After waxing lyrical on the death of summer in my last post (Summer Has Gone) I've been made to look a fool as England has been hit by a mini heatwave, by 8 am it was already too hot for comfort, as I took my daughter on the stuffy bus ride to school, the air was sticky and heavy with moisture, and you could feel the temperature rising with every moment.
Walking along the Grand Union Canal even the Mute Swans seemed to be feeling the heat, and a party of 6 young birds ducked their heads in the water repeatedly, either trying to keep clean or cool in the mornings heat.
|Mute Swan Cygnets on Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes|
|Mute Swan conducting its siblings|
On the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve you could be forgive for thinking that we had moved to Southern Spain, or somewhere in the Albafuerer marshes on Mallorca, Little Egrets strutted the stuff all around the reserves edges and the long staying Great White Egret added to the continental vibes. Grey Herons seem to have increased their numbers as young birds follow the adults around the pools.
A Couple of Green Sandpiper (3) were joined by their browner, smaller relative as a Common Sandpiper could be found feeding on the stilt pits. Common Snipe are starting to venture out from the scrubby edges of the pits and feed, stabbing their overly long bills deep into the sticky mud in search of food.
Overhead the suns rays had brought out raptors too, the rising heat carrying 3 Common Buzzards, and a couple of Sparrowhawk. A pair of Kestrel briefly flew through hovering momentarily in the light breeze, riding the air and truly living up to the name Windhover, not to mention the more vulgar name it was once known as!
Away from the nature reserve itself two Redstart could be found flycatching from a tall blackthorn hedge, a stunning male looking resplendent in the blacks, greys and reds and a duller female in browns.
|Canada Geese in Flight|
|Young Goldfinch, keeping autumn going!|
|Mute Swan swimming the River Ouse|
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