Our First Walk on the New Patch

Meadow Brown - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Meadow Brown – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Having spent all week moving house (although I was working the day of the actual move so missed the heavy lifting – many thanks go to Callum’s Removals) unpacking boxes and generally getting things sorted, Friday came and as a family we decided we needed a break from it all and so headed onto the patch for our first walk (posts are delayed as I have had no net access until today, there are two more posts which will post automatically over the next few days).

Sunny August Day

The sun was high in the sky when we clambered over the first gate (the kissing gate onto the footpath is a bit overgrown with nettles and most of us were in shorts!) and entered the grassy field the anticipation of what we might see had me quite excited (I’m not sure the rest of the gang was – Zoe, Owen, Toby Bo and Granny were all dragged along), and the field proved to hold quite a few hirundines along with the local cattle (Bullocks).

Fly Sp - Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes
Fly Sp – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes

Scorpion Fly - Grand Union Canal, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Scorpion Fly – Grand Union Canal, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes

After a wander through the field, the site of an old village and a motte and bailey, we climbed yet another fence (I’m not really sure where the path leads but this seems OK) and we were on the main paved path to the river (Ouse). As soon as we arrived at the Ouse I spotted a male Redstart darting between bushes, unfortunately it disappeared into thick cover and was never seen again, but a stonking start to the patch.

My Family (back row - Granny, Own, Zoe - Front Row - Bo, Toby)
My Family (back row – Granny, Own, Zoe – Front Row – Bo, Toby)

My kids pull the nicest faces
My kids pull the nicest faces

Bo looking beautiful as ever
Bo looking beautiful as ever

Canal side Orchid?
Canal side Orchid?
It was also on this corner I spotted a beautiful Clouded Yellow butterfly as it sauntered past up stream (it didn’t stop for me to photograph or show the others)

The Creep

We carried on along the river, pausing to admire the Little Egret along the river (I spent time explaining how rare these once were in the UK to my family) as well as the odd fly over Common Tern, pausing briefly to admire a few more butterflies (Comma, Green-veined White, Red Admiral) and a Brown Hawker or two zipping around before we headed under the cattle creep along side the Iron Trunk Aqueduct.

Manor Farm

We were now in the territory of Manor Farm, Milton Keynes current hot spot for birds, but alas the heat and tiredness of the last few days caught up with us so we did not manage to walk far before deciding we would head back home (via the Galleon Pub), however we were in that time treated to some wonderful views of some Mute Swan cygnets resting on the banks where the Ouse and Tove meet, as well as some young Pied Wagtails, a stunning bright yellow autumn Willow Warbler, and a nice set of Reed and Sedge Warbler (all birds I didn’t see much of on Lodge Lake).
Walking back along the Grand Union Canal we stopped to gather some ripening blackberries and admire the odd Coot and Mallard chick that were swimming alongside us. Before stopping for a well earned drink and evening meal in the local pub (The Galleon – a bit of a spit and sawdust place, although the food was cheap).
Heading home back across the field the day was an enjoyable, hot and needed break from the move.

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