Pastures Old

Pastures Old - Manor Farm, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes
Pastures Old

I think I have mentioned it a few times before, but the area this blog is about Manor Farm, in Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes (Now the Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve) is not a new patch for me. In fact it is an area I used to call my patch many years ago (2002-2004 I think). I even had a website dedicated to it (an early blog I guess) called Ashley’s Local Patch. Also a lot of digiscoping involved, I was an early adopter but not very good. With this blog, and subsequent posts, I have restarted my list so old records are not included, I wanted it to be a fresh start and if I’m honest it gave me something extra to aim for, but today I found my old notebooks relating to the patch and thought it would be fun to go through them and compare them to now.

Pastures Old

So I’ll begin by listing the 18 bird species that I have recorded in the past, and have yet to encounter this time around, some were scarce or one offs others were frequent but yet to be seen and others still migrants that I missed this year (returning too late).

The Birds

  1. Barnacle Goose
  2. Shelduck
  3. Merlin
  4. Peregrine
  5. Oystercatcher
  6. Arctic Tern
  7. Cuckoo
  8. White Wagtail
  9. Nightingale
  10. Black Redstart
  11. Fieldfare
  12. Garden Warbler
  13. Coal Tit
  14. Marsh Tit
  15. Willow Tit
  16. Raven
  17. Siskin
  18. Yellow Hammer


I’d Hope, Fieldfare will fall soon, Garden Warbler, Cuckoo and Arctic Tern should also be highly likely next spring (although Arctic terns were not common, I think I had one, previously since the gravel workings they were quite common on passage early this year, before I started watching the area). And White Wagtail is always a possibility on passage.

Common Birds Then and Now

Reading through my notes Little egret was not a guarantee and in fact more than one was highly uncommon! While now if I don’t see a couple then it’s been a poor day, in a change of circumstances, Yellowhammer were quite common, seeing some decent flocks (into double figures) some days, while I have only heard of 1 this year! Similarly I used to see Coal tits and Marsh tits very frequently (the area below the aqueduct was great). I keep checking there but have yet to see or hear either.

Rarer birds

Birds like Peregrine, Merlin, Black Redstart (which was actually in my garden) and Raven were and are likely to be again one offs so I will be lucky to see them again, but you never know, and while the Shelduck bred one year that was all. Oystercatcher was again a one off but I fully expect to see that some time with the new scrape and Siskins must fly over from time to time so hopefully soon!


What this does mean is theoretically my patch list could be 123 if I added in the old birds, and I am almost certain a few other birds will turn up at some point, Curlew and Goosander are ones I am most convinced of and it can surely only be time before I see the resident Barn Owl or even a passing winter Short-eared owl!

Anyway I hope you enjoyed a little step back in time.


While looking back and tidying up my old posts, since the move to WordPress. I found this post. Looking at the records I still have 4 birds on the list that I ave not yet clawed back:

  1. Barnacle Goose
  2. Nightingale
  3. Black Redstart
  4. Willow Tit

As for the rarer birds, Peregrine are regular visitors as are Raven. It is amazing how things change.

Maybe I will look back later in the year and write a follow up to Pastures Old for 2018.

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