|Starling numbers are building – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
Again this morning the sun was shining, and by nine am it was already beginning to warm up nicely, so I thought I would take another walk (that makes it five walks in five days now, and as enjoyable as they have all been my back is starting to scream with the pain each day. I think I need more rest between long walks with heavy bags). Anyway I decided to alter my route a little today and started off at the old mill buildings (I wanted to check out the river a little more), before heading East along the Ouse and then up the old canal route (old Lock area) and back down over the sheep fields and on to the wader scrapes, it actually wan’t the best choice as I found out the light really wasn’t good for a lot of the walk.
Along the river (after having started at the mill) there wasn’t a huge amount, the only really notable birds being quite a few Chiffchaff calling and occasionally singing in amongst the willow (easy to hear hard to spot), and a couple of Little Egret in the fields on the North of the river, so I slowly made my way along without really stopping much (apart from for the Wren photo below).
|Wren – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
The Old Canal/Lock
In the mornings I usually approach this area from the other end and there is a good reason, as coming that way the sun is on my back and the bushes are all visible, coming from this direction I could see little ahead fo me thanks to the mornings brilliant sunshine and had to stop and turn around a lot in order to see if I was missing anything. I have to say it seemed very quiet, apart from a family party of passing Jay and a couple of Bullfinch and Blackcap there was little else around.
Following yesterday’s Stoat, today I spotted a Common Shrew (I think) only this one wasn’t rushing across the path, no in fact it was dead (although looks alive in the photo!!).
|Common Shrew (actually it’s dead) – Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes|
Now as I exited the old canal area and walked across the fields back up to the main path I was greeted by a barking dog, not unusual although this one was very close and at one point did snap at my hand, but what annoyed me the most was the old lady walking it who called it back (thankfully) completely ignored the fact that her dog was barking and performing this act towards a person, there was no apology, and no acknowledgement that I was in any way affected, I do wish people like this controlled their dogs, but the least she should have done is apologise. Rant Over.
Walking across the farm fields I stopped briefly at the pond as there were a few Goldfinch coming in and a couple of House Martin stopping in to drink/collect mud (seems an odd time of year) and while waiting, watching I spotted a high up Hobby slowly making it’s way through.
|Goldfinch – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
|House Martin in flight (cropped) – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
|House Martin (Heavy Crop) – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
Arriving at the wader scrape area there were already a couple of birders there (hello if you read this) and they had found 1 Greenshank, 1 Ruff and 1 Green Sandpiper (they mentioned the black necked grebe still being there but I could not find it unfortunately). While watching the waders all flew up and a 2nd ruff was in the flock, but little else bar the local Little Ringed Plover.
I wandered to the second bridge but could see little more form there and the only thing of note on my walk back was a brief view (the wrong side of a barbed wire fence) of a Clouded Yellow butterfly.
Giving up I walked back, again impressed by the numbers of Chiffchaff along the way but seeing little else of note.
|Chiffchaff (one of many today) – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
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