2014 has been a good year birding wise for me, I moved from a pleasant but pretty unproductive local patch to the current location at Manor Farm Milton Keynes and it has been a major improvement (I’m planning on writing a review of the year shortly), and so it is with a little bit of a heavy heart that today I made my last walk of the year on the patch (work tomorrow), but I must admit I’m also looking forward to the new year and new possibilities.
Last Walk of 2014
On to the walk I guess, I decided on an afternoon walk today (no kids as they are all off elsewhere today) in the hope there would be less dog walkers (there were more! I think I’ll try an early morning walk soon), and so I headed out over the sheep fields in the hope of some interesting birds.
Alas there were not many to start with, a few Redwings and Fieldfare hopping around the grass and a single Common Buzzard were the highlights on the west side of the canal.
|Wren – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
On to Manor Farm
I continued along the river passing Manor Farm to my right, and not too far along the river, just as the river Tove joins the Ouse I heard a Water Rail calling. An excellent patch bird (I still find it odd hearing them call along a river). I also spotted 3 Goosander flying over (1 male 2 female). I then spotted two more (one of each) sat on the camp site lakes. Followed by another flock this time 5 males flying over and onto the Manor Farm pits. Considering my first for the patch was only this month not bad.
In the end I saw another flock of 9 birds, again in flight, so I am not sure what the full tally was.
My first view of the Manor Farm pits surprised me as the water was almost completely frozen, there was very little free water and what there was had a small pre-roost flock of gulls including one 1st Winter Med Gull (always a bonus).
|European Robin – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
Further Along the River
As I continued along I was greeted by a lovely well lit Robin (see photos) posing superbly for me. Along with large numbers of Dunnock; a fly by Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail; as well as the usual tits etc. I was alerted to two Treecreeper in the small coppiced area between the camp site and the path. And then a Meadow Pipit briefly put in an appearance on the water logged mud.
|Treecreeper – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
|Greylag Geese at sunset – Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
There wasn’t much else of note bird wise (a total of 50 species recorded) but I was treated to a wonderful Sunset, that allowed a few lovely photos.
|Trees as sunset|
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