To start the New Year off in the way I plan for it to continue today was a day for a long walk (No hangover, I don’t drink anymore), the plan was to start as early as possible but that turned out to be 10:00 so not super early. In tow were my partner Zoe and my daughter Bo.
The Long Walk
Starting around the lake I kicked off with a couple of good patch birds in the form of 7 COMMON GULLS (I’ve seen one on the water before) and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL also on the lake, along with the usual raft of BLACK-HEADED Gulls, a few MALLARDS, CANADA GEESE, MUTE SWAN, COOT and MOORHEN.
But the lake was not our destination, merely a stop on our tour of the patch. On under the bridge and down to the river we traveled, spotting a few birds on the way (great for the 1st but nothing special) including, REDWING, FIELDFARE, BLACKBIRD, SONG THRUSH, BLUE TIT, LITTLE EGRET and a few others (A complete list for 2013 will be on a separate page). Ever onward.
Now my daughter is three she walks plenty, and can manage the lake, but we knew today would be a long walk, possibly too far, so brought our bike trailer; it converts with a third wheel. But I was, I admit, worried that the trailer would not fit under the railway bridge. And I was so nearly right. With barely an inch to spare we managed to fit the trailer onto the narrow pathway, I just feel sorry for the gentleman coming the other way who kindly clambered up the barrier in order to allow us to pass.
And now we had reached our first goal the famous (or infamous) concrete cows (still decked out as skeletons).
|Ride ’em cowgirl|
|You sure this is right dad, isn’t mum a little old to be having this much fun?|
|OK it was fun at first but enough pics dad, get me off!|
The cows fed and milked (well Bo did attempt the milking), it was on once more this time towards the Roman Villa (ruins) at Bancroft. Along the way picking up a few more interesting birds a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and a GOLDCREST (Only my second on the patch).
|A large, deep puddle|
It was at the ruins that I encountered a plant (or rather Bo did) that was as odd looking as I can recall. Especially when you consider it was growing in the ground next to one of the ancient walls. I’d love to know what it is (Pic below), best I can come up with in an Internet search is Blue Green Algae which seems so odd on dry land.
There were also a few more interesting mosses and other things growing around.
|Moss up close|
|yet more moss|
|Back lit Bo on the ruined Roman Villa|
From here we decided to break up the walk a little and head to the KFC (not the healthiest I know but we deserved it). Now an interesting fact this was the first Drive Through Restaurant in the UK when it was built (historic town Milton Keynes) it’s not much of a celebrated feat but I’m easily impressed. I should have taken a picture now I think about it.
After our feed (I love a fillet Tower Burger!) we headed back past Bradwell Abbey, alive with thrushes and a few horses and into Wymbush just in case there were any waxwings knocking about (there weren’t).
|Horses at the Abbey (taken for my daughter so we could leave).|
|Random White berries (I love the white on brown)|
Before heading home we had a quick feed of the ducks while finishing the walk around the lake (the other 3 quarters we didn’t walk at the start), and then home, all in all a pleasant 4 hours spent on a 5.5 mile walk, a great way to spend the first day of the new year.
|Coot (final image of the day).|
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