know) but then I heard it, through the open window came the sounds of a singing Tawny Owl!! Now I've seen little owls near before and suspected barn owls breed (others have confirmed but I am yet to see one) and I even hoped a short-eared owl might over winter one year but I never expected a Tawny, not so close to town.
After Breakfast we headed to the river and choosing to cross over (rather than walk left to Stony Nature reserve or Right to Manor Farm) we headed out across the fields, as we passed the first style a flock of birds took off and the landed quickly, a scan straight away revealed Yellow Wagtails, and way more than I have ever seen locally, in fact I counted 27 but I may well have missed some. In amongst them were the odd Meadow Pipit as well for good measure (again I counted 5).
|One of 27+ Yellow Wagtails, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
Continuing across the field I spotted a Great-Spotted Woodpecker flying the edges and as we passed into a smaller field a small bird got up from the grass and landed on a nearby post, rasing my bins I spotted my second Wheatear of the week, and shortly after another bird appeared (a third bird was also seen on the walk back near to the first style we crossed, an amazing day). We hung around the small paddock a while and added a small flock of 8 or so Linnet, a Reed Bunting and a Lesser Whitethroat. By now the kids were bored so we headed home.
|One of 3 Wheater - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
After dinner I thought I should make one last wader count at Manor Farm and so headed out over the fields for a quick scan. And I am so glad I did.
On walking across the sheep fields I was pleased to see my first Hobby of the year (late I know), as it was harried by a crow not pleased with its presence. Arriving at the lakes a brief scan in the evening light revealed 1 Ruff, 1 Greenshank, 4 Green sandpiper, 6 Common Sandpiper, 1 Garganey (I thought they had all left by now), my first Pochard (the first returning bird for the winter) and I heard a Little Owl (2 owls in one day is always good).
But the best was yet to come, as I was packing up in the failing light I spotted a large heron flying through, I'd checked all herons and egrets so far and assumed this would be another Grey Heron, but when I lifted my bins I was greeted by a stonking White heron with a yellow bill, and long all dark legs, it was in fact a GREAT WHITE EGRET! it didn't stop however but continued through presumably on route to roosting at Linford (the location for a huge egret roost).
I left a happy bunny for this evening, the light was too poor for wildlife photos I'm afraid but I did get a nice shot of the moon.