Today was set to be sunny, sunny and bloody cold!
The frost started around 03:00 this morning, I know because I was working, but I was not going to let coldness and tiredness stop me from heading out on the patch again today.
I wanted to take some bird photos, and the light was likely to be good. So packing my long lens off I went.
I headed straight for the old lock area in the hope that yesterday’s chiffchaff would still be hanging around performing well, alas there was no sign, there was however a wonderful flock of 13 Bullfinch, I don’t recall ever seeing a flock like this before, so that was a very pleasant surprise, and so was the Siskin that flew over while I was watching them.
Carrying on down to the river I was really pleased to see three Goosander (the first of 15 or so birds) swimming along in the flow, the startled as I approached and flew off up stream but not before a quick photo op.
|Male and Female Goosander – River Ouse, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes|
After a row with a pair of dog walkers who felt it was perfectly OK to allow one of their dogs to come charging at me barking, I headed off around the Manor Farm pits, following the rivers path.
The first photo ops were of flying herons, firstly a Grey Heron that flew along the river and right past me, and then further down stream I flushed a Little Egret whose white feathers caught the golden glow of the winter sun beautifully as it flew away from me. I also saw a few more Goosander in flight here.
|Grey Heron in Flight along the River Ouse, Milton Keynes|
|Little Egret in flight, catching the suns golden glow, Milton Keynes|
Continuing along the river but now leaving the campsite behind me I reached an area of flooded ground next to the path and was greeted by a lovely Grey Wagtail, picking his way across the ice, and allowing me some lovely photo moments, I also met a far friendlier dog owner whose dog was scared to pass me as he wasn’t sure of the camera! A little further along I had a stunning back lit photo opportunity with Goldfinch.
|Grey Wagtail skating on thin ice, Milton Keynes|
|Grey Wagtail, Manor Farm, Milton Keynes|
I decided to extend my walk today and rather than head home along the canal I headed back along the canal to the viaduct and heading up towards Stony Stratford nature reserve, I’m getting ahead of myself though, the canal was frozen solid but it did mean that the local Moorhen were in a more unusual position and allowed a few nice images, as well as a confiding Robin.
|Moorhen Skating across the Grand Union Canal, Milton Keynes|
|Close Moorhen, Milton Keynes|
The walk along the river towards Stony was pretty un-eventful, but there was the opportunity to photograph a rather common bird but in a setting that I don’t often shoot them in, the bid in question was Mallard and the location was resting on the river.
|Mallard (female) – River Ouse, Milton Keynes|
When I reached the weir at Stony Stratford there were again a couple of Mallards offering me their modelling skills, this time the male took centre stage and looked stunning reflected in the mirror still water.
|Mallard (male) – reflected in calm waters|
|Mallard (male) – Stony Stratfford, Milton Keynes|
One Last Photo
|European Robin – Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes|
Distance: 8.86 miles
Time: 4 Hours 36 Mins
Full Species List
|Goosander||14||1 male 2 female on river|
|Great Crested Grebe||1|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker||2|
|Bullfinch||13||Flock of 13!|
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