A Very Wet Walk Around Manor Farm

Cattle Head - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Cattle Head - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Well I didn't expect to get quite so wet today! I should clarify, after dropping the baby girl at school, and sorting electricity and gas supply, oh and contents insurance, I decided I'd pop out for a short walk, just to see if the resent winds had brought anything in (there have been some nice commoner migrants hitting the east coast so you never know), anyway it had been spitting on and off so I donned my new waterproof coat (a Nice Berghaus bargain from go out doors, I'll review it one day soon) and I was out the door expecting the rain to ease (there had been no mention on the weather of lots of rain) 3 hours later and the rain didn't stop  in fact It got quite heavy (although the sun is now shining as I write this, bloody typical). Anyway I'm sure you don't really care how wet I was on with the blog.

The Old Lock, Wolverton


After a quick and bird free walk through the churchyard of Old Wolverton (incidentally I realised today I once went to a party at the house near the church, funny old world!) I headed for the Old Lock area, hoping for migrants. I'd love to say the area was dripping but alas it wasn't, there was a good passage of Swallow passing through, and a flock of 23 Goldfinch (my largest yet), as well as the usual Bullfinch(4), Chaffinch, Chiffchaff (4) and Blackcap (2), the first really interesting bird was a stunning Lesser Whitethroat looking glorious in the rain, however it was coming down hard so I didn't manage a photo.

Blackbird (female) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Blackbird (female) - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
I seem to be taking a lot of photos like this where the bird is almost a 2nd thought although still the subject matter


Just as I approached the end of the track, nearing the Iron Trunk Aqueduct, I heard a rasping peeping call coming from the trees and quickly spotted my 99th patch bird (amazing how quickly I have got to that number, it would be way more if I included my old lists from when I watched the area, but I'm starting fresh just for the excitement) in the form of 3 Treecreepers hanging around an old Oak tree, there was a passing tit flock here as well, but only the three common tits, Long-tailed tit, Great tit and Blue tit (in the past this was a good location for marsh tit so I'm hoping I'll see one soon).

On to Manor Farm Itself


Pausing along the canal to dry my bins and take my notes I headed off for the wader scrape at Manor Farm and was quickly set up scope of tripod staring into the even heavier rain, the precipitation was so persistent that it was hard to count anything, only brightening up briefly and allowing me to do a little counting, firstly the waders 2 Ruff, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper (not much really), then the ducks, 64 Wigeon (these are growing in number I think as winter approaches) and 24 Shoveler, 3 Tufted Ducks loads of Teal and Mallard, the odd Gadwall and little else again.

Other numbers I counted (I was hoping it would brighten up for my walk home) 8 Mute Swan (no sign of the black swan) 2 Great Crested Grebe and 4 Little Grebe, 2 Common Tern and 6 Little Egrets. Oh and one Common Toad, which was nice, even he wasn't enamoured of the rain, as when I approached he darted under my boot for shelter.

Common Toad - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Common Toad - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes


The Sheep Fields


Eventually giving up I headed back across the sheep fields, or rather I went to when I spotted a flock of Long-Tailed Tit performing really well and as there was only light drizzle I got the camera out and snapped off a few shots, I didn't realise that they ate fruit either, pretty embarrassing to admit, but these birds were happy to feed on the plum/sloe (I'm never sure which these plants are) as you can see from the photos.

Long-Tailed Tit - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Long-Tailed Tit (eating Sloe/Plum) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Long-Tailed Tit (eating Sloe/Plum) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Two Long-Tailed Tits - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Two Long-Tailed Tits - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes


I then spotted a group of Swallow hunting insects (the amount of Daddy Long-legs out to day was remarkable, every step set three or four off on their bouncing flight) low over the fields so I headed over and found them resting on a small bush (another ideal photo op). I think that the photos below seem quite minimalist, even Japanese in style? Love to hear your thoughts on that, I really like them.

Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Swallow taking flight - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow taking flight - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Swallow in flight (coming for a landing) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow in flight (coming for a landing) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Swallow - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes

Three Swallows - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Three Swallows - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
 
Three Swallows - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Three Swallows - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Two Swallows (this is the one I think most has that Japanese style) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes
Two Swallows (this is the one I think most has that Japanese style) - Manor Farm, Milton Keynes


I was enjoying photographing the Swallow, even though my back was really starting to burn with the pain of carrying my gear, when I realised I was fast being surrounded by some bullocks that had recently been set to pasture in the field with the sheep. Now I'm a bit of a coward when it comes to cows, so I packed up and headed off around the edge of the field and home.

If you enjoyed this post, or found it useful, then please do share it with your friends using the links below

Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can. I apologise for any issues with posting comments, but sometimes Google's blogger platform plays up. ALL comments are moderated for SPAM, so please don't bother if the comment is unrelated to the post it will likely be deleted.

CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. Stunning images - I particularly like the Long-tailed Tit sequence :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tristan, I'd pretty much given up on getting anything when the tit appeared :)

      Delete

Back
to top