Sunday evening I was a little unsure if I wanted to head out or not, the part of me that has worked hard all week getting the house straight (and cleaning and painting the old place ready to hand back), and who knew he had a near 8 mile cycle the next morning for work wanted nothing more than to jump into a hot steaming bath, the other part who knew we were being hit by the tail end of a hurricane and who had seen the huge amounts of on and off rainfall wanted to head to manor farm in the hope that something new might have dropped in, fortunately the second me won through.
A Surprise Bonus
I’m thinking of naming the first field I enter hirundine field as yet again it was alive, even more so than the previous days, the air was a mass of Swallows, House Martins (the largest proportion) and even the odd Sand Martin, it made me glad I was alive. I even sent a cheeky text to my friend Simon whom I used to share Lodge Lake patch with telling him this is what patch birding should be like! I received a call from him a few mins later telling me to cut watching that and get my butt to Manor Farm as Rob Hill had found a Pectoral Sandpiper (a local mega bird!!)
I did as instructed however his exact instructions (he said north path I followed north path) were a little off and I ended up on the other side of the lakes from them (Simon & Rob), fortunately I could see them and with the mobile glued to my ear Simon talked me onto the bird, all be it a little distant, what an amazing bird to see on your local patch on only your third trip out.
I didn’t give up on my walk. And decided to take the long walk all around Manor Farm and see what else I could spot. Although the weather was not great (Strong Winds and the odd bit of Rain) I did manage to see hundreds of Lapwing; quite a few Little Egret; a female Pheasant (a bird I saw twice when I used to bird the area and it was all farmland, seems odd); plenty of Black-headed Gull; Canada Geese; Grey Herons; and Gadwall. As well as other odd birds, but little in the way of insect life.
After the long trek around the lakes (all useful for learning the site) and a quick chat to Ben Miller (he had just seen the Pec Sand) I headed back to the canal and on towards home.
Old Canal Route
Just after passing back through the cattle creep there is a path off to the South (up towards Old Wolverton) which I decided to take. It wasn’t heaving with birds so late into the evening. It was interesting as apparently it is the route the canal used to take while they built the aqueduct. There is even an old lock gate to mark the area. It’s amazing what you find. – Introducing the Patch – Old Lock Area.
The path takes you back up to the church. And so I headed past there and back through the cattle field (and the hirundines). Home to a nice restful evening.
I hope to make evening walks a regular occurrence (in the summer at least, while there is light after work).
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